Archive for the ‘church’ Category

Last week as I was driving along some of my local streets and was aware that there were a number of unwanted items piled up outside quite a few of the houses. At first I was wondering what was going on, but soon remembered that it in my area it was ‘uplift day’. i.e. the day that our local council collect items we no longer want, and take them to the tip for us.

My main thought was why are people “throwing out” items that appeared to be in pretty good condition, when they could be reused by someone else – Items included several sofas, a couple of tables and chairs, and a wardrobe.

One thing we’ve always done when replacing/renewing items in our home is to recycle items which are in reasonable condition – There is a local community church which helps rehouse refugees, so we know all items we give them will get put to good use. Places like our local church, are always delighted to take items that are in reasonable condition as they are inundated with requests for help, so are always in need of items.

I wonder why these people near me hadn’t considered giving their items away to help people in need, but instead were happy to pay the local council to take away their items to dump in a landfill site.

Just think how many more people could be rehoused and given items for their home if we all gave our unwanted items to organisations who help refugees and homeless people!

Did you know that the bible tells us to recycle?

And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” (John 6:12)

So next time you have unwanted items in your home, please consider contacting a local organisation who can make sure your items are given to people who need them.

 

 

Open arms

Posted: February 21, 2017 in blogging, church, life, love, music, Relationships, religion
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Even though in yesterday’s post Returning it probably seemed a very negative post, there is at least one thing we can take a s positive when we return to church after an absence…and that is God!

God will always welcome us with open arms when we approach Him, regardless of whether it has been a week, a month, or even years since you last talked with God, or went to church.

Let’s make sure we are as welcoming to others when they come to worship God as God is, because ultimately we are the first people other will see/talk to when they enter your church, so make them welcome.

Today’s post follows on from last Monday’s post, Absent, about being absent from work or church.

When you’ve been off work for a period of time, either a few days, weeks or even months, what happens when you return to work? Do you just turn up and get back to work as if nothing has happened, or do you do a phased return (i.e. return to work on a part-time basis building up gradually to full-time again), or do you have to attend a return to work interview with your boss/manager?

Many places these days allow for phased returns to work and hold return to work interviews with their employees to to discuss you’re well-being and ensure you get the support/help you need to be back at work. The usefulness of these return to work interviews I guess is very dependent on your boss and your relationship with them.

What about if you’ve been absent from church, what happens, or what should happen when you return?

I guess it depends how missed you are – In other words, if many people contacted you while who were missing, many will check on your well-being when you return to church again; Similarly, if few contacted you when you missed church, that probably show you weren’t particularly missed, and so you are probably just greeted by others as if you’ve never been missing from church.

 

As I said last week, if we call ourselves Christians, we should be supporting and caring for those around us – and that includes our family, friends, work colleagues, fellow church members – and must do so for everyone, not just those we consider our close friends or family.

When someone returns to church after an absent of even just one week, their fellow Christian brothers and sisters should reach out to them to check how they are, and encourage them by telling them that they have been missed, otherwise they’ll think no-one has even noticed they were missing!

In your job, if someone fails to turn up for work one morning, I’m sure you try to contact them to make sure they haven’t encountered a problem on their journey to work, and just make sure they are ok.

What about in your church, when one of the people in your church, doesn’t attend one week, what do you d0? Nothing?

What if that person doesn’t turn up at church the following week either?

If we call ourselves Christians, we should be supporting and caring for those around us – and that includes our family, friends, work colleagues, fellow church members.

When someone is absent from church for even one week, isn’t that the time when they are most in need of their fellow Christian brothers and sisters reaching out to them to check how they are, and encourage them by telling them that they have been missed, otherwise they may think no-one has even noticed they were evening missing!

Real Christians are unfortunately a scarce commodity in today’s times. Some Christians can be too involved in themselves to be worried about others, and the love that is supposed to radiate from them to others, is lost. To them attending church is more about social status and socialising, than worshiping God.

That’s when someone is has gone through an awful situation or life event, it is hard to imaging the hurt and pain that they feel when they are rejected by their church “friends”.

Sadly some find themselves being rejected by their church and friends without any obvious reason. That in turn can make them feel so low, and feel God doesn’t love them, and instead of feeling love and security from their Christian brothers and sisters, they simply realise the cold harsh reality that these so-called “friends” aren’t true friends.

I find this so disturbing, because when anyone is hurting or struggling for whatever reason, isn’t that the time when they are most in need of their Christian brothers and sisters?

Spend time loving those who are struggling or hurting – Help them and lift them up to Jesus. As well as praying for them though, reach out and hold them, after all what would Jesus do in this situation. Would He turn His back on them or would He hold out His arms and lovingly embrace them?

Love those who are hurting and nurse them back into spiritual health. I pray that we may each do all we can to bring love back into our lives and into our churches.

 

When we’re children we go to school, where we are taught to read and write, and as we progress through school we taught about other subjects. I’m sure most of us, if not all, didn’t really like going to school, and in particular did not like doing our homework. However, in hindsight, I guess following up the teaching at school with homework to reinforce the learning from during the day, so that we remember at least some of what we’ve learned.

Homework may not have been something any of us liked having to do, but it did form a huge part of our learning process.

You’re probably wondering why I’m suddenly thinking about homework when it’s been a few years since I was at school or university, but I got thinking about how we go to church on a Sunday where we are taught about God and challenged to give our lives to Him, but we don’t get any homework do we?

Does this mean we only have to learn about God and the bible when we’re at church?

Far from it, just as when we were at school and had to follow-up our daily learning by doing homework, we must carry on learning about God, by praying and reading the bible in our own time, away from church.

Our relationship with God is a personal thing, individual to us, so we must spend quality time with God on a daily basis, and by doing this our relationship with God will grow, so carry on doing your homework and learning more about God.

What does your Christmas look like?

Lots of parties and nights out?

Spending time with your family?

A chance to help others, by providing gifts for those less fortunate?

A time to celebrate the birth of Christ?

 

I must admit to being disappointed by a number of conversations about Christmas that I’ve heard, as Christ hasn’t been mentioned. More than that, it seems for most, that Christmas is only “good” if, one, “the kids get everything they want for Christmas”, and two, they have a great night out where they get really drunk and can’t remember anything about it the next day.

Yes, it’s nice to be able to give and receive presents, and it’s great to see the joy on a child’s face when they get that gift they really wanted, but is this really what Christmas is about? Is this really what we want others to think this is what Christmas is all about?

It’s also great to “let your hair down” and have a good night out, but is there any need to drink to excess? What’s the point of drinking so much that you can’t remember anything about the night and have a hangover the next day? Personally I don’t get that, as isn’t it better to have a great fun night out that you can remember, rather than a night you can’t remember so have no idea whether it was good or bad?

no christ no christmasSo where is Christ in your Christmas? Is He centre of your festivities, or has He been given a bit part role meaning we attend a Christmas service at church out of habit or duty, just because that’s what we’ve always done at Christmas?

Christ should be the centre of our Christmas celebrations, and He should be at the centre of our every day lives, each day of the year.

Therefore this Christmas, don’t get too caught up in partying and presents that you forget that if it hadn’t been for Christ, we would not have CHRISTmas!

Powerful

What kind of person does that conjure in your head? Someone strong and muscular, a leader, someone knowledgeable?

If I said to you I was using the word powerful in the context of a testimony, would this change your thoughts on the kind of person being described by this word? Maybe Christian, caring, loving, inspirational, to name but a few?

We may go to church every week, and in doing so tell ourselves that is our testimony that we serve Christ, however as the following picture states, our testimony is really who we are the rest of the time when we’re not at church, isn’t it!

dont-just-talk-about-christ-be-like-christ-the-world-needs-less-christians-talking-about-their-faith-and-more-people-living-out-daily-in-front-of-them

Is your testimony after the church service has finished each week, the testimony you want it to be?

Is it the testimony God wants you to be?

We can all be creatures of habit in how we go about our daily tasks and duties, but going to church should never just be a habit. There’s no point going to church if we don’t then try to live like Christ when we leave it!

be-the-church

The older I get the more I come to value and recognise the foundational influence of my parents and other Christians.

When we’re growing up, we are all guilty of taking many things for granted, especially the great advice and influence that our family can give/have on us. It’s only as we mature in our Christian experience, that we begin to recognise the people who have taught us about God and help guide us in our Christian journey.

Appreciate those who have influence your Christian experience, and tell them how much they mean to you. Don’t leave it until it’s too late to tell them how much you appreciate them nurturing you.