‘Don’t befriend angry people.’Proverbs 22:24 NLT
Ever seen an oyster shell without an oyster inside, and wondered how the oyster got out? Look for a small hole in the top of the shell made by a whelk. This little ocean creature has an appendage that works like an auger. With it the whelk bores into the shell and sucks the oyster out through the hole, little by little, until it has devoured it. Don’t allow somebody’s angry outbursts or critical remarks to bore a hole in your good nature and rob you of your sunny disposition. If you aren’t careful, you can become irritated to the point where anger and bitterness begin to seethe in you. And that can be dangerous to your health. There’s a mountain of medical evidence to support the fact that certain kinds of depression are simply anger turned inward. Remember the old adage, ‘It’s not what you’re eating, but what’s eating you that’s making you ill.’ The Bible says, ‘Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul [emotions]’ (vv. 24-25 NLT). If you’re wise, you’ll try to avoid people you find continually negative or habitually angry at life, as well as those who seem to delight in needling you. In other words – avoid whelks! John Mason writes: ‘One way to be free of unwanted baggage is to take your mind off the things that seem to be against you. Thinking about negative factors simply builds them into a power they truly don’t possess. Talking about your grievances merely adds to those grievances. Attach yourself to God’s forgiveness, plan, and Word. Then watch yourself become loosed from former “sticky” situations.’Luke 19:28-48, Psalms 105-106
What to expect on life’s journey
‘Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.’Hebrews 12:1 NKJV
Here are two more things you need to know: 1) The wrong people will hurt you. There are two groups of people you should never be influenced by. The first is composed of VNP people: Very Needy People, Very Negative People, and Very Needling People. The second contains VDP people: Very Draining People, Very Doubting People, and Very Distracting People. Love them and help them any way you can, but never be influenced or led by them. Encourage them, but when they start to pull you down instead of lifting you up, disconnect graciously and turn them over to God. 2) The right people will help you. When God has a job to be done, He calls a man or woman to do it. But He seldom calls them alone. He calls others to stand with them and support them. That means your willingness to reach for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but strength. Paul spent an entire chapter in the New Testament acknowledging the people who helped him fulfil his vision. Here’s what he said to the Philippians: ‘Every time I think of you, I give thanks…Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now’ (Philippians 1:3-5 NLT). If you’re wise, you’ll acknowledge the things God hasn’t gifted you to do, delegate them to qualified people, and work from your core strengths. That takes humility on your part, but in the long run it pays great dividends!Luke 19:1-27, Psalms 103-104
How to fight – and win
26 SEPTEMBER 2020
‘Fight the good fight of faith…to which you were…called.’
1 Timothy 6:12 NKJV
Here are six proven Bible strategies for defeating the enemy when he comes against you. 1) Think aggressively. ‘Fight the good fight of faith…to which you were…called.’ Plan and calculate like a general preparing for battle; study how to engage and defeat your enemy the devil. 2) Pray aggressively. We are told to approach God’s throne ‘boldly’ (see Hebrews 4:16). Which means aggressively! Don’t be bashful with God. He’s your ‘Abba’, which means ‘Daddy’. And you’re His redeemed child, so approach Him with confidence and ask for what you need. 3) Speak fearlessly. The apostle Peter writes, ‘Speak as though God himself were speaking through you’ (1 Peter 4:11 NLT). In other words, use a commanding, authoritative tone when you resist the forces of evil. ‘Be strong in the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:10 KJV). 4) Give generously. The level at which you give is the level at which you receive. ‘Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed’ (Proverbs 11:24-25 NLT). No offering is too small, and none too great. 5) Work intently. The Bible says whatever you put your hand to, do it with all your heart (see Ecclesiastes 9:10). Don’t approach your tasks with dread and a desire to escape. Stir yourself up in the Holy Spirit and get the job done (see 2 Timothy 1:6). 6) Love unconditionally. As a follower of Christ, you must endeavour to love others as He loves them – unconditionally and sacrificially.
Change your attitude!
19 SEPTEMBER 2020‘[Having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude].’Ephesians 4:23 AMPC
We can learn a lot about the importance of a good attitude by looking at the children of Israel. It’s estimated that about 1.5 million Israelites came out of Egypt. God delivered them from slavery and led them to the Promised Land. The trip should have taken about eleven days, but instead it took forty years. Why? Because they were constantly complaining about everything! They complained about the food God sent from heaven each day. And any time something difficult crossed their path they were ready to give up and go back to Egypt – back to slavery. What’s astounding is that out of the 1.5 million people who left Egypt, only two from the original group made it into the Promised Land. And today there are many Christians who have also escaped from ‘Egypt’ (their former life of slavery to sin), believers who are always looking forward to the Promised Land, yet they end up wandering in the wilderness their entire lives, dealing with the same old problems and issues. Are you one of them? Do you feel like you’ve been circling the same mountain for too long? (See Deuteronomy 2:3.) If so, here’s your answer: ‘Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterised your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; and be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness’ (Ephesians 4:22-24 AMPC). In other words – change your attitude!Isaiah 32-33, Ephesians 5:1-16
Guidelines for parenting
12 SEPTEMBER 2020‘
Discipline your children; you’ll be glad you did.’Proverbs 29:17 MSG
Several years ago, sociologists and child psychologists made an interesting discovery. Contemporary thought assumed that putting fences around playgrounds made children feel restricted in their recreation. And based on that theory it was decided to remove the fences so children wouldn’t feel confined. To the astonishment of the experts, the opposite effect occurred. Researchers found that children became more inhibited in their activities. They tended to huddle towards the middle of the playground and exhibited signs of insecurity. Interestingly, when the fences were replaced, the children once more played with great enthusiasm and freedom. What’s the lesson here? We all need boundaries – something to define the limits of safety and security. Whereas the ‘experts’ theorised that boundaries restrict creativity, children on the playground proved that we need a clear understanding of what’s safe and acceptable in order for ingenuity and inventiveness to flourish. That means your children will flourish and you’ll function better as a parent when guidelines are clearly communicated, and the consequences for not following them are completely understood. There’s a humorous story of a father who gave his sixteen-year-old son his first car. Before handing him the keys, he said, ‘This is a magic car, Son.’ ‘Really?’ the boy replied. ‘Yeah,’ answered his dad. ‘One speeding ticket – and it will disappear!’ And if you buy a car for your child, it should be a ‘magic’ car too. Bottom line: God sets the rules for success in life, and He rewards those who honour them. In the words of Scripture: ‘Study this Book of Instruction continually…obey everything written in it…then will you prosper and succeed in all you do’ (Joshua 1:8 NLT).
Don’t ‘suffer fools gladly’
06 SEPTEMBER 2020‘Fools despise wisdom and instruction.’Proverbs 1:7 NKJV
Three Hebrew words are used to define the word ‘fool’ in Proverbs. 1) ‘Kesil.’ This refers to a hard-headed person who thinks he or she needs no advice. 2) ‘Ewil.’ This word has a root meaning of ‘growing thick of fluids’. It refers to a thick-headed person who refuses to listen to counsel. 3) ‘Nabal.’ This refers to an empty-headed person who demonstrates his or her lack of wisdom through a foolish lifestyle. So the fool is an empty-headed, thick-headed, hard-headed person who gets a failing grade when it comes to the school of wisdom. They may be intellectually brilliant, financially successful, and socially admired, but they’re morally and spiritually bankrupt. Solomon warns, ‘Fools die for lack of wisdom’ (Proverbs 10:21 NKJV). Just as a body will die from lack of oxygen, a man or woman will ultimately and eternally die from a lack of wisdom. Then Solomon bottom-lines it: ‘Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge’ (Proverbs 14:7 NKJV). The message is clear: only a fool hangs around with fools! So when you’re forming a friendship, here are some questions to which you need answers: Does the other person bring out the best or the worst in you? Do they have a positive or a negative attitude? What other kinds of friends do they keep? Are they involved in things that violate your values? Do they exercise restraint and control their temper? Do they draw you closer to God or drive you further from Him?Luke 17:1-19, Psalms 91-93
Sunday 30th August 2020
Originally prepared for Sunday 19th July by Len Ogilvie
With all that is going on at the moment especially at this time of the year, we remember, that we live in a beautiful world, in an astonishing universe and in the gracious care and provision of an absolutely amazing God for which the term “resourceful” must be a huge understatement.
Hymn: Sing or read
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty the king of
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation;
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation;
All ye who hear, brothers and sisters draw near,
praise Him in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth:
hast thou not seen? All that is needful hath been
granted in what He ordaineth.
Praise to the Lord who doth prosper thy work and defend thee!
surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew all the Almighty can do,
who with His love doth befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath come now with praises before Him!
Let the Amen sound from His people again:
gladly for aye we adore Him.
Time of Quiet Prayer
Isaiah 55 9 to 13
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”
Hymn – read or sing
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.
Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.
- Do you like watching make-over programmes? We might see the process of transforming people, rooms or entire houses, changing squalid messes into some sort of tidy order, and, I suppose the most popular of all changing outdoor spaces from derelict crumbling surroundings into delightful gardens or play areas.
- I suppose the inevitable question is, “will it last?” You may have seen programmes where the team go back six months or a year later to find out, and the results can be pretty eye-opening but not in a very positive way.
- Things left to themselves deteriorate quickly which very probably explains the run on hairdressers over the past couple of weeks
- The passage we have this week reminds us of a God who, having created the world, didn’t just leave it to itself, and from the word “go” has been engaged in the remedial work necessary to make the world a good place to be despite human tendencies to drag it back to chaos.
- The passage is part of the outworking of the famous “servant song” which is introduced in chapter 49, the inspiration for Paul’s ministry, has the marvellous depiction of Jesus in chapter 53 and culminates in the vision of a completely new, unspoilt and everlasting creation – the perfect makeover! All of it is neatly summarised in this passage and it has some encouragement for all of us in the situation we face.
- Wouldn’t it be lovely to leave our homes in joy and return secure? Well, the path to that will not necessarily be straightforward but we can be certain that whatever twists and turns may come about, that we don’t have to be left to our own devices. There is a God who cares, who stands with us in the very midst of all the tragic, negative things that are going on and encourages us in our own small way to witness to that picture of that perfect make-over. But, of course the best witnesses are those who’ve looked in the mirror at the end of the programme and their eyes widen and their jaw drops as they see –Wow! – they have been given that perfect make-over for themselves. Something like the image of God? Something like Jesus? That is a “Wow!” moment.
Lord we thank you that in all things You are sufficient. Help us to remember that when we feel hemmed in, when we feel the future looks bleak, when we are anxious and afraid especially about those we love. Lord, if you decided that your own Son’s death was a price worth paying for us, how can we doubt your provision for us in the future? Help us to remember that nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus.
The Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
Forever and ever
God Bless and Stay Safe
The sacrament of ‘The Lord’s Supper’ is held at the close of evening worship the first Sunday of each month.
Anyone between 5 years and 16 years will be made welcome
Come and join the kids at
Leaders Kay White and Pauline Harrison
Sunday Worship 5.30pm
Anyone and Everyone will he given a warm and friendly welcome to all our church services