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Welcome to Derriford Church Blog

Editorial

A little girl said to her Mother “Mummy,do all fairy tales begin with ‘Once upon a time’?” The Mother replied “No dear, some begin with ‘When I became a Christian,all my problems disappeared!” Problems,of course, come to us in many different forms,and at different times,in our lives. But the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is always there to carry us beyond those problems. We just need to reach out and take it! Furthermore, if we are able to accept that Christ’s perspective, on any problem we may encounter, is different from our own, then resentment should not be able to gain a foothold in our lives. Hopefully it may be replaced by rejoicing in the general goodness and greatness of our God who loves us with a love that is everlasting.

– Ray Gerry

Editorial

This week I’d like to give you all an update on “Open the Book”. Every other Tuesday morning we meet in church at 9am. Then after we’ve prayed, we read through the day’s story. We allocate parts, work out “stage directions”, and decide how the children are going to participate. Each story has an appropriate introduction and conclusion, a time for reflection and a prayer. When we have read and acted through the whole story, we gather all our props and costumes and head off to Oakwood School. There’s a busy few minutes of arranging the props, getting ourselves into costumes, choosing children and dressing them and making sure they know what to do! Once the whole school is in the hall, we “Open the Book” and get going! This week the story was “The lost coin” and the children were really engrossed, hanging on every word! To finish, Emma lead the singing and actions for “For God so loved the world”. It’s great to be able to go into school and share the love of God so openly. As I read in Sunday’s service, “How can they hear if no-one tells them?” (Romans 10: 14) “Open the Book” is our opportunity to tell these children (and the staff) the Good News of Jesus. So thank you to all who help in any way, and please, everyone, keep praying for this important work!
God bless you

– Carrie Bowman

Editorial

If you want to experience God’s blessing in a new way, get ready to leave your comfort zone. When Jesus called His disciples they were on familiar turf, doing what they knew best: fishing. But they couldn’t stay there and follow Him. Neither can you. The Bible records: ‘As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net…for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him’ (Mark 1:16-18). Notice, they had to leave the security of the familiar in order to fulfill their destiny. And in case you think you are too old to try something new, Abraham was seventy-five when he left the comforts of home to go out and establish a new nation. Your age is not the issue, your faith is. Understand this: today you are just one step of obedience away from the next truth God wants you to learn about Him, so you can’t afford to stay where you are. We all have a tendency to cling to the ‘tried and true.’ The trouble with that is, when you are no longer being stretched you begin to shrink, you become complacent, you think you can handle things on your own, and you stop growing. That’s a dangerous place to be. If you feel restless at heart today and believe that God has more for you than you’ve been settling for, then it’s time to confront your fears, walk through them and launch out into a new experience with Him.

– Phil Brewer

Editorial

When the Holy Spirit manifested his power to the early disciples in the form of a violent wind, tongues of flame and speaking in tongues, do you think they fully understood what was happening? My guess is that they some idea that this was what Jesus and the prophets had promised but the form in which the Spirit made himself known would have amazed them. So why is it that often we wish to limit what the Holy Spirit will do in our lives to what we can comprehend? We sometimes like to tame God’s Spirit into a comfortable box which is usually the limit of what we want God to do in our lives. However as we remember the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit 2000 years ago and subsequently through the ages we see God constantly doing new things, amazing things and enabling people to do things for him they never thought possible. The early disciples received the Holy Spirit and became powerful evangelists and church planters using the gifts the Spirit had given them. Are we ready to be filled afresh, empowered and given gifts by the Holy Spirit? Will we be open to that risk and receive with open hearts and minds whatever God wants to give us?
With love in Jesus

– Stuart Nixon

Editorial

Easter was a time when we reflected on the Cross of Jesus Christ, and rejoiced that He saved us from our sin and reconciled us to the Father. What follows is the importance of living the resurrected life,which of course involves holiness. Now a clear word from God is ‘Be holy,for I the Lord am holy’. But do we really want to be holy? Are we prepared to allow God to purge away those thoughts,attitudes,actions and relationships which are unholy? Well,unless we are,we need to understand that we cannot expect God to work in the lives of non- Christians if we continue to resist that clear word that He is speaking into our own lives.

– Ray Gerry

Editorial

At a Donkey Volunteer Training Day this week I listened to an Equine Behaviourist. Apparently, due to their lifestyle and location in the wild, donkeys are not by nature good problem solvers. They are however capable of learning to learn. They make best progress when allowed time to work things out and when given positive reinforcement (rewards!) I saw a lot of myself in that description! Patience and encouragement are really necessary for us humans too, to enable us to develop and flourish. This is true in our spiritual lives as much as any other area. Paul spoke about this in his letter to the church in Thessalonica. 1 Thes. 5:11″Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” 1 Thes. 5:14 “Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, beloved, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. ” 2 Thes. 2:16 “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” Let’s take Paul’s words to heart and work at putting them into practice!
Blessings,

– Carrie Bowman

Editorial

Even simple decisions can be stressful. Ever watch a child struggle to choose between chocolate or strawberry ice cream? And the bigger decisions, like whom to marry, which career to choose, whether to buy a house, etc! But you can reduce your stress level by following these biblical principles: 1) Do the research. ‘Anyone who answers without listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish’ (Proverbs 18:13). Get all the facts and avoid making decisions you’ll regret. Knowledge was never more accessible; through the Internet, helpful books, and especially God’s Word: ‘Your commands…are my constant guide’ (Psalm 119:98). 2) Talk to God. ‘Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path’ (Psalm 27:11). Consulting God helps prevent premature decisions, clarifies your priorities and prepares you to hear His counsel. Is God interested in your decisions? Yes. ‘The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives’ (Psalm 37:23). 3) Be open to new ideas. Don’t get trapped in old mind-sets. ‘Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights’ (Proverbs 18:15). Clinging to the familiar can be crippling. God may choose to lead you along a new path of fresh insight. So breathe deeply, seek His wisdom, and open up your heart to receive it. 4) Get advice from trusted friends. ‘It’s a hard road that’s walked alone,’ says an old Celtic proverb. So follow Solomon’s counsel: ‘Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others’ (Proverbs 12:15).

– Phil Brewer

Editorial

There is a sad story of a Minister who visited a family that had taken in a 12 year old boy from the streets. As the Minister talked with the man,the boy who was then 15 years old, entered the room .The boy said “Hello”, and then went to a cupboard and took out a pair of battered old shoes. “He was wearing these when I found him”,said the man. The 15 year old boy was obviously embarrassed, but the man went on to say “I think it’s good for him to be reminded of his condition when I took him in”. The Minister then prayed silently “Thank you Lord for accepting me fully, and making me your child. Thank you that you don’t keep dragging out my old shoes !”

– Ray Gerry

Editorial

Do you ever find yourself with a snippet of a tune or a song going endlessly round and round in your head, and it just won’t go away? These “ear worms” can be really annoying and I’ve found the best answer is consciously to sing something else to chase away and replace them.Sometimes, though, they can be beneficial. After choir practice last week, my “ear worm” was “seek, serve and follow” and it occured to me that actually to be reminded constantly that I was to seek, serve and follow Jesus was a good thing! In Phil. 4: 8 Paul reminds us that what we allow ourselves to think about really matters. It’s all too easy to have negative, critical or pessimistic thoughts. Paul writes,”Finally beloved, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things……. And the God of peace will be with you.” This week we have started the season of Lent, reflection and preparation leading to Easter. What better time to invite the Holy Spirit to fill our minds with thoughts that honour Jesus

– Carrie Bowman

Editorial

One of the songs we may hear this coming week is ‘Love Is All Around’. It starts by stating that we can feel love in our fingers and in our toes and it is all around us. Romantic love is one of God’s sweetest gifts to our lives but God’s love is so much bigger than ‘hearts and flowers’ and it is unconditional. Love happens between two people when they are slow to suspect but quick to trust; slow to condemn but quick to justify; slow to offend but quick to defend; slow to expose but quick to shield; slow to reprimand but quick to empathise; slow to belittle but quick to appreciate; slow to demand but quick to give; slow to provoke but quick to help; slow to resent but quick to forgive. One way to spell love is T-I-M-E. This kind of attention says, “I value you enough to give you my most precious asset-my time.” Why is now the best time to express your love? Because you do not know how long you will have the opportunity to do so. Circumstances change, people die, and children grow up. The truth is, you’ve no guarantee of tomorrow. If you want to express your love you had better do it now. So, who do you need to start spending more time with? What do you need to cut out of your schedule to make that possible? The best use of life is love, the best expression of love is time, and the best time to love is now. Today, find a way to take the love that God has given to you, and give it to someone else. Do your part to show that God’s love is truly all around us.

– Phil Brewer

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