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VE Celebrations – 75 years on… The enemy is defeated!

9th May 2020

The 8th May marked the 75th Anniversary of the end of European fighting against Nazi Germany, a significant day in history when the enemy was defeated. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill “My dear friends, this is your hour.”

As we remember the remaining Veterans still alive today; many have helped us appreciate the excitement of that day when the enemy was finally defeated with an “unconditional surrender.” No doubt we have reminisced and listened to “war time” stories repeated and re-told with fondness but also sorrow, thinking of so many lives impacted.

As we remember the many who lost their lives to secure our freedom, it reminds us that our deliverance was dependent on their selfless acts of courage. As we have been encouraged to say “thank you” and remember in silence as a sign of respect, it really doesn’t seem enough as we consider the dark days of War World II.

The Bible also reminds us of a defeated enemy that we should be celebrating victory over. Nearly 2,000 years ago; God sent his Son the Lord Jesus into the world to rescue this fallen human race from an enemy. Not a dictator like Hitler, but from what the Bible describes as an old foe called Satan or the Devil.

The Bible explains that through this enemy, sin, (which is disobedience to God) came into this world. Genesis ch 3 tells us how that Satan convinced Adam and Eve to disobey God, the impact was devastating. Just like World War II was devastating to many at the time, and the fallout born by many generations, the disobedience at the beginning of time was even worse and has impacted every single generation born into this world since. The Bible states “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

It needed a selfless act of love. It needed someone willing to lay down their life to enable a great victory to take place. The Bible tells us that through the dark hours on a cross, outside Jerusalem, God punished His own Son Jesus to pay the price for the consequence of sin. The Lord Jesus that day wrought a GREAT VICTORY. He could shout out in triumph “IT IS FINISHED.” He had paid the price for sin that you and I could never pay. The Bible tells us that he rose from the dead victorious, three days later.

What are we relying on to get right with God? Do we even think we need to? Eternity faces each of us and the destination is either Heaven or Hell. As we can think of those who gave their lives, this act on its own whilst admirable is not enough to get a person into Heaven. The Bible says that we can only get right with God through repenting and asking for our sins to be forgiven.

I wonder therefore if we have taken time recently to give thanks for those who laid down their lives in World WAR II? I think that we would both agree that we should. However it is concerning that many are not willing to acknowledge the GREATEST VICTORY ever, when Jesus defeated the enemy Satan by laying down his life as a sacrifice for sin.

If you knew what it was to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, then this would be a day of great celebration for you too.

Pilgrim Pete writes – bewildering & unprecedented times?

22nd April 2020

Are these days “bewildering & unprecedented times”? The Bible provides insight into other such times. The plague of darkness in Moses’ time; Egypt may have felt bewildered – but not Israel. They had LIGHT in all their dwellings. We too share the LIGHT of God’s Glory in the face of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As for “unprecedented” – has such a world-wide effect ever fallen upon our world since Noah’s flood? We who believe find ourselves today in the same situation as those eight people, incarcerated in our own homes, but, thankfully, not isolated. We know that our Lord has “shut us in” (Gen 7 v 16) and that “our God shall supply all our need through the riches of His Grace in Christ Jesus our Lord;” that having first sought the Kingdom of God and His righteousness – all these things shall be added unto us.

Noah’s family too had all these blessings, besides the powerful leadership of Noah himself. I am sure that he was a pillar of physical strength and spiritual strength under our God. His very name means REST, which includes confidence and security. As Captain he would be a calming, inspiring influence, very much in command in times of fear, panic or disagreement.

It is good to know that the same Holy Spirit is guarding & organising His believing children today.

We also remember that those eight people had no idea how or when the floods would subside, and what would happen next. But Noah had faith, and knew the Grace of God. Noah’s rock-like strength and stability gave his crew the confidence and hope to see the crisis through. “Look unto me,” says the Lord, “and be saved.”

As with ourselves God asks us to trust in Him, that great, heavy flat-bottomed boat of (at least) 400′ feet long had no rudder! but where in the world was there to go? (John ch 6 v 68)

God had “shut them in” and guided their ship through all the massive swell and turbulence. That same confidence and trust in our Lord will keep us safe also – and our applause in that day will be for Him.

“How great is our God! How great is His Name!”

What joy must have filled Noah’s heart when he saw first stars appear, and after that – the Rainbow….

The first mention of the symbol of HOPE! As we see the many rainbow’s around us. We remind ourselves that the rainbow not only tells us of God’s promise of love but the hope that is there for us all. There can be better days ahead for us, if we would but come to the Saviour. He laid down His life so that we might live. As we remember those who are risking their lives to save others. Let’s remember, He willing died to save us from the consequence of our sin (disobedience and rejection of God which will face eternal judgement) are we willing to acknowledge this Saviour?

John ch 3 v 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

God or Government Rescue Plan – how will it be paid?

5th April 2020

As the Corona Virus pandemic continues with no seeming end; I wonder if we are interested in the implications of the Government’s promised financial rescue plan.

Many are impacted and concerned from a financial perspective, so the recently promised £330bn for businesses and £500m for families will come as some form of reassurance to those now out of work and unable to pay for essentials.

This will however have to be paid for somehow; we are all taught from a young age that money does not grow on trees and so this rescue plan will need to be paid for at some point.

The reality will be, that future generations are likely to have to pay the price for this crises, through taxation, reduction in investment in key services and other tough decisions to overcome the huge financial impact of trying to overcome this crises.

The Bible reminds us of the crises that mankind has been in since the day Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commandments and sin came into this world.

Just like the Corona Virus is separating us from loved ones, sin has separated us from God and the relationship he wants us to have with Him. No amount of money can deal with this crisis. In fact we need to understand that we are bankrupt before God. We have nothing to offer to help be rescued from this situation.

The GREAT and GOOD news of the Bible is that despite our current condition and position before God, he has paid for the rescue plan to be delivered and it is already available for us to accept TODAY.

Sin (the crisis) had a price, and the the price has been paid through the death of God’s Son the Lord Jesus. He willingly came into this world to sacrifice His life at the cross of Calvary, so you and I can have God’s Salvation. God’s gift (His salvation) is eternal life – that is to be in heaven forever and know the forgiveness of sins and the relationship with God restored.

How good to know, that even in these difficult days, with the uncertainty of the future of this earth we can know the certainty of our eternal future.

The Government’s rescue plan will need to be paid for in the future, God’s rescue plan has already been paid. Are you trusting in God today?

1 Peter ch 1 v 18 & 19 “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold…. but with the precious blood of Christ”

As we come to terms with the impact of the Corona Virus let us also consider the impact of our wrong (sin) before God and that we need to be rescued from both.

We trust you remain safe during these unprecedented times, feel free to contact us should you have any questions.

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God – I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you.

22nd March 2020

What a wonderful promise from the creator God in such a time of uncertainty. As the world comes to terms with the impact and spread of CoVID-19 we perhaps ask the question where is God in all of this?

I remember as a child being presented with a badge that in a circle read: GOD IS NO WHERE and I was told to read what I saw. It is amazing what one space can do to the above GOD IS NOW HERE, as He always has and always will.

Perhaps at this time we might want to try and find someone to blame – we rightly ask why and how, has this happened? Unfortunately it is symptomatic of a fallen world. A world which though created perfectly by God, has been in decline since Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command and sin (a word for wrong doing against God) came into the world.

In the Bible Romans ch 5 v 12 states “therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”

Whether it is wars, acts of terrorism, natural disasters or even as we are experiencing a pandemic outbreak it all reminds us of the need to have a personal relationship with God. He wants us to know what the future holds, even in uncertain times.

The verse above from Isaiah, was a message of hope in a bleak dark landscape for God’s chosen people the Jewish nation.

Perhaps during these times of uncertainty you are looking for hope, strength and comfort.

Listen to the words of Jesus, God’s Son who came into this world to provide Salvation (deliverance for you and me from the consequence of our sin)

“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt ch 11 v 28

Why can Jesus provide hope, comfort and rest at this time?

As the Son of God, He loved us, and came into this world for us. The Bible tells us that he gave His life for us, so that we might be able to have “eternal life” that is to be in heaven for eternity. Instead of facing God’s righteous judgement for the wrong we have done. His death and shed blood at the cross of Calvary makes it possible for the guilt and judgement to be forgiven. He paid the price that sin required by God.

What price would people put on a remedy for CovID-19? To save life and to enable those affected to be delivered from their symptoms.

It would be difficult to quantify! God has provided a remedy to the effect of our sin, the price was the death of His own Son the Lord Jesus.

He is able and willing to give you hope, strength and peace in this uncertain time. Isaiah reminds us of the following:

Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. (Isaiah ch 55 v 6)

Does a New Year bring hope?

30th December 2019

As we embark on a New Year, we typically start with hope and anticipation of different goals and plans we are wanting to achieve.

Equally as we come to the close of another year; I wonder as we look back on the year just passed, whether we do so with regret.

Did I get to the gym as much as I had hoped, (or needed to!) did I get on that holiday I had dreamed of, did my stocks and share make the return I had anticipated, did I get the grades I wanted, did I get that pay rise I was promised and hoped for, did I purchase the car I wanted.

No doubt there are many things we wish to achieve in this life but how many of them relate to our creator God – the God of the Universe?

We have regret when we miss out, or things don’t happen as we expect them to. I can certainly look back on 2019 with regret from a personal perspective and can look forward to a New Year with hope.

When we look into the Bible we will also find characters who would regret their decisions, choices, words spoken, actions taken etc. Whether it is Adam and Eve at the beginning of time disobeying God and taking of the fruit they were forbidden not to take of, or Jonah trying to run away from God and needing to spend time in the belly of a whale. To Peter denying the Lord Jesus or Judas betraying the Lord Jesus. These characters given a 2nd opportunity would no doubt have made a different choice.

Sometimes we wish we could take back a word an action a thought but more often than not it is too late. If only… we might ponder!

God makes it very clear in His word the Bible that “Today is a day of Salvation” (2 Corinthians ch6 v 2) To be Saved is to know the forgiveness of sins (wrong things against God) by trusting in the Lord Jesus as our Saviour. Repenting of our wrong doing before God, acknowledging that Jesus died on the cross of Calvary paying the price that our sins demanded. The Bible makes it clear that if we reject God’s offer or forgiveness we will face his judgement in a coming day.

When I trusted the Lord Jesus as my Saviour I had no regrets. He has never let me down; He has never been disloyal to me or said unkind things. He hasn’t criticised me behind my back or gone back on a promise.

He gives me a great hope for 2020 that He could be returning to take me to be with Him forever. A Christian has a great hope ahead of them. As we look forward to a New Year. Make it a completely New Year with a New Hope and a New Perspective. A year where we recognise our creator God and have faith and belief in God’s Son the Lord Jesus Christ. You will never regret it.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and though shalt be saved” Acts ch 16 v 31

Is Jesus your reason for the season?

7th December 2019

As we embark on the Christmas festivities for another year, I can’t help but wonder how much is Jesus Christ the reason for the season.

What is most important for us at this time of year? Is it time with the family? or giving and receiving gifts? or visiting friends?

How much is Christ the centre of our Christmas? What are we celebrating if we are not making Him the reason of the season?

The name Jesus means Saviour; at His birth the angels declared to the Shepherds that a Saviour had been born.

The whole reason Jesus came into this world was to make it possible for you and I to be saved. We need to be saved from the consequence of the things we have done wrong; (the Bible calls this sin) we need to understand that we have offended a Holy and a Righteous God and as a result we will face His righteous punishment in a coming day.

I wonder what is top of your Christmas list this year? What do you really need or what do you really want?

God is offering us His gift of Salvation (the Bible calls this Eternal Life) This came at the cost of the life of His Son Jesus Christ. He has paid the penalty for sin so we can know God’s forgiveness. Did you know that by asking for your sins to be forgiven, believing that Jesus died and rose again on your behalf, enables you to have Salvation.

Romans ch 10 v 9 from the Bible states “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

You can truly celebrate Christmas if you do this. Do you want an early Christmas present? Salvation is available today, you don’t have to wait to the 25th December.

I presume that you will not be leaving any Christmas presents under the Christmas tree this year? How sad that the true reason of the season, Jesus Christ, could remain as an unwanted gift for yet another Christmas.

Pilgrim Pete writes… “Pierced, Buried & Raised Again!”

10th November 2019

A friend told me a story of the time when his father worked in Lebanon. It may have been his sister’s birthday, for there arrived through the post a box. Inside carefully wrapped a most beautiful necklace made of varnished beads of all shapes, each one pierced through and threaded onto a fine cord. Bought from an Arab market.

On closer inspection however they were found not to be beads, but seeds from a variety of unknown plants – maybe trees or shrubs never seen in our own climate. What a treasure! as the years passed however the necklace became hidden away and forgotten.

All Barry could tell me was that at one turning out session the “beads” were rediscovered, free of their broken cord, rolling around in an upstairs drawer. Having no further use for a handful of dusty, dry seeds but reluctant to throw them away, his mother scattered them at the bottom of the garden and thought no more about them.

Imagine the family’s surprise some time later to find that corner of the garden a mass of tender green shoots, later developing into exotic flowers and blossoms!

I have never forgotten that wonderful tale, told me so many years ago at work. It always reminds me so clearly of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Himself sold, pierced, buried and forgotten. Only to be raised in glorious triumph to lead His believing Church, by way of repentance and faith, through a life of trail and hope to our heavenly home above.

Remembrance Sunday – What are you remembering?

9th November 2019

Every year we rightly remember those who gave their lives in the first and second World War. Any reminders of Remembrance Sunday are linked with the strapline “Lest we forget” Many have family members who gave the ultimate price of their lives to secure the freedom of this country.

Is the price of a life immeasurable? If we got asked to put a value on a life; we would be very hesitant to do just that and name a price? We display our poppies with pride “Lest we forget” those who gave their lives in conflict. The poppy petals signifies the blood shed with the green stem the new life as a result of those who gave their life.

The Bible speaks of a remembrance Sunday as well, not every year but every week. Christians gather “lest they forget” to give thanks and praise as they remember the death burial and resurrection of God’s Son the Lord Jesus. His death and subsequent resurrection in the war against Satan, evil and sin secures freedom from the consequence of ours sin, (the wrong things we do in our life) if we believe and trust in him.

If a family member explained to us that a descendant had given his life in the war to secure our freedom, how would that make us feel? It would be disrespectful of us to shrug our shoulders and say what does that matter.

But what about the fact that Jesus gave his life for you? The Bible says “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” It seems that we live in a world and society that disregards the fact that Jesus gave his life for us.

What are you remembering this remembrance Sunday? “Lest we forget”

The World in Union – RWC 2019

29th September 2019

For Rugby fans around the world they would be familiar with the anthem of the Rugby World Cup “the world in union.” The anthem symbolises the expectation that despite living in a world of unrest and war, sport can bring the world together in harmony and union with one another.

The sentiment is understood by all, but does beg the question, why does this world struggle to find peace? Why are the leaders of countries unable to find unity, or union with one another “world peace”

The Bible gives us the answer, the root of the issue of unrest in this World is Sin. From the beginning of time when Man thought that he could go his own way, disobeyed God and departed from God’s plan, we have suffered the consequences. World rulers now seek to exert power and authority over one another in a bid to become supreme dominating world powers.

When the players in the Rugby World Cup; depart from the rules and err – intentionally or accidentally, they are penalised. One man’s indiscretion brings a consequence for the whole team. The penalty is given and can result in defeat.

The consequence of sin (disobedience to God) must be penalised, however you and I are unable to pay the penalty ourselves. Romans ch 3 v 23 states “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life”

Did you know that you can receive the gift of God. If you received a ticket to watch the Rugby World Cup final not many would refuse the opportunity. The price however for that ticket would still have to have been paid by someone in order for you to receive the gift. Similarly to enable you to receive the Gift of God the price for eternal life had to be paid.

The cost of Eternal Life is unmeasurable; the Lord Jesus Christ God’s Son willing came to the earth from Heaven, and died on a cross at Calvary, paying the penalty of our sins to enable our relationship with God to be restored. Through Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection, he offers us Salvation. To be saved, is to be rescued and delivered from the coming judgement of our sins. The Bible states “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

There can only be one winner of the Rugby World Cup, we can be on the winning side through faith and trust in God’s Son the Lord Jesus. The Bible states “by grace are you saved through faith and that it is not of yourselves it is a gift from God.”

The Lord Jesus has promised to rule this world in peace and harmony in a coming day. We can rule with Him if we follow the rules and plan that God has set out in His word the Bible. What a day that will be when finally this world will be in “union” with one another.

A Royal Invitation

20th May 2018

An invitation like none other?

Yes that’s right, you and I have been invited to not the Royal Wedding but to God’s eternal home in heaven.

Jesus said “come unto me and I will give you rest”

Are we willing to accept God’s invitation to come His way or will we continue to make excuses like in the parable in Luke ch 14 vs 16 – 24 (The Bible)

The invitation from God requires a response.

Do we realise that Jesus (God’s eternal Son) died on a cross making it possible for the wrong things we have committed in our lives to be forgiven?

A great display of love between the Royal Couple as they exchanged vow’s but God’s love to us knows no bounds, it is not based on a reciprocal love. God loves us despite of us.

We would respond promptly to a Royal Invitation – how about your response to God’s invitation

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