Firstly, I have to apologise for the lack of any new posts so far this year.
I have found (not for the first time) that there simply is not enough time to fit in everything I need, and want to do and sadly many things have gone undone as a result.
We are well into spring now, and even though there have been some cold days and very cold nights recently, we only need to look around at the new leaves on the trees, a huge variety of different flowers blooming in our gardens and open spaces, and the young or new born birds and animals, all of which reminds us of new birth and new beginnings.
As I write, we as the team running the church are very aware of the need to seek God over what new birth or new beginnings might mean for us as part of that team, and as individuals.
Maybe this is a time for you also to consider what God may be saying to you? Is there a new calling from him on the whole of your life, or perhaps he is showing you that there are areas where he wants you to experience changes in the way you do things, or perhaps you know that God is speaking to you maybe for the first time and that he wants you to acknowledge him and invite him to be a part of your life.
Particularly if you feel that the last of those statements applies to you, please take a look at a new initiative for 2017 that encourages people to pray to God, by visiting www.trypraying.co.uk
As I sit in my lounge writing this post it’s 9:00 pm on a pretty cold night. We have almost reached the end of what has been a pretty challenging year for us as a church and I have no doubt for many of you reading this.
But as we’ve been through these last few months and faced changes in the way we do things as a team we have asked ourselves where it is that we believe God might be leading us, as individuals and as a church.
As we look ahead to the imminent start of 2017 in just around 10 days time, it can do no harm to ask ourselves that question in preparation for all the opportunities and difficulties we may face in the new year.
Just as so many years ago, different groups of people set out on their own journeys, scholars from an unknown location travelled following a star, a group of males whose job was to tend sheep heading to the same destination, to find a young couple who had arrived earlier and found no place of comfort but instead faced cold nights in the same place that was used by animals for feeding and sheltering. On that cold night some 2000 years ago the young woman gave birth to her first born son, Jesus
All these years later every one of us has the same opportunity to take our own journey to meet Jesus, not the new-born babe, but rather the grown, crucified and risen saviour of all mankind.
Where will God lead you in the last days of 2016 and into 2017.
On behalf of the team, I pray that you will have a peaceful Christmas and blessed new year.
As the evenings shorten and the warmth of the sun starts to fade, so the season changes and we say farewell to summer and look towards the reds and golds of autumn. There are other seasons changing as well. Youngsters have new classes, new schools, college or university. Those who married over the summer will be settling down in a new pattern of life. For some there are house moves and new jobs on the horizon.
For PODChurch there will be a new season as Tim, Liz and the family move on, and a new pattern of leadership and meeting together emerges.
In all those changes of season, one thing remains the same: the trustworthiness of God. One of my favourite songs includes the lyric, “All of my life, in every season, you are still God, and I have a reason to praise, I have a reason to worship.”
Whatever changes in season you are facing over the coming months I pray that you will know God’s presence with you.