Friday, 26 June 2020

LOCKDOWN UPDATE FROM DAVE


It's good news from the government in regards to the lock down.  Let's enjoy our new found freedom.  How wonderful it is to be able to fellowship with 5 other people in your garden or in the park.  Soon it will be possible for 2 households to meet in your home.  To have more contact with friends and family is good news indeed.

Unfortunately, I think some people are feeling that it is all over and they are ignoring the restrictions as we saw on Bournemouth beach yesterday.  The sad thing is that a few of those people will have contracted the virus and will pass it on - madness.

I don't want to be characterised as Frazer from Dad's Army saying "You're all doomed!" but I do want us to continue to be diligent.  The excess death rate has now gone past 65,000.  We
are
still very close to 1,000 new infections each day ( more than France and Germany combined) and we have a daily average death rate of 120.

You will have heard that up to 30 people can now meet in a building together.  I think this is more for the benefit of weddings rather than us as a church.  So, how do we respond to the new rules.  First of all we need to realise that the government has to base decisions on both public health and on the economy.  We don't.  The only criteria is to keep people safe so we don't have to jump in and reopen physical gatherings just because we can.

Secondly, the new rules at this present time produce little benefit to us.  As only 30 people can meet we would have to have multiple venues and multiple meetings.  Once at the meetings we could not have refreshments, no hugging or shaking hands, we can't sing or shout (preach loudly) as both spread the virus and we must sit at least 1 metre apart.  Just about everything we enjoy doing when we come together is still banned!

Finally, our desire has always been to keep the unity of the church.  That's why we have kept set times on Wednesdays and Sundays for teaching so we can still do things together.  If we began meeting together those who are shielded among us would not be able to be with us at the moment and many wouldn't want to take the risk.  Our desire is, if at all possible, that we move forward together.

One leader of a church, hearing the new rules, was stunned and sought advice.  It goes to show that these decisions are not easy.  However, myself, Martyn & Peter all agree that wisdom would be to wait and watch what happens.  If further changes take place, who knows but for now we will stick to our aim to begin meetings in September if possible.

On a brighter note, I am hoping there might be a further unlocking of what we can do outside
so we can put on a programme of picnics and socials in gardens or in the park over the summer.

Stay safe - every morning we are a day nearer to the date when we can all be together again.

Lots of love

Dave

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

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Monday, 1 June 2020

BIBLE STUDY FROM JACKY


Read Psalm 25 (TPT) out loud to yourself as a declaration:

1 Forever I will lift up my soul into your presence, Lord.
2 Be there for me, God, for I keep trusting in you.
Don’t allow my foes to gloat over me or
the shame of defeat to overtake me.
3 For how could anyone be disgraced
when he has entwined his heart with you?
But they will all be defeated and ashamed
when they harm the innocent.
4 Lord, direct me throughout my journey
so I can experience your plans for my life.
Reveal the life-paths that are pleasing to you.
5 Escort me along the way; take me by the hand and teach me.
For you are the God of my increasing salvation;
I have wrapped my heart into yours!
6–7 Forgive my failures as a young man,
and overlook the sins of my immaturity.
Give me grace, Lord! Always look at me
through your eyes of love—
your forgiving eyes of mercy and compassion.
When you think of me, see me as one you love and care for.
How good you are to me!
8 When people turn to you,
they discover how easy you are to please—so faithful and true!
Joyfully you teach them the proper path,
even when they go astray.
9 Keep showing the humble your path,
and lead them into the best decision.
Bring revelation-light that trains them in the truth.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who follow the ways of his covenant.
11 For the honour of your name, Lord,
never count my sins, and forgive them all—
lift their burden off of my life!
12 Who are they that live in the holy fear of God?
You will show them the right path to take.
13 Then prosperity and favour will be their portion,
and their descendants will inherit all that is good.
14 There’s a private place reserved for the lovers of God,
where they sit near him and receive
the revelation-secrets of his promises.
15 Rescue me, Lord, for you’re my only hero.
16 Sorrows fill my heart as I feel helpless, mistreated—
I’m all alone and in misery!
Come closer to me now, Lord, for I need your mercy.
17 Turn to me, for my problems seem to be going from bad to worse.
Only you can free me from all these troubles!
18 Until you lift this burden, the burden of all my sins,
my troubles and trials will be more than I can handle.
Can’t you feel my pain?
19 Vicious enemies hate me.
There are so many, Lord. Can’t you see?
20 Will you protect me from their power against me?
Let it never be said that I trusted you
and you didn’t come to my rescue.
21 Your perfection and faithfulness are my bodyguards,
for you are my hope and I trust in you as my only protection.
22 Zealously, God, we ask you
to come save Israel from all her troubles,
for you provide the ransom price for your people!


1 What kind of situation is David facing? Certain or uncertain times? Is he pleading to change God's mind or reminding himself about the God he knows?

2 What do you think it means to entwine your heart with God's? In other translations 'wait on the Lord'

3 David acknowledges he made mistakes in the past, why does he want God to direct him now? Why is it the humble who are shown the right path?

4 Can you see the verses where David asks God to see him in Jesus?

5 What is the 'holy fear of God'? v12

6 Will you make time for v14 today?

7 In how many ways is God your hero? How about writing a list of the 'super' ways he has come to your rescue like no one else ever could.

8 How is David seeking protection from his enemies?

9 This Psalm was written as an acrostic with each verse beginning with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order. The translators have tried to replicate the feel of this using our alphabet. In verse 1 read 'forever' as 'always,' then see if you can find the other letters in order in the following verses down to 'zealously' in the last. (There's no X)

10 Have a go at writing your own acrostic. Write the 26 letters of the alphabet down the left side of your page. Begin each sentence of your psalm with the next letter. Use it to tell God how you are feeling and to declare who he is like David did. It would be great to hear your psalm. Anybody brave enough to video themselves reading it and post it?

Jacky Kendrew