Dates for your Diary: Monday Cornerstone Café from 10am to 12pm.
Tuesday Prayer & Bible Study at 7.30pm continues our study on Peter.
Wednesday Luncheon Club from 12pm to 1pm.
Thursday Prayer & Bible Study at 3pm.
Friday is Pastors day off.
Sunday Worship is at 11am and we continue ‘Preparations for Christmas #2’.
Message from the Minister: Derek Redmond, a twenty-six-year-old Britain, was the favourite to win the four-hundred-metre race in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Halfway into his semi-final heat, a fiery pain seared through his right leg and he crumpled to the track with a torn hamstring.
As the medical attendants were approaching, Redmond fought to his feet. “It was animal instinct,” he would later say. He set out hopping, pushing away the coaches in a crazed attempt to finish the race.
When he reached the last straight, a big man pushed through the crowd. He was wearing a T-shirt that read “Have you hugged your child today?” and a hat that challenged, “Just Do It.” The man was Jim Redmond, Derek’s father.
“You don’t have to do this,” he told his weeping son.
“Yes, I do,” Derek declared.
“Well, then,” said Jim, “we’re going to finish this together.”
And they did. Jim wrapped Derek’s arm around his shoulder and helped him hobble to the finish line. Fighting off the security men, the son’s head sometimes buried in the father’s shoulder, they stayed in Derek’s lane to the end.
The crowd clapped, then stood, then cheered, and then wept as the father and son finished the race.
What made the father do it? What made the father leave the stands to meet his son on the track? Was it the strength of his child? No, it was the pain of his child. His son was hurt and fighting to complete the race. So the father came to help him finish.
God does the same. Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference. So we must continue to pray. We must approach God in prayer for all things and at all times, not just when we are struggling and in crisis but for everything. You would not hesitate to approach your earthly father (except when you are ashamed and what you say might grieve your father) so why hesitate to approach The Heavenly Father who already knows everything about you, even that which you would prefer to keep hidden.
What a wonderful day we had last Sunday when Betty and Patricia were baptised and became the latest members of our church family. Wasn’t it great to see the church so full? Wasn’t it fantastic to see so many smiling faces, so many hugs, so many kisses, so much JOY. And did you feel Him? Did you feel the joy and did you feel the Holy Spirit in that joy?
Our whole church was just buzzing with the Holy Spirit.
He was everywhere and in everything. He was in the singing and in the prayers. He was in the Baptismal Waters and in the Sermon. He was in my hands and in your faces.
There is no doubt that when our hearts and minds are full of JOY it is easier to feel the presence of The Holy Spirit, the test comes when the joy is gone and our hearts are broken, that’s when we need to focus, to try harder to reach Him, to pray harder and more earnestly, that’s the real test.
Remain blessed. Love from Pastor Mark