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Welcome to Derriford Church Blog

Christmas Events 2014

Sunday 7th December 10:30 Toy Service
Tuesday 9th December 16:30 Messy Church
Monday 15th December 12:00 Lunch Club Christmas Party
Sunday 21st December 10:30 Nativity
Sunday 21st December 19:00 Carols by Candlelight
Wednesday 24th December 23:30 Midnight Communion
Thursday 25th December 10:00 Christmas Day Family Service
Sunday 28th December 10:30 Service incl Testimonies

 

Editorial

There is no doubt that we presently live in a very violent age and the probability is that the situation will get worse before it gets any better. But it will only get better as a result of direct intervention by God. We can – and should – however take comfort from the message given to us in Luke 21:28: ” When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

– Ray Gerry

Editorial

Catalysts make things happen. Alka-Seltzer without water has no fizz; flour without yeast produces no bread. Faith is the catalyst in your life. Without it, religion is dry. Talking about the Israelites, Paul said, ‘For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.’ (Hebrews 4:2) Without faith, reading your Bible turns into intellectual curiosity; sermons become something to critique rather than inspire; church becomes a social club rather than a dynamic act of spiritual worship. There are no prizes for memorising verses or hymns – unless you use them as stepping stones to action. Faith requires you to move. There’s a difference between what you believe and what you trust. You may believe that a chair can hold you but never sit down; only when you put your full weight on it are you demonstrating trust. Faith is the catalyst to action. A gold medal requires you to win. The Booker prize requires you to write. An Oscar requires you to make great movies. If you want to see examples of God’s Kingdom coming in and around your life, faith requires action. Do not ask God to guide you, if you are not prepared to move your feet. Do you sense God is calling you to something? Maybe sharing your faith in class or at work, signing up for that mission opportunity, preach or lead worship for the first time, sharing your testimony? Get some support. Go for it.

– Philip Brewer

Editorial

Psalm 100 says: “Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth, worship the Lord with gladness, come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God.”
For me, singing is a vital and integral part of worship. I know not everyone feels the same about singing, but music and words expressing real truths of our faith can be very freeing and uplifting. I am not very good at memorising Scripture but find it comes much more easily in the form of a song or hymn. Then, through the day, I can call to mind snippets of praise and worship, which will nourish and encourage. Let me share two lovely examples with you here that have been going round in my head lately: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom; where the Spirit of the Lord is there is hope; where the Spirit of the Lord is there is healing; and his blood is enough to break every chain.”
The other one is the chorus of a song we have just learned: “You go before me, you’re there beside me and if I wander, Love will find me. Goodness and mercy will always follow. You go before me, my Guardian.”
Whether or not you are a singer, you can take these worshipful words into your spirit!

God Bless

– Carrie Bowman

Editorial

In the book of Hebrews the writer says ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God’. Now faith, of course, is a very powerful spiritual force, and it’s the very thing that God responds to. However, we must expect our faith to be challenged. And it’s the Devil, our arch enemy, who will come and cloud our minds with doubts and fears. The question which then arises is “What do we need to do when those doubts and fears come upon us?” The answer, I believe, is that we must challenge them by saying “I’m not going to believe them. Instead I’m going to focus, like a laser beam, on the promises of God and anchor myself to them rather than drift all over the place like a ship without a sail. That surely must be the way to ensure that our faith will remain secure and strong, and thereby bring us to the place where we are indeed pleasing our God.

– Phil Brewer

Message of reflection

Cyril Tucker provided this hymn, written by Ken Bovan’s grandfather. I felt it particularly poignant given the current escalating conflicts worldwide and our ongoing remembrance of the Great War (and indeed any conflict where brave soldiers regularly face death.)

“There’s a crown laid up in Glory, there’s a robe for each to wear; And we never need be sorry that we did life’s troubles share. For our crown will shine the brighter for the battles we have won and our robes will be the whiter when our travelling days are done.

Then our fighting here is over and our victories are all won; There’s a mansion up in Glory when our travelling days are done.

There’s a golden harp in Glory; There’s a welcome for the true; There’s a rest for all the weary; There’s a victors palm for you. O we’ll praise the lamb forever when we stand before his throne and our joys will end, no never, when our travelling days are done.

There will be no room for sadness; There will be no sorrow there and unceasing songs of gladness shall forever fill the air; There will be no death, no weeping, in that land and evermore we shall dwell in Jesus’ keeping when our travelling days are done.”

Editorial

Mother Teresa once said, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person next to you.” This could well apply to Barnabas, who was a man full of goodness, faith, big heartedness, courage, generosity, humbleness, self-sacrifice, openmindedness, boldness and he was full of the Holy Spirit. Barnabas was highly regarded by the apostles in Jerusalem and was sent out by them to Antioch in Syria to oversee the evangelistic work going on there. He rejoiced at the evidence of God’s grace and sought out Saul, who at that time was living in obscurity in his native Tarsus, to come and join him in the work of teaching and encouraging the new converts. Barnabas’ life was full of the ministry of encouragement. The word translated “encouragement” in the New Testament is usually the same word used for the Holy Spirit – “Comforter” or “one called alongside to help”. We are never nearer to the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit than when we
involve ourselves in task of encouraging. In a day when so many people are discouraged how necessary (indeed imperative) is this vital ministry.
I pray that we all may ask God to make us true and effective “encouragers” from this very day.

Blessings,

– Phil Brewer

The View from the Pew

What does it mean to be spiritually encouraged? Is this for when things get tough; when you falter in the path or begin to lose your way? Is it even applicable – after all, many people I know seem to never need encouragement. Who needs spiritual encouragement?

This is something I thought about from the relative comfort of my armchair, watching the news as it displayed the latest depredations of Islamic State fighters murdering their way across the Middle East. Their targets: Tens of thousands of Yazidi (A Kurdish sect linked to Zoroastianism – Ed.) and Christian men, women and children displaced or killed if they do not convert. Jesus said of his own persecution: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you (John 15:18)”. Surely these people are in need of encouragement?

Absolutely – but we, as a Church, right here and right now – are not in the Middle East.
Faced with discouragement in a fallen world, our encouragement comes from Him, given to each of us in full measure to bring glory to His name, to refresh and inspire each other. It is there for us to help each one of us keep the faith; To show one another that while events of life may bring discouragement and sorrow, Jesus is still there with us. Encouragement makes it easier to love as Jesus loved (John 13:34-35). Encouragement from others helps us through times spiritual struggle (Hebrews 12:5). Encouragement promotes kindness and patience for each other (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Encouragement makes it easier to sacrifice our own desires for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
In short, encouragement makes it easier to live the Christian life.

Editorial

“Having attended three funerals in as many weeks and sharing in the loss and grief, I was brought up with a bit of a jolt when my bible reading led me to those three words of Paul in 1 Thess 5:16 that says: ‘Be joyful always’.

However my memory quickly reminded me of the old saying: ‘The quantity of joyfulness in our lives depends on the quality of our thoughts’.
Assuming there is a lot of truth in that, then it will be difficult for us to enjoy a quantity of joyfulness in our lives if our thoughts are focused on our pains and illnesses or our difficulties and problems or our anxieties and fears.

Surely, then,
what we must do is to focus on important unchanging and uplifting

truths such as ‘God hasn’t changed’, ‘Salvation is wonderful’, ‘Jesus is the same’, ‘Prayer is an open door’, ‘A bible is at hand’, ‘Friends are close by’, ‘The Holy Spirit is with us–closer than our next breath’ and ‘As believers we have a place reserved for us in Heaven’.

Hopefully it’s then that we will be able to claim some measure of ‘being joyful always’, irrespective of how tough our circumstances may be at the time.”

– Ray Gerry

Editorial

God doesn’t mind us having a small congregation. What He objects to is if we have a small vision, for that limits what He can do through us.
A tourist visited a small village. He asked a gentleman: ‘Is there anything special about this place?’

The man smiled and said, ‘Yes, you can start here and go anywhere else on earth.’
In Acts 5:28, the New Testament church was accused of ‘filling Jerusalem with your teaching’. In chapter 17:6, Paul and Silas were accused of ‘causing trouble all over the world’.

What an impact!
God has a plan for church growth and we have a part to play. We are called to invite them and we may say that is my pastor’s job. No, our pastor is a shepherd. Shepherds don’t give birth to sheep; sheep do that. When was the last time you brought someone to church? If you discovered a cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s, wouldn’t you share it?
Jesus said, ‘A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. He sent his servant to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready’ (Luke 14:16-17). When the invited guests started making excuses as to why they couldn’t come, the master told his servant, “Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in so that my house will be full” (v23).
Note the words ‘make them come in’. Pick them up in your car, arrange breakfast before church or lunch afterwards. Get creative, but whatever you do, bring them to church!

– Phil Brewer

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