Pastor's Blog 

Welcome to our blog.  Each week (give or take) we will publish a blog, which will also feature in the church's "weekly news".
 

 

QUESTIONS

How? Why? Who? What? Where? When?

These are the questions of life.  As a child we ask them repeatedly – most parents will vouch for the curiosity of their children. Sometimes they prompt entertaining conversations.  Sometimes they lead to more challenging ones!

There are some questions we don’t really want to have to answer!  Out of embarrassment, out of sensitivity, out of hurt or one of many reasons.  Adults – in particular – seem to lose the desire to ask and to be asked.

But questions are important.  In our online community group (our Wednesday evening live stream) we have talked about asking questions of the Bible – using the questions to get the most out of the written word.  But as we live we need to open up questions – so that we move forward, that we don’t simply stop and stagnate.

Some questions are really big – “Who am I?”, “What am I here for?”, “Where am I going?”.  They seem so big that we hardly dare to ask them – particularly as we progress through life and we seek security more than adventure and we look perhaps for a more settled and quieter life.

But we shouldn’t just stop – these questions are as important now as ever.  We still need to ask them.  We need to feel able to be curious about the world around us, just as a child is.  We need to realise that yesterday’s answer might have been for yesterday.  Some things do require long term commitment and persistence – asking questions isn’t an excuse for never sticking at things.  But we shouldn’t let our lives sit in a rut – never daring to ask anything.

What question do you need to ask?  What is it that needs to be challenged in your life? Ask the question – of yourself.  But ask it of God.  He asks questions of us, and he expects us to ask questions back at Him.  Draw Him in – and ask Him.  As we ask – may He reveal new answers, may He guide and prompt, may He speak into our lives.  Don’t just settle into a routine  and don’t be afraid to ask.

Ask Him.  After all – He knows.

20/09/20

 

FEAR

The concern of Coronavirus hasn’t gone away.  This week the guidance for “social gatherings” was tightened to give a sense of urgency and responsibility that we need to be careful and mindful of risks, even though more places are open and we can do more…

There was always a concern about a “second spike”. And we can se in the news the number of cases rising.  However we also have to acknowledge that hospital admissions and COVID-related deaths are not rising, seemingly.  So concern should not give way to panic.

But we are still in uncertain times – maybe not the extremes of April/May – but uncertain nonetheless.  It would be easy to be fearful.  Even at the best of times, fear is a real problem.  Current circumstances won’t help!  And yet as believers we are told not to fear.

“Do not be afraid”.  “Fear not”. Familiar instructions throughout the bible – it’s a well repeated instruction. That says something about how easily we give in to fear – the fact that God has to repeat himself so many times in his word.

These last couple of weeks as we have thought about dreams and stepping forward now, being active rather than passive, the biggest hindrance is fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of getting it wrong, fear of other people’s opinions and/or criticism, fear of looking a fool.  We probably all suffer from one of these – or something similar – at least some of the time.  It’s challenging to overcome it…

“Perfect love casts out fear” – we don’t always grasp it, but this is the answer.  We know that a help when we are fearful is to have people around us who are for us not against us.  God is always for us. He is perfect love.  Wherever we are – he is with us.  Fear is real. But God is real too.

Whatever you are anticipating – good or not so good.  Whatever the Autumn is likely to bring – God is always good.  He is there.  So when fear creeps in, don’t pretend that you aren’t fearful – that’s simply denial.  But tell God – admit it to yourself, but speak it out to God.  Having him involved will make a real difference.

He is with you.  Perfect love casts out fear.

13/09/20

 

DREAMS

Peter talked about dreams last week.  God-inspired dreams.  The very mention of dreams starts us looking forward rather than back.  Where are you going?  Where does God want you heading?  What are His purposes for you…?

It sometimes happens that people rush ahead of God, pursuing something with enthusiasm which is more to do with them than God.  But it also happens – probably more often – that people hold back, never daring to move.  Sometimes the dream seems so far away, so untouchably distant that it hardly seems worth aiming at.

And then of course we become discouraged and don’t move forward.

But each step we take towards the dream is a step into the future.  It is true that we sometimes need to wait on God, but that isn’t a perpetual thing – inaction is not God’s way.  He isn’t passive and doesn’t want us to be either.  He longs for us to move forward, to step towards the future with Him.  Fear and worry, though, can cause us to be over-wary of stepping out. 

But the way is forward.  Not back.  God has plans and purposes – and your God-given dreams need movement for them to be closer tomorrow than they are today.  So if we are holding on to fear and worry, we need to be honest with God and ask Him to help us deal with them. 

Perhaps you think it’s all a bit late for this.  There’s no way you can achieve the dream now.  We lament late starting and in the process we question the sense of it all.  But such lament does not really help.  It really is no excuse to stand still.

When is the best time to plant a tree? Five years ago.  When is the second best time? Today.

It’s never too late to start and step out towards the dreams and goals that God has given you.

This September, whatever we are or aren’t allowed to do because of the ongoing pandemic, we need to lose the idea of being inactive and take the next step towards the goals and dreams that God has for our lives.
 

06/09/20