Kathy Larkman, contributor for today’s blog post
I only have to go to my email inbox to know that the new school year is around the corner! I have been inundated with a plethora of emails regarding different church rotas and upcoming events. Bring it on!
I am one who loves the changes of season, changes of schedule, new adventures- and the beginning of a school year is no different. Of course, I am in the lovely position of not having any children in school in my season of life. But I am happy to cheer you all in prayer who have this remarkable privilege and responsibility of parenting!
But I digress….
The start of school is a sign of new beginnings: New experiences. New challenges. New adventures. New teachers. New friendships. Renewing old friendships– and as followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are given a wider mentality about these new seasons.
We have heard it said many times in different ways: “What does God want me to do this year?” or, “What is God’s will for me as I begin this new season?” I have heard it said that a better question to ask God is “What do you want me to be?” As followers of Christ this question makes more sense. You see, God is more concerned with who you are than what you do.
His will for us as His “image bearers” (Genesis 1:27) is “being transformed into His image..which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18) Jerry Bridges says so aptly, “Christlikeness is God’s goal for all those who trust in Christ, and that should be our goal also.”
I want to encourage you, and please encourage me too-instead of asking God “What should I do,” let us humbly ask the Lord daily in prayer, “Please help me to submit to you as Your image bearer to your transforming work in me. Show me your ways Lord and teach me your paths, lead me into your truth…so that I may be a reflection of You more everyday.”
God will answer our prayers as we seek His face. And the “to do’s” of our lives will fall into place…. one day at a time.
“If you’re God’s child, the gospel isn’t an aspect of your life, it IS your life; that is, it is the window through which you look at everything.” Paul Tripp
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT
As you read this, our short term missions team is on Day 5 in growing in Christ as we serve Him. Tomorrow is our last day, and we thank you for your continued prayers.
As our team have been considering our discipleship and service under the Lordship of our Jesus Christ, we realize that our church family is an integral partnership in all of this. Although our journey in Christ is very personal, it isn’t private. Community is integral in the work of discipleship. As we as a missions team contemplate in Africa, I also encourage you to do the same. Is there someone you can come alongside this week in Christ? What are some ways that we can do this as individuals and as a church family?
My prayer for us is Paul’s prayer to the church: May “our love overflow more and more, and that we will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding in what really matters, so that we may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May we always be filled with the fruit of our salvation- the righteous character produced in our lives by Jesus Christ- for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” Amen
See you soon!
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think!” Ephesians 3:20
As many of you know, Eddie and I and a team of nine are going out to Uganda tomorrow to serve Christ through coming alongside missionaries and their children for a week. We know that you are praying and we appreciate this as this is always a community endeavour for Christ’s Kingdom. Thank you.
There are two goals for our short-term mission team: First is service; and second is discipleship. These trips are as much a part of how we grow in Christ as it is about how we serve others.
Please pray for us as we endeavour to follow the paradigm of Jesus. I am reminded in the gospel of the feeding of the 5000 that Jesus fed the people through the disciples. Initially, the disciples focused on the problem of no food and not on God. But Jesus was teaching them about ministry and serving. Jesus was also teaching them about who He was. He gave to the disciples to distribute the food. In this way, Jesus’ disciples had to trust the Lord for it all. They gave as they received from Jesus. Through Christ’s three years on earth, He modelled intentional actions and habits in relationships with people in every day opportunities and hands on experience.
Isn’t it the same with all of us, whether we are in Rudloe, Corsham, or Africa? As followers of Jesus, we must bring our lives everyday to God in a spirit of obedience and sacrifice, no matter how insignificant…..or how confident we may think our gifts and talents are.
So please pray for us, and we will pray for you to that end. Thank you Lord.
Workers together for His Kingdom,
Wendy Prior, Guest Contributor for today’s blog post
See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. (Matthew 6.28)
Its lovely to have flowers in church during our services, and people have sometimes testified as to the powerful impact that they have had. They are a vivid reminder of the beauty and wonder of God’s creation – something which most of us can enjoy in our gardens, in parks, and sometimes in the open fields – and something which can be brought in to our services as a reminder of what God can do. His creative power is infinite, and it follows that His power to heal, to calm us and to uplift our spirits is just as great. I know of an occasion when a lady came into a service in some distress – she was a visitor – and said afterwards that she remembered little of what went on or what was said, but was greatly affected by the flowers on display which spoke to her and calmed her.
Those who support the flower ministry are contributing to a further objective too. Not everyone is able to go out and enjoy the beauty of flowers in their natural environment. There are quite a number of people known to us who have become housebound, and often the flowers go to one or another of them during the week, and this is greatly welcomed. In addition, there are people recently bereaved, people recently out of hospital, new parents, people with special birthdays, who are greatly encouraged when flowers are brought to them. It’s a point of contact in which the love of God and Christian fellowship can be expressed, both to CBC members and sometimes to others too, for whom it can be an opportunity to bring into the conversation the subject of CBC and whom we worship. It’s a rewarding ministry and we’re thankful to all who are involved.