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Rooted @ St Margaret's Church, Angmering

Being Rooted and built up in Jesus

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A New year… a New start?

NEW-YEARS-RESOLUTIONS-calendar

Well here we are again… the alarm went off this morning with that familiar sound, it was indeed the first Monday morning of 2015…

But of course with a New Year come New Year Resolutions, time honoured moments to sit back and take stock of the things we want to try and achieve this year, and if my little trip to Asda this morning is anything to go by then they reckon the two big resolutions are to eat healthier and clean the house…

But sometimes we make ‘Christian’ resolutions too, we say… this year i’m going to be better at reading my Bible or this year i’m going to pray more…

But if we are not careful, those good sentiments quickly turn from a new start to a new way to prove myself to God. 2015 is a better year for me and God because i’ve read my Bible more…

But consider this, New Year’s resolutions do not start a new leaf for the Christian, our new start came when God dwelt among us. Our new start came when Jesus took on human flesh and then took our sin. Our new start came, when God’s Son died, but the rose again to new life, to a new start that would never perish spoil or fade, to a new start that would never fail.

So this New Year, please do eat healthier and clean the house, please do read your Bible more and pray to our loving heavenly Father, but remember that our New Start doesn’t come on January 1st each year, it has already happened, so no need to worry!

Happy New Year

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Who would have dreamed

Well not long now… Half Term has come and gone, Halloween has come and gone and finally Bonfire night is out of the way so we are well and truly on to the Big C… Christmas is on the way! But before we get caught up in camels, candles and carol services just take a moment to think back to ponder anew the marvellous introduction to that first Christmas…

Just consider this thought… The Lord who made heaven and earth, the One who made the stars and trees, the One who spoke to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Lord who displayed his power and might by sending the plagues on Egypt ‘so that they would know that I Am the Lord’. The One who covered a mountain in smoke and said anyone who sees my face will die because you cannot look on me in my holiness and glory and live. The One who went before his people to conquer a land full of giants and pagans and made this new people a nation. The One who gave a Shepherd boy victory over a man who stood nearly twice his size and then made that same Shepherd boy King and gave him rest from all his enemies. The One  who sent his people away into exile, but while they were there looked after his faithful ones, who protected them from flame and famine. The One who brought them home… and then the One who didn’t say anything for 400 years…

It would be as if we could look back and hear stories of all the Lord had done from year 0-1600, but then now in 2014, there had been nothing since. No word, no voice… nothing.

It is into that background that we read these words from the start of Luke’s gospel ‘Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him…’ (Luke 1v11) 400 years of silence and now the Lord speaks again… he speaks to Zechariah about the birth of John the Baptist, and then shortly after to Mary foretelling the birth of Jesus then to Joseph and the Shepherds. And what is this marvellous message? That God is coming to town… God is to be born amongst us. The One who has created and sustained all things, is taking flesh… ponder anew that today.

I found these words from Sovereign Grace Music’s song ‘Who would have dreamed’ to be amazing in helping me to think about this afresh this Christmas time… I hope they help you too…

And who would have dreamed or ever foreseen. 

That we could hold God in our hands? 

The Giver of Life is born in the night 

Revealing God’s glorious plan 

To save the world 

The Water Bucket Challenge… a few thoughts

ice bucket

Well it is the latest charity craze that is literally sweeping the world… every one from film stars to your neighbour is participating.

But before we dive headlong into this craze it is worth taking a step back and asking, is this something that we, as Christians ought to be getting behind?

It might seem like a daft question, how can it not be… after all Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a terrible terrible disease which we as Christians ought to be wanting to do all we can to try and aid those who are in the unfortunate situation to be suffering from it.

However, as with most things in life, things might be a more grey then we realise…

The Ice Bucket challenge was started by a group in America called the ALS Association, not really wanting to get drawn into a long discussion on the topic, one of the forms of research that this charity use is Embryonic Stem Cell Research (http://www.nathanaelk.com/2014/08/why-i-cannot-accept-ice-bucket-challenge.html?spref=fb&m=1).

The British equivalent, the MND Association, do not use these cells, although their statement on their website is a little ambiguous as to whether this is simply them following the law or an ethical decision. (You can find out about both of those here: http://www.mndassociation.org/research/MND+research+and+you/Stem+cells)

In light of this some have decided to give to other organisations which are researching MND without using these embryonic stem cells, others are giving to more local charities related to MND or not at all.

At the end of the day it is up to you what you do about it, but here is the main point of the post… please do not fall into a herd mindset of being dragged along by social media which assumes everything that is being promoted is good and positive. This has not been the first charity stunt and it will not be the last. It is likely that there will be plenty of right and good causes, but it is also likely that there may be others which are not so pleasing…

Take seriously the things that are being asked of you, examine thoughtfully who it is you are supporting and if it is something that you feel you can support then jump on board… but if it is not then we ought to express rightful caution and consider other ways in which we could aid others without compromising ourselves.

And if you think that i’ve written this to simply wet out of not getting wet… then have a look at the end video…

 

bpbvz

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