Thoughts

Are you on the winning side?

Football. There is a lot of passion, exuberance and excitement for it around at the moment! The World Cup is well under way and there are and will be the inevitable joy for the winners and disappointments for the losing teams. Following the months of hard, careful preparation the manager can only now watch from the side lines and shout. He can’t actually get on the pitch with them and help them . In one sense they are on their own to do their very best but only one team can win. The other will be very disappointed.

Disappointments come, not just for losing football teams, but in all aspects of life for any one of us. How do we cope? Do we nurse our wounds and retreat in misery or do we healthily acknowledge the pain we inevitably feel, take time to work through it and then ‘put on our boots and play again’ making the most of the circumstances in life we are given.

For the Christian in times of both joy and disappointment the ‘Manager’ doesn’t just shout from the side, in Jesus he has joined us on the pitch and continues to encourage us and run with us – if we let him. The great news is that no one gets to lose on God’s team!

Rev Julie Shimizu

‘Burning Brightly: Living as Disciples of Jesus’ – 1 John

This Sunday, 17th June, we begin a new Sermon Series. Over the last few months we have looked at ‘I Believe In The Church’ i.e. the Church – the nature and life of it – its mission and its ministry.

Over the next few weeks we start a new series ‘Burning Brightly – Living as Disciples of Jesus’. We will now be focusing on discipleship by studying the first letter of John.  Wally divided up the letter inspired by the image of the Olympic torch. ‘The basic theme is that in the Olympic torch procession, one man lights the torch and carries it to another until it reaches the destination of the new games. 1 John can be understood in the light of the image of the torch bearer. Jesus was the initial torch who burned for God. We are called to carry the torch and keep it burning until we pass it on to the next one. We are meant to run through the land inviting others to join us.’

Week I (17th June) – The Torch is Lit – Introduction 1 John 1:1-10
II. A Life Ablaze 1 John 2:1-2:14
III. Keep on Burning 1 John 2:15-29
IV. Made to Shine 1 John 3:1-24
V. Hearts Aflame 1 John 4:1-21
VI. Never Quenched! 1 John 5:1-12
VII. Ablaze for Others – conclusion 1 John 5:13-21

Julie Shimizu

Visit the The Bible Project’s page for 1 John resources

For a children’s summary of 1 John, CLICK THIS RESOURCE LINK

What Is Ecclesiology?

What is LOVE

Traditionally, the Advent Season includes the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.

Four key biblical themes came to their fulfilment in the arrival of Jesus: Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love.

The Bible Project have issued a video each week leading into Christmas exploring each of these biblical words and their unique meaning within the biblical story. These words each offer an essential concept one has to understand to grasp The Gospel message Jesus brought in his life, death, and resurrection.   Week Four: LOVE

Good News that brings great JOY

Traditionally, the Advent Season includes the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
Four key biblical themes came to their fulfilment in the arrival of Jesus: Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love.
The Bible Project have issued a video each week leading into Christmas exploring each of these biblical words and their unique meaning within the biblical story. These words each offer an essential concept one has to understand to grasp The Gospel message Jesus brought in his life, death, and resurrection.   Week Three: JOY

Jesus is our HOPE

Traditionally, the Advent Season includes the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
Four key biblical themes came to their fulfilment in the arrival of Jesus: Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love.
The Bible Project have issued a video each week leading into Christmas exploring each of these biblical words and their unique meaning within the biblical story. These words each offer an essential concept one has to understand to grasp The Gospel message Jesus brought in his life, death, and resurrection.   Week Two: HOPE

Prince of PEACE

 

Traditionally, the Advent Season includes the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
Four key biblical themes came to their fulfilment in the arrival of Jesus: Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love.
The Bible Project have issued a video each week leading into Christmas exploring each of these biblical words and their unique meaning within the biblical story. These words each offer an essential concept one has to understand to grasp The Gospel message Jesus brought in his life, death, and resurrection.   Week One:  PEACE

To Deepen Our Prayer Lives

This autumn in our Life Groups we are going to be following The Prayer Course which includes six interactive sessions based on The Lord’s Prayer:

1.Adoration – Our Father in heaven

2.Petition – Give us this day

3.Intercession – Your Kingdom come

4.Perseverance – Your will be done

5.Listening – Our daily bread

6.Warfare – Deliver us from evil

The course is designed to fuel discussion and deepen our prayer life.  Whilst we can talk about prayer forever but the key is actually doing it! Hopefully  with a specific focus on the importance of prayer for six weeks – we will be.

‘Standing Firm In Shaky Times’ – 1 Peter

Today, 3rd September, we have launched a new teaching series on the epistle of 1 Peter.

It’s a letter written about 64-65 AD from the apostle Peter to various churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) who were under intense persecution.  The main theme of this letter is about living victoriously in the midst of suffering and persecution. Peter writes to give hope in the midst of it; to remind of our great salvation in Christ Jesus. To give advice on how to live a godly life before unbelievers, then ends with a reminder that the Lord will return and restore all things.
This is a message that still applies to us today. With the ‘shaky times’ across our globe, such as terrorism and conflict; with laws that are being passed that are in direct opposition to God’s Word, it will be a reminder for us that Christ is our hope and example with the need for us to ‘stand firm in shaky times’

Watch the video from The Bible Project summarising the book of 1 Peter

Visit the The Bible Project’s page with further 1 Peter resources

For a children’s summary of 1 Peter, CLICK THIS RESOURCE LINK

Fear not…

Fear can grip us can’t it? People can have a fear of all manner of things – heights, spiders, crowds, being alone, the future, certain people, being locked in, lifts…

Reflecting on one of the very real fears some people face, I once penned:
‘The day pulls on a velvet cloak
And night begins to fall
And so does fear begin
To dance
Its
Icy
Masquerade’

Recent talk of nuclear war and bombs in the hands of unpredictable leaders can make us all naturally anxious and some people perhaps really afraid. When I was a child people around me often shared stories of the 2nd World War and it made me nervous about going to bed and turning out the lights. I developed a routine of looking under the beds and in the wardrobe several times before I could go to sleep. It was a while before I grew out of that. (I’m OK now thankfully!).

But whilst I still have natural concerns about various things, fear does not grip me. I am so thankful to have a solid faith in God through Jesus Christ and because of that I believe that whatever happens, my future is ultimately in His hands – in this world and the next. The psalmist had this trust too. He said ‘When I am afraid, I will trust in you..in God I trust; I will not be afraid. Psalm 56:3,4. Jesus said to those who believed in him ‘ And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’. Matthew 28:20 And with this promise I am comforted – that God is with me – whatever happens.

Rev Julie Shimizu