New Year – Same God

Sorry for the long silence – never quite managed to find the time to sit down and write this until now! As we start a new academic year at Gaines, with changes in team and where my time is focused, I’m so thankful to be serving the God that doesn’t change; he’s always the same, he’s always faithful: “You are the same, and your years have no end” Psalm 102v27

We’re back into the swing of things after the summer, with several groups coming to us in the next few weeks, read on to see what we’ve been up to! Thank you for your support; if you feel able to you can support me financially here.

Verse for September:

A new slot… for a verse (or two) I’ve found particularly helpful over the past month.

1 Thessalonians 2v19-20: “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”

Why? Our treasure in heaven is seeing those we’ve had the privilege of sharing the gospel with in glory – how exciting and incredible is that?!

Day 204

After all the craziness of camps over the summer, we all enjoyed some well deserved time off and rest; which included holidays, seeing family and visiting friends.

Day 211

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I passed my Level 2 assessment! Which means we can now offer kayaking on our lake at Gaines! On assessment day we were blessed with beautiful  sunshine and lots of willing participants to be coached – you can see me in action during the kayaking session I had to be observed coaching.

Day 212

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Forum (UCCF’s annual conference for CU leaders) was a great way to kick start the year as an Associate Staff Worker in Worcester with UCCF: four days of camping in the rolling Shropshire countryside with fantastic Bible teaching and being equipped alongside the CU leaders from across the country. You can see me and Sophie (Staff Worker for Worcester) looking so excited for the year ahead for what God is going to do at Worcester uni, but a little worse for wear after four days of camping!

Day 218

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Back to work! Which for me has mostly involved lots of admin (which I actually really enjoy…). Work has also been progressing on Room 2 – have a look back at May at Gaines! to see what it looked like a few months ago; although I can’t take any of the credit – that’s mostly been Joe. There’s now a ceiling and the walls are insulated and plaster boarded – ready to be plastered, then painted – more photos to follow in my next update!

Day 230

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Wedding time! It was a joy to be bridesmaid for my friend, and be involved in their special day.

Day 232

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As a full-time team we went away for a few days together in September; it was nice to spend time with each other away from all things Gaines-related. We then dropped Zoe (who’s been helping out at Gaines over the summer) off at Cardiff uni on the way back – it was sad to see her go, but I’m sure she’ll have a great time and be back before we know it!

Day 235

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Thursday 21st of September marked the long-awaited first day of MMTC (Midlands Ministry Training Course). Three of the other guys at Gaines are also doing the course this year, so it’s good to be able to go together. Each week we travel up to Birmingham and receive Bible teaching on books of the Bible, doctrine and other topics relevant to Christian ministry. It’s exciting to be able to join with others from across the region to be equipped to better understand and teach the Bible.

Day 239

Thomas arrived from Germany to join us for his gap year; we hope and pray he learns and grows in his Christian faith as he serves God here at Gaines over the coming year.

Day 243

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We had our first of a run of four groups in at the weekend: St John’s, Lindow from near Manchester. The teaching was from Proverbs, seeing how 3000 year old wisdom is still relevant today; as ever it was a joy to be able to open up God’s Word with the young people. Other highlights from the weekend included: combat archery (the girls were pretty happy about beating the boys!), graffiti, an afternoon of very competitive games, air rifles, and a murder mystery in which they all very much got into character! Pray for what they heard from the Bible to sink into their minds and hearts as they return home.

 

Coming up…

Three more groups over the next few weekends; and various maintenance projects, particularly Room 2.

Please Pray!

  • For us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and his great gospel, and not to forget that the reason we run Gaines is for God’s glory
  • For us to faithfully teach God’s Word to the groups that come
  • Thanks for MMTC: it’s such a blessing to be able to receive faithful Bible teaching each week and to meet people of a similar age who also want to learn and grow in their walk with God
  • Safety for all the maintenance work taking place
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Powerful Word

Word. Or more precisely God’s Word. It’s so powerful and life changing.

Helpful Verses…

Here’s a few verses I’ve found really helpful when thinking about God’s Word:

“The word of God is ALIVE and ACTIVE, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the THOUGHTS and ATTITUDES of the heart.” – Hebrews 4v12

The Bible isn’t just something we pick up, read and put down again, it changes our hearts, thoughts and attitudes. It’s alive and actively changing us from the inside out.

All Scripture is GOD-BREATHED and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for EVERY GOOD WORK.” – 2 Timothy 3v16

The Bible is God’s Word, and what he says goes! God’s Word is to help us, change us, grow us to be more like Jesus in every way.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves, DO WHAT IT SAYS.” James 1v22

How many times have we listened to the sermon in Church on Sunday and tuned out because it’s seemed irrelevant? Or maybe we have listened and thought about how we can make our lives more like Jesus, but then roll around Monday morning and nothing’s changed: cue excuses. God calls us to DO what he says through His Word.

Psalm 119

I love Psalm 119 (yes I know it’s long) because it speaks all about God’s word. Verse 105 has got to be my favourite:

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

God’s word GUIDES us, through everything. It’s the light that leads us home. God’s word is the light that leads us to Jesus.

This Psalm was well thought out, it was’t just something that was thought up and written down straight away, the author took time over it. This doesn’t really come across in the English translation, but in the original Hebrew, the first word of every line in each stanza (set of 8 verses in our English bibles) began with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. All the way from ‘Aleph’ to ‘Taw’.

And the author uses lots of different words for ‘word’, which are repeated throughout the Psalm, from precepts to law, and from statutes to commands. The author values God’s Word so highly, and we should too.

Words have power

Recently I’ve been challenged about the power of our words… God’s word has A LOT more power than our words do, but we can still choose to either hurt or heal with what we say to others — Are we going to choose to encourage someone or gossip about them with our words?

Jesus calls us to be salt and light in the world (Matthew 5v13-16), that includes every part of our lives — how we use our words matters.