Welcome One Another

29 09 2013

A week behind, this is last Sunday’s sermon, but hopefully I’ll catch up on these soon enough!

We looked at Romans 15v7 and Romans 16 vv 1-16

To welcome can also mean to accept, to greet, to receive.
It means to look beyond the physical, look beyond the differences, and see them as children of God.

People long for a sense of acceptance.

We’re naturally drawn into friend groups. That’s good, and it’s a God given gift, but we need to not get stuck in them.
It’s good to have close friendships, but not to be exclusive. It’s hard for new people and visitors to break in.

There’s a positive to facebook in that it allows you to know something about what’s going on in someones life, and so when you see them in person to have something to ask them about.

Woman and slaves may have been bottom of the pile, but in Romans 16 Paul spends half of the list bothering to greet them. How do we treat those who are vulnerable and lonely?

Everyone has been invited into God’s family. Christians are those who have accepted the welcome.
Jesus is the welcome of God to us. He opened His arms on the cross and welcomed us home.
The parable of the prodigal son is the strongest example of this.

“Christ will shine forever, loves unfading splendour”





Love one another – part 2

26 09 2013

As well as following the Love One Another series in our Sunday sermons (yes I know I’m a week behind, apologies!), we’re also looking at these commands in our housegroups. I doubt I’ll blog from them every time, but just wanted to share something that struck me this evening.

So we’re looking at loving one another, and what that looks like, and we read a very well known passage, 1 Corinthians 13 vv 1-7:

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Now I love this, it’s so over used in weddings, but that’s not even the sort of love it’s talking about! This is about God’s love for us, but also how we ought to be loving one another. This is what love looks like.

We were encouraged to put “Jesus” in the place of love, which makes for a beautiful reading. Then we were encouraged to put “I am” in the place of “love is” – now that’s hard to read!

So yea, how do we do that? Then we looked at Galatians 5 vv 22-23:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Check that out! There is SO much overlap there with what love is in the first passage! Patience, Kindness, just compare the two sets of verses! All we need is the Holy Spirit, and we will have those things that allow us to love those that are not so easy to love. How fab is that?





Postman Pat

16 09 2013

I had a bit of a revelation about Postman Pat last week, he’s come up in conversation a lot (I even found out it was my bosses favourite childhood TV show – even more respect to him!), and I’ve been realising what an incredible person Patrick Clifton is!

This was actually from the episode where he needs to somehow deliver a bouncy castle to a party!

I’ve always loved Pat, my Grandma gave me my toy cat when I was 2 years old for Christmas and even though she’s a she, and looks nothing like Postman Pat’s cat, she was named Jess, and I still have her in my bed!

I’ve even mentioned him in my blog before!
Here’s a classic episode, enjoy 🙂





Love one another

8 09 2013

This morning in church we started a new series on “the one another commands” which feels like it’s been a long time coming – we’ve had a lot of references to “one anothering one another” and so I’m hoping this is going to be really good. If today was anything to go by it will be! We had a guest speaker who opened with the one mentioned in the title!

“Over every thought
Over every word
May my life reflect
The beauty of my Lord”

“You do not faint
You don’t grow weary”

Love One Another :: 1 John 3 vv 11-24

Loving one another is hard!
You can break it down into it’s elements, but at the end of the day you just have to do it – kind of like learning to swim!

Loving one another is part of salvation
Loving one another is proof of salvation
It’s not an optional extra.

“One another” covers everyone, it’s a mutual thing, it’s 2-way

So often our experience of God’s love is through other people.

Loving one another is about five things

  1. Responding“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” – v16
    Loving comes from being loved
    Hurt people hurt people (that’s hurt (adjective) people hurt (verb) people!)
    Rejected people reject people
    If we know that God loves us, and we know that God loves everybody, then we must love everybody.
    He loves the annoying, the hurtful, and so must we.
    When we experience the love of God in all it’s fullness then that heals us.
    We need to come back again and again to knowing God’s love for us.
  2. Giving“And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” – v16b
    We need an attitude of giving, not getting. Responsibility, not rights.
    Rights are about other people’s duties towards me.
    If you complain that no one is loving you, are you loving others?
    “Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” – Philippians 2:3-4, The Message.
    A servant heart is needed.
  3. Seeing“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” – v17
    We often fall down in loving one another because we don’t see the need
    We ask how someone is, they say “I’m fine”. FINE = Fearful, Insincere, Neurotic, Emotional
    Often our pride won’t allow us to express our need. It takes humility to let others know our need.
    There are all sorts of needs: physical, emotional, material, spiritual.
  4. Opening your heart“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” – v17
    We need to be affected, not indifferent.
    Indifference is the opposite of love. Hate at least still affects you.
    Let someone else’s need touch your heart.
    Listen! When we listen we get to know how people feel.
    If someone listens to you, you feel valued, it helps you unravel the things in your head.
    Anyone and everyone can listen!
  5. Action“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – v18
    “Love is not a feeling, it’s an act of the will”
    We have to choose to do something.
    Love has to be demonstrated in action
    It’s easy to have an intention but not follow it through. If you don’t start immediately you’ll put it off.
    We can feel promptings, but if we don’t act on them immediately we’ll argue our way out of it.

Love has to be done in a way that people will receive it. We all have particular ways we receive love and affection – The five love languages (gifts, time, words, touch, acts of service).
We tend to love other people in the way that we like to receive love. We have to find a way of loving people in a way that they can receive it and know that they are loved.

The world will know God’s love when we love one another, when the world sees that we can love people we don’t like.

“This is my command: love each other” – John 15v17
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133v1

“Keep us from just singing
Move us into action”

“You have shown us what you require”





Friday Five Favourite: The Piano Guys

6 09 2013

These guys are a recent discovery of mine thanks to my friend Nisha. They do really great takes on both classical and pop songs, which are generally both clever and beautiful!
As my Dad pointed out, sometimes it’s just cello and there’s not a piano in sight, but I still love it!
Here’s five of my favourites!

What makes you beautiful

Yes, I know, it’s One Direction, but it’s technically genius the different ways they get the sounds out of one instrument! Give it a chance!

Rockelbel’s Canon (take on Pachelbel’s Canon)

A very tacky video, but a great take on a classic!

Moonlight (take on Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven)

The Cello Song (Bach)

Titanium

Which is your favourite? Have you come across anything else like this?





Good News!

1 09 2013

In October my church is launching a Christianity Explored course, (please let me know if you’d like more info!), and so in place of today’s sermon we watched the first video from the course, the introduction, by Rico Tice. It looks *really* good, it’s a few weeks plus one away day, looking at the Gospel of Mark! If you aren’t local to me, but are still interested in hearing more about Jesus, find a course near you!

“In this song the actions praise His name.
I want my actions every day to do the same.”

“Name above all names,
You are worthy of all praise.
My heart will sing,
‘How great is our God.'”

Good NewsMark 1 vv 1-20

Think of somewhere beautiful part of nature you’ve seen. A river, a meadow, a mountain? Table mountain was the example given:

Do you really think something that stunning could have happened by chance?

You are incredible! In your body there are about 100 trillion cells, each of which contains DNA. If you stretched out the DNA in one cell it would be about 2 or 3 metres. If you put all the DNA in your body in one long line, then, depending on what website you look at it’d stretch to the moon, or to the moon and back 8 times, or to the sun and back 4 times… whichever it is, it’s a long long way! You are incredible!

Christianity is not about churches, rules, leaving your mind at the door and ruining your fun. It’s about Jesus Christ: “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah” – v1a.

It was risky for Mark to call him Christ. At the time Roman Emperors were said to have the divine authority.

Gospel = Good News. And not just average good news. This is dancing in the street, end of the war Good News!
If you’ve heard it, and don’t think that it’s the best news you’ve ever heard then you haven’t understood it.

Mark was written around 45-60AD and he was guided by Peter, one of Jesus’ closest followers.

It all gets a bit weird in verses 9-11, heaven tearing open and a voice booming out – the people even thought it odd at the time, but they’d been told in advance! (vv 2-3)

Jesus is more than an ordinary man, we should be surprised that extraordinary things begin to happen.

Mark is just getting started.

We have a responsibility not to keep this to ourselves in the Great Commission.

Go forth and tell! O Church of God, awake!
God’s saving news to all the nations take;
Proclaim Christ Jesus, Savior, Lord, and King,
That all the world His worthy praise may sing.

Go forth and tell! O Church of God, arise!
Go in the strength which Christ, your Lord, supplies;
Go till all nations His great name adore
And serve Him, Lord and King, forevermore.