Showing posts from March, 2020

Fuelling our prayers!

Utter confidence that we can pray. Total assurance that we are heard. Deep certainty that God answers. ( Matt 6:6 , Eph 6:18 , Col 4:2 ) And yet perhaps on some days we struggle for words. How do we articulate our thoughts, longings and concerns?  Some great resources are being published to spark our prayers. Mission agency SIM highlight '10 points for prayer'  Twenty things to pray during the pandemic - published by Christianity Today. Written for  American believers but it doesn't need much tweaking! Two resources for children, one by the Church of England and one by 24/7 An amplified version of the Lord's prayer. Our father in heaven – thank you for Jesus in whom you have adopted us as your beloved children; help us remember that sickness and death will never separate us from your love, believe you will be with us through whatever lies ahead, and trust you are fully in control and perfectly good; Hallowed be your name – we pray this

Getting Creative!

Whilst a partially finished jigsaw is about as creative as I have got in all my additional hours at home. Some have shown much more skill and beauty. Kate Sanders has shared an image of the painting her husband Dai has been working on during their 14 day quarantine. It has been called 'Hope' to mark this rather unique time. Anybody have any other creations to share?

Fast Food with Open Doors

Whilst for us not being able to meet together on a Sunday is unusual and hard to adapt to, in some places in the world this is their norm - not because of a virus but because of the political or religious context in their country. Yesterday we watched an introductory video 'Have you ever been bullied', produced by Open Doors. We discovered that in a number of places in the world Christians experience being put in labour camps or prison, government surveillance or harassment. All these realities mean they can not meet. Whilst our circumstances and the reasons for our current isolation are very different to theirs ,one thing we can do whilst we can't meet is to grow in our concern for what is happening in other places in the world. So Films and food!  The perfect way to find out more about persecuted Christians around the world. Open Doors have produced six beautiful child-friendly films to accompany their 'Fast Food' materials. With stories from Nig

How did the church worship last Sunday?

March 22nd, 2020 must go down as one of the most unusual Sunday's in church history. All around the globe Christians found themselves unable to 'physically' gather together but instead sought to worship through recorded or live streaming services. One blogger opened his contact list and asked friends around the world to send him a photo of what things looked like for them. The outcome, pictures from 35 countries, cataloguing a day of Christ's people worshipping at home. The result - an amazingly moving gallery. The realisation - our brothers and sisters around the world were doing the same as we were. United with our limitations. United with our desire to worship.   Have a leisurely browse and as you work your way around the globe, pray for the worldwide church preparing for tomorrow. A creative challenge for tomorrow!  This gallery got me thinking. It may be a little less ambitious in scale but how about capturing you (and your household) engaging in My

Celebrating Milestones

With social distancing the new normal it's fascinating observing how people are seeking to take different aspects of life online. Who would have thought that Zoom could host a Mother's Day meal across several homes! That dinner parties are going virtual as people cook meals, grab a drink and all log in at the same time! Or that others are beginning to think creatively about how they will adapt their family Easter traditions into the virtual world. Whilst apart some us in the church family may be reaching a significant milestone - the type that often, but not always, has a 'zero' in it. The sort not only those close to us enjoy marking but where others like to get in on the act. A golden anniversary. Turning eighteen. Becoming 30...50...80...90! So Myton family, if that's true of you in this 'social distancing' reality do let us know...and we can celebrate and pray for you.   Today Deb Smith celebrates a '0' birthday - congrats from you

This playlist is not for bedtime!

Kim highlighted on the early post, 'Wired for Sound', some of the songs he is finding helpful at the moment. Words and music that can strengthen our confidence and resolve. This I confess is a 'stolen' list! 'Borrowed' from a Gospel Coalition blogpost by Betsy Childs Howard. You'll see she has a slightly different focus. Sing. Dance. Enjoy. 'This playlist is not meant for bedtime! These upbeat songs are meant to help kids get their energy out, to help parents laugh instead of cry, and to help us make a joyful noise to the Lord.' Find the playlist on Spotify or Apple Music , and see the track list below. “Joyful Noise,” Ellie Holcomb “Lift Up Your Voices,” Awesome Cutlery “Every Move I Make,” Shout Praises Kids “To Be Like Jesus,” Sovereign Grace Kids “There’s a Party Coming Soon,” Michael J. Tinker “Pharaoh, Pharaoh,” Mah Tovu “How Many Persons Are ­There in God?” The Gospel Coalition “Trinity,” The Village Ch

Wired for sound!

For many of us, (dare I say most), music gives us a way of expressing our deepest thoughts and feelings. Think of the songs you associate with; joy...delight...loss...confusion...hope. Or the tune that takes you back to a particular event: the summer you left school; the long car journey to a specific holiday; your wedding; a significant birthday. It doesn't take much for us to start whistling the tune or humming along. It's therefore no surprise that songs and singing mark out the people of God, giving expression not only to their faith but also their experiences and emotions along the way. Today Kim reflects on a few songs he thinks can give voice to our faith and aspirations. Rather than my usual fix of Radio 4 in the morning, I’ve taken to listening to a few of the 270 or so hymns and worship songs in my iPod playlists. Using the shuffle function I don’t know what will come next! On Monday morning, the first song randomly selected was We have a gospel to proclaim…

Midday tomorrow!

Over recent weeks, in both our morning congregations, we've been trying connect with one another's lives beyond 'Sunday' by hearing from someone about what they will be doing the following day. Obviously this has normally meant Monday morning - but this week we are shifting the question to the end of the week and asking...  'What will you be doing at midday tomorrow (Friday 27th)?' In current circumstances it might be tempting to think everyone's at home, yet the reality is that we're much more diverse than that - not only do we have a number of 'essential workers' in the church family, who are 'out' at work but whose jobs look very different to normal, but those of us working or doing school at home will be establishing different patterns and focusing on very varied things, and of course retirees will be finding their own rhythms to the day.  So whether it is gardening, a maths class (doing it or trying to teach one), accou

Book bundles for the kids!

Whilst sadly, but appropriately, the doors of most high street shops have shut those who serve us online continue to work hard to ensure that items still reach us. Left, of course, at an appropriate distance on our doorstep! That means there’s a huge number of resources available to us. Whatever our age and stage.  Today’s focus - a few books all aimed at children, which are on special offer. We’ll get to short media clips and films next week. Plus we'll do the same for the grown-ups, so no one feels left out! Whether for your own children, your grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends - in fact whatever your relationship with them, why not treat the children in your life to a book or two.  Even if you can't curl up on the sofa with them, let's get creative about story time - perhaps it can be done over Zoom or WhatsApp, (after all everything else seems to be), and in that, we keep telling them 'the best story ever'.   A bundle for KS 1

The beginning and end of the day!

So how did you answer Sunday's morning question about the beginning and end of the day? After you've hit or snoozed your alarm what's the first thing you reach for in the morning?  Your phone? Your tablet? Radio 4? In an era of instant connection it's hard for the news cycle not only to be shaping our start to the day but also the way we end it...and lots of points in between...especially as so many of us are now working from home. So how are we doing on our intake of God's Word being greater than our consumption of the news? I'm finding I'm needing to learn new habits - how about you? My tablet and my phone live on my bedside table overnight (I know probably not that good on the best of days!). I confess my pattern has always been to look at the news before I get out of bed and then end the day there, (or at least on BBC Sport!). But last week whilst reading an article on 'How to protect your mental health during the Coronavirus' I was struck by

The Coronavirus gets the Welsh treatment!

Here's Dai Woolridge's reflections on all things Corona!

Getting off the ground!

We love Jesus. We live in unusual times. One unchanging reality. One passing season.  New challenges. Unexpected opportunities. Unfamiliar concerns. Surprising fears. In the midst of the new normal we are eager to keep connecting as a church community. To find means of speaking into each others lives, of sharing stories, of flagging up resources, of deepening resolve...of saying 'God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear...' (Ps 46:1-2a) A very simple blog is just part of the picture. Designed to complement the phone calls and emails, the videos and website, the WhatsApp groups and 'Zoom' encounters. Here we will simply seek to post some helpful links, tell stories, signpost ideas, give points to ponder.  Our prayer is the old slogan from the 'Ronseal' advert that 'it will do what it says on the tin' and help us love Christ in unusual times.