11th June 2023 - Weekly Reflection
God’s Tapestry

Trials and tribulation in this life, is mentioned to us by Jesus Christ,
Bringing to us pain in many ways, as we live out these earthly days.
Reasons for many we don’t know; purpose in Glory God will show,
How our trials were used by God, upon the temporal paths we trod.

For all of our lives is a tapestry, weaved in Glory where all will see,
But from this darkened underside, from all of our eyes it does hide.
We just see the darker threads, weaving throughout our life instead.
And through all the pain and sorrow, we look to a brighter tomorrow.

Through the sometimes dark fray, God’s Mercies are new each day,
And we have assurance in The Lord; by who our trial is not ignored.
For Christ suffered, like you and I, but to the point where He did die.
Christ died for us, there’s no denial, and God can help us in our trial.

Though Christ died for you and me, He reigns in Heaven for Eternity.
This world’s not at all like the one, being prepared for us by The Son.
When Christ’s Glory is revealed, all believers will be perfectly healed,
Totally free of our besetting sin, with a perfect heart when we enter in.

Every eye, now above will see, The Lord’s Glorious Eternal Tapestry,
Looking down the corridor of time, we’ll now see life with God’s mind.
We’ll see how our lives were weaved, with others who also believed,
When we see all Christ has done, through the Tapestry of God’s Son.

Free use Christian article
by Bob Gotti 

4th June 2023 - Weekly Reflection
A Firm Foundation

God takes you through His Revelation, to put you on a firm foundation,
He takes you from your shaky ground, to build on The Truth you found.
Many men come from every nation, drawn to Truth through Revelation,
And the Truth that these men found, is The Rock that’s sure and sound.

The Rock my friend is Jesus Christ; He’s a firm foundation for your life.
When you enter through The Door, He sets your footing firm and sure.
Friend, even in the midst of strife, your firm foundation is Jesus Christ.
An Eternal Rock is Christ our Lord; He is firm and steady forevermore.

Christ is more than just salvation, for He is The Light of every nation.
As you travel the world’s night, Christ, my friend, is your guiding light.
Safely guided to your destination, being led by The God of creation.
Christ will bring you through the night, in a way that is sure and right.

When you come to Jesus Christ, you my friend, shall have a surer life.
Indeed, a surer life in any place, leaning upon God’s Awesome Grace.
Filled with the peace of Jesus Christ, as you go through pain and strife,
For at any time and in any place, you friend, can seek The Lord’s face.

Indeed, Christ is a firm foundation, that leads you to Eternal Salvation,
And when you get through this night, you will see God’s Eternal Light.
When in your life The Lord is found, you will be upon Eternal Ground.
So my friend, come to Jesus Christ, and you shall inherit Eternal Life.

Free use Christian article
by Bob Gotti 

19th February 2023 - Weekly Reflection

The ideal answer to the Lord's prayer for the unity of believers (John 17) would be to drop every human division, sectarian creed, name, dogma, etc., and to assemble worldwide as the church, the Body of Christ, acknowledging Him as our Lord, commissioned and determined to do His will and His work in the world until His return. And our prayer along with His, as well as our teaching, ought always to be that this blessed unity in the bond of peace will one day come about. But while we wait and live in a divided world, it is comforting to consider that there is a spiritual dimension to unity that supersedes and makes less important the physical and obvious separation that exists in the here and now.

There may be a great deal more spiritual unity present than meets the eye. Our Lord knows the true membership of His church. He knows His sheep by name, and they hear and recognize His voice over the tumult, and they follow Him. Wherever we are, God reads our hearts and recognizes us as His children--or else He disavows us. This heart-reading ability belongs only to the Lord Himself. No mere mortal can read another’s heart.

Since it is humanly impossible to affect the physical unity of believers, it behooves us to make sure we are spiritually united with Christ and the sheep of His fold.

The truths illustrated in the parable of the Sower (Matt. 13:24-30) seem applicable here. When the servants suggested to the householder that the tares sowed in the wheat fields by an enemy ought to be removed, his answer was to let them grow together until harvest time--that they would then be separated and dealt with appropriately.
We would do well to continue to pray earnestly for the physical unity of believers, but not to waste our substance decrying the divisions among us or trying to force change. That is in the Spirit's realm. Nor must we allow ourselves to become bitter toward each other over it. That is also a serious violation of the Spirit of Christ. The Lord knows where His sheep are, and they recognize His voice. Our steady prayer for the ability to discern between good and evil and to try the spirits to see if they are of God and not to listen to the voice of a stranger (or a strange doctrine) will protect us in a higher unity than physical. The wheat and tares will grow together. The harvesting belongs to the Lord, and we rest in His hands until that time.

Free use Christian article
by Aline Edson

29th January 2023 - Weekly Reflection
What is the lust of the eyes?

The phrase “lust of the eyes” is found in 1 John 2:15-17: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” What is this “lust of the eyes”?

Simply put, the lust of the eyes is the sinful desire to possess what we see or to have those things which have visual appeal. This coveting of money, possessions, or other physical things is not from God, but from the world around us. John emphasizes that these physical things do not last; they will pass away. In contrast, the child of God is guaranteed eternity.

The Ten Commandments addressed the lust of the eyes in its prohibition against coveting. Exodus 20:17 commands, “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbour’s.” Coveting can include a desire to have people, possessions, or status.

Satan uses the lust of the eyes as one avenue of temptation. Part of the reason Eve listened to the serpent in the Garden was that she looked at the forbidden fruit and saw that it was “pleasing to the eye” (Genesis 3:6). Satan used a visual image to help entrap her. Satan tried a similar tactic on Jesus. One of his temptations in the wilderness was an attempt to make Jesus covet earthly power. Satan used a visual: he “showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour” (Matthew 4:8). He then promised to give them to Jesus—for a price. Of course, Jesus did not succumb to the lust of the eyes, and Satan was defeated (verses 10 and 11).

We must follow Jesus’ example and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, resist the lust of the eyes. The world is full of “eye candy,” glamor, and gaudiness. Materialism beckons with its promise of happiness and fulfillment. A media-saturated society bombards us with advertising campaigns that might as well say, “Covet this!”

All that glitters is not gold, and the child of God knows that fame, fortune, and finery quickly fade (Proverbs 23:5). Our focus is not the newest product or latest fashion. Our goal is not to keep up with the Joneses or to surround ourselves with the trappings of glittering magnificence. Instead, our goal is “to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). Our eyes are set on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Our view is to eternity.

Free use Christian article
by Jay Adams 

18th December 2022 - Weekly Reflection
Peace Be with You

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” John 20:19 NIV

Of all the things Jesus could have said to these men as He now stood before them, He chose to say “Peace be with you.” Jesus knew all these men had been through in the previous days, and He knew that He standing before them would send shock waves through them. He truly wanted them to know that it was He with them and that He truly had risen from the dead.

Do you know that Jesus wants you to have His peace inside of you? I know there are times at which we feel like we have no peace within us, but Jesus is always there ready to provide that peace to you. He loves you more than you can know. Accept the peace which He offers to you. There is no other peace which compares to the peace of the Lord.

Free use Christian article
by Roland Crim

18th September 2022 - Weekly Reflection
Spiritual Pride in The Church

In the modern church I often see pride. Many people want to show off to others how much they know and how much spiritual "authority" they have. Rather than build one another up, (especially building younger Christians up to be more mature and encouraged) they let their spiritual pride get in the way. Self-righteousness is often the last bit of pride to get routed out of our lives.

As A.W. Tozer says we should concentrate less on over-complicated theology and more on the simple truth and fact that we are saved and believe in the gospel. In doing this, we humble ourselves of thinking we know everything and relieve ourselves of trying to portray it to others. He sums up all of theology in 2 words: God and love. I believe he is right. What a humble way to approach theology. We should simply preach the gospel, not preach about the gospel.

“In humility, count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3. This verse also illustrates and supports how we should realize that other Christians can always teach us something about Christ. We are all one body and each of us play a role in sharing wisdom with the body of Christ. To many pastors and mature Christians who have been believers for a long time; there may be something that a Christian of only 1 year could teach you. Something that may change your life. One of the most wonderfully mysterious things about another Christian is their testimony. Who knows what that person may teach you.

Free use Christian article
By lloyd Claridge

10th July 2022 - Weekly Reflection
Be An Encourager

Thought: What does it mean to be an encourager? Webster translates it as to inspire with courage or hope. To support.

The Word describes it as Phill. 2:1,2 “Is there any such things as Christians cheering each other up? Do you love me enough to want to help me (Paul speaking)? Does it mean anything to you that we are brothers (and sisters) in the Lord, sharing the same Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic at all? Then make me truly happy by loving each other and agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, working together with one heart and mind and purpose.

In today’s world of chaos, uncertainties, wickedness in high places I took a leave of absence from all negative news media. For the next week I’ll be focusing on the positives from God’s Word that is full of hope and comfort. These are just a few of those golden nuggets to raise your level of emotions to those higher places where peace can be found.

Col. 4:5,6 “Make the most of your chances to tell others the Good News. Be wise in all your contacts with them. Let your conversation be gracious as well as sensible, for then you will have the right answer for everyone.”

I Cor. 9:22b “Yes, whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him (or her). I do this to get the Gospel to them and also for the blessing I myself receive when I see them come to Christ.

Prov. 15:23 “Everyone enjoys giving good advice, and how wonderful it is to be able to say the right thing at the right time.”

Heb. 10:24,25 “In response to all he has done for us, let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and doing good. Let us not neglect our church meeting, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.”

Phill 4:8,9 “And now brothers (sisters) as I close this letter let me say this one more thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Free use Christian article
(Lupie Riley)

19th June 2022 
Weekly Reflection
Loneliness A Gift

Experiencing loneliness is not common in my daily life; at least it hasn’t been for a very long time. Recently however, I have had literal waves of it hit me at the strangest times and it doesn’t always make sense. How can one feel lonely when surrounded by people who love you and you know it? Still it happens and I must confess it’s not my favourite emotion to encounter. I’d almost prefer anger because it’s easier to express, especially with a baseball bat and some convenient bottles lined up on a low level fence if you get my drift?

As I experience these moments I am drawn into a passionate need to seek my Father’s presence, where I find comfort and peace. I understand I can’t soothe my soul apart from Him and this is eye opening for our “self-sufficient” mindsets. I become grateful for this loneliness which pushes me into the desperate place of seeking my one true love. Without trials to show us our need of God we would be forever lost in our own confidence and distractions.

Psalm 84:5-7 Blessed is the man whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on a pilgrimage. Passing through the valley of Weeping, they make it a place of springs. Yes, the autumn rain covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength. Everyone of them appears before God in Zion.

Free use Christian article
(Debra Burgess)

24th April 2022
Weekly Reflection
I Am The Resurrection
And The Life

Do you know Jesus Christ as 'The Resurrection and The Life?' What you believe the Lord to be is what is manifested in your life. The names of Jesus explain what He can do. This post encourages you to exercise your faith in the Lord as the Resurrection and the Life.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? - John 11:25-26. 

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly - John 10:10.

In this season of Easter celebration, Jesus has more to offer than just remembrance and celebration of His resurrection. He is ever ready to resurrect what is dead or dying in and around you. He is the Resurrection and the Life. Do you believe it? 

Martha said that she knew that Lazarus would rise again in the resurrection at the last day, but Jesus' reply tells her she doesn't have to wait till the last day; the Resurrection Himself is around - Jesus. Jesus is still around in the person of the Holy Spirit to give life to anything dead or dying in and around you, you don't have to wait for the resurrection at the last day.

However, it takes faith in Christ as the Resurrection and the Life to have anything rise again. No matter how impossible the case may be, if only you will believe you would see the glory of God (John 11:40). Jesus came that you may have life and that in abundance. He is available to fulfill your number of days and cause you to enjoy your blessings for a longer period of time. 

So, as you celebrate Christ's resurrection, also receive Him as the Resurrection and the Life. Exercise your faith in Him to receive back to life what is dead or dying in and around you. Believe in Him that you may see the glory of God in your life.

On the other hand, also believe in Him to have abundant life, to have every part of you working in perfect health because of the life of Jesus in you. This is superior to something dying and coming back to life. Jesus is Life! Believe Him to keep everything in and around you alive, so that you will not experience any breakdown and it shall be so.

I believe that Paul walked in the consciousness of the life of Jesus in him such that he had the power to choose whether to die or to stay alive for the sake of the brethren (Philippians 1:21-25). Death came in many ways but it couldn't take hold of him (2 Corinthians 11:23) because he believed in 'The Life' in him (Colossians 1:27).

Therefore, in this Easter season, embrace the Lord as 'the Resurrection and the Life' and enjoy abundant life.

Free use Christian article
(Ngozi woke ) 

6th March 2022 -Weekly Reflection

Our flesh fights against our spirit. The world wars against our Christlike walk! So, its normal for people to take meekness for weakness, humility for stupidity and gentleness for dullness! But when we trust God's Word, discipline is required to yield to His ways, become steadfast in order to receive the bountiful harvest of absolute OBEDIENCE!

One of the most powerful weapons, necessary for achieving total victory in spiritual warfare, is HUMILITY. (there are many others, like faith, righteousness, prayer, love, peace etc) Never be too self-centered, proud or ashamed to be respectful to people, especially your elders and those in authority and also to take the least place to serve people, and even those weaker. Now, that was all Jesus did, it's great wisdom indeed with incredible benefits!

Philippians 2:1-11. Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form and SERVED HUMAN BEINGS! ............ Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name,

That's what I call ASTRONOMICAL ELEVATION! Many ignorant people would have considered Jesus Christ as weak and wimpy, timid and stupid, lazy and lousy. But not too long, Jesus Christ became the Lord of Lords and King of kings. Hallelujah! Never underestimate the power of humility!

Consequently, the right mixture of humility with these other weapons, would bring us to great places, people, pursuits and purposes in life. So, life in Christ will not just be a reality, but a dream you never get to wake up from! There's abundant life and blessings here on earth from God before we go up to Heaven. Repentance, humility and absolute obedience to God's Word will get us there.

2 Samuel 22.28 . You, O LORD rescue, honour and bless those who are humble, but your eyes are on the proud to humiliate and bring them down.

Who can deliver us if God is against us? No one, except repentance, humility and absolute obedience to God's Word. Pride brings God AGAINST us, but repentance, humility and absolute obedience to His Word puts God on our side to fight for us, guide us, protect us and promote us. Humility is not stupidity, but the ultimate wisdom and requirement for great astronomical promotion. Your night season is over, your new day has come.

Free use Christian article
(Apostle Steve Adonai

27th February 2022 - Weekly Reflection
Storms of Life

At some point in life most of us face many types of health, financial, family or other serious problem. Recently, it seems that “storm clouds” have encircled many due to lost jobs, poor health and the economic situation in our country. It would be quite easy to begin counting our problems instead of our blessings.

Life is precious. It was given each of us by God. He understands that we face difficulties in this short sojourn on earth. Yet, trials and sufferings are a part of life itself, brought on by the sin in the world since Adam and Eve.

Tragedies may come, jobs may be lost, diseases may rack our bodies, or business losses may cause financial disasters. There may be times when we feel we are all alone and overcome by life’s difficulties. God did not promise to take away our troubles. But, He did promise that the Lord would never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). When trials surround us, He offers comfort and hope through His Word (Romans 15:4). He gives us peace through Christ (John 16:4; Philippians 4:7). If we are in Christ then nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39).

When the storms of life comes our way, let us call to mind the words of the apostle Peter, “casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Free use Christian article
(J. K. Wills)

5th July 2020 - Weekly Reflection
God’s Peace

Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world give I give to you.” What Jesus gave to His disciples was a forever promise. The word peace in Greek is eirēnē. The Hebrew is salom or shalom. It appears about 429 times in the King James Bible. The word has several meanings: wholeness, completeness, welfare, health, freedom from war, unharmed, prosperity. It’s a wonderful thing that Jesus would leave His peace with us, but what is His peace? Does everyone have this peace? Can anyone obtain it? Peace is such a broad term. God’s peace is varied.

Ultimate or Godly peace would have to be connected to salvation. No one can have true peace unless their soul is saved. The peace the world gives is temporal, a mirage. It will ultimately fail. The peace that God gives is an everlasting peace. His peace gives us assurance in this life and the next. I want to explore some wonderful features of God’s peace. In Ephesians 6:15 says we are to have our feet shod with the gospel of peace. This is part of our spiritual armour when we war against our unseen demonic enemies in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12.) So, in this verse, God’s peace is an adjective for it describes the gospel.

Why is the gospel called the Gospel of peace? In the book of Ephesians chapter two: “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in the place of the two so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing hostility. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and peace to those who were near (vs 12-17).

The word peace appears four times in these six verses. The first appearance declares Christ is our peace. Peace is personified – a pronoun. The second appearance He made peace by bringing Jew and Gentile together in one body, one family – peace is a verb. And the third and fourth appearances He preached peace – peace is a noun. Any wonder why the prophet Isaiah called Jesus the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6?)

Another way God offers peace is through prayer. In Philippians 4:6-7 we read, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” In these two verses, God is telling us to place all of our cares on Him for He cares for us (I Peter 5:7). We are to petition Him in prayer with thankfulness with the full confidence that whatever we are going through His peace will sustain us – a wonderful comfort and reality.

Free use Christian article (Delvin Arnold) 

13th February 2022 - Weekly Reflection
Love and Not Law

For this reason, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do your duty, yet I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love.” Philemon 8-9

Paul encourages Philemon to consider his actions, basing them on love rather than law. Through Paul’s letter to Philemon, God calls us to make an intentional, disciplined decision to serve one another in love. Love, not duty, is the foundation of Christian community.

Duty reeks of force, compulsion and people-pleasing. It bolsters our pride; inflates our ego. However, love does not. Rather, it mirrors Christ’s humility, selflessness and empathy. Love alone reflects the nature of God. It calls for sacrifice of self interest in favour of unity with each other. 

Every Christian is to respond to the call to love, building up Christian community. Broken relationships in the Body of Christ are heart-wrenching, causing unnecessary injury and division. What will it take for us to lay down our defences and welcome each other into our hearts again? Perhaps if we could see each person as Jesus Himself, then we could not help but love with sincerity and truth.

Consider Jesus’ provoking words in John 13:34, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” Let’s put into action a loving spirit of reconciliation that shines as a beacon of hope for others. Together we must seek healing by building up the Church through love. Striving for Christian maturity, let us put aside our offenses, our pride and our pain and may the grace of our Lord Jesus be upon us so we can love well in His name.

Free use Christian article
(Jennifer Woodley)

6th February 2022 - Weekly Reflection

Scripture warns, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” - (Proverbs 16:18.) Have you ever considered whether you are proud or not? The dictionary defines pride as the feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

Pride is not necessarily bad. Someone taking pride in their work no matter how lowly or highly others might regard it, and who therefore goes an extra mile to ensure creativity and excellence is to be admired. 

The problem with pride is that the sense of achievement no matter how it has been achieved often makes people losing clear perspective and they become arrogant, self-entitled, superior and insensitive to others; forgetting to recognize God’s grace in everything. Often, this leads one to a downward path of destruction. “The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),”Isaiah 2:12

Samson was set apart by God, to deliver the people of Israel from the Philistines. But for most of his life he ignored God and followed his passions. He strode around proudly with the massive hair God had bestowed upon him as a source of strength for his task, heaping praise on himself for his exploits against the Philistines and any person that crossed him. He felt invincible, until he was double crossed by the lovely but deceitful Delilah; leading to the loss of his mane (the outward sign of God’s covenant with him). “Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison.” Judges 16:21. It was only then that he realized the value of God in His life. 

Whatever we have, be they natural talents, learned abilities or spiritual gifts, all come from to us through grace. They are God’s undeserved favour to us, meant to glorify God by the fulfilment of His purpose for us and not for self-elevation. How much do you daily recognize the extent of God’s grace in your life?

“Let us watch against pride in every shape - pride of intellect, pride of wealth, pride in our own goodness, and pride in our own deserts. Nothing is so likely to keep a man out of heaven, and prevent him seeing Christ, as pride. So long as we think we are something, we shall never be saved.” - J. C. Ryle

Free use Christian article
(Wangari Murathe) 

30th January 2020 - Weekly Reflection
What is Love

Thought: There are different kinds of love. Love for your spouse, love for your children, love for a friend or neighbour, but the agape love is a spiritual love that comes from God. That kind of love was demonstrated when God put on the flesh of a human, became like us through the God/man Jesus. GOD IS LOVE.

He also commands us to love one another as he loves us (John 3:16). Because of this agape love, the God/man took upon himself the sins of all mankind and paid the price with His own life. He didn’t stop there. He arose from the dead, defeating death that Satan had brought upon the whole world. Our Salvation will be complete when we receive our new body that will last forever, like the body Jesus had after resurrection. He barbequed fish for the disciples, walked through walls and fellowshipped with them for 40 days and rose up into the sky at His ascension.

Here’s some words from God’s book that will further clarify what true love is all about. I Cor. 13:4-5 “Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. “

I John 4:16 “We know how much God loves us because we have felt his love and because we believe him when he tells us that he loves us dearly. God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him.” John 15:12 “I demand that you love each other as much as I love you.”

Romans 13:10 “Love does no wrong to anyone. That’s why it fully satisfies all of God’s requirements. It is the only law you need.” Note: If we would just follow this law there would be no war’s, murders, hate, jealousy, or strife because we would not want to harm each other.

Prayer: Father God, help me to grow closer to you each day you give me breath so I can become more and more like Jesus. Amen

Verse: I John 4:7-8 “ Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better. But if a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God—for GOD IS LOVE.”

Free use Christian article
(Lupie Riley

23rd January 2022 - Weekly Reflection
Facing Discouragement

Do you have trouble understanding disappointments? Is life unfair? As a child of God do you at times feel like he has let you down? Things just are not turning out the way you planned. Your dreams are,shattered.

The Bible has many life examples, revealing real people, with hopes, dreams, and discouragement, just like you. I'll share a few examples, to get you to check it out yourself...Abram had God's promise to bless and be blessed, with a son "of promise" and a great nation of descendants. (Genesis 12: 1-4) God was taking longer than expected to keep His end of the bargain and Abram and his wife Sarai decided God must have needed some help. She conceived a plan of using her maid as a way to bear a child. Abram went along with her suggestion. (Genesis 16:2) H has a son, "Ishmael," not the son God had promised... God had not forgotten the couple or His Promise. He had new names and a new direction for them, Abraham and Sarah became parents to Isaac. At 100 years of age Abraham cradled in his arms the long-awaited son and heir! (Genesis 21:1-7)

Joseph, with his "coat of many colours" took pride in knowing he had a bright future. God revealed to him as a young man that he would be a great leader, with his even family in submission to him. His bubble burst when his brothers captured him, threw him in a pit and then sold him as a common slave! He was taken to Egypt, bought and paid for like a piece of property. In the home of his master, he was trusted because of his great character and wisdom. That back fired when he was falsely charged with seducing the masters' wife! Earlier he was thrown in a pit, now he was cast into a prison! Do you think he felt God was being fair? God's hand was still upon him. He gets freed from prison and becomes 2nd in authority under the Pharaoh, with leadership to rescue the nation, in time of a great drought and famine. His brothers come seeking food, and fall down at his feet, not recognizing their own brother! Later he forgives them and a great restoration in the family occurs. (Genesis 50:18-21)

What about Jesus Disciples? They expected Him to be the conquering Messiah, to free their nation from Roman rule? They were blind to the truth that He was The Suffering Messiah who would die to free them from the bondage to sin! When He was arrested and crucified all their hopes and dreams died with Him. They scattered and went to their homes to lick their wounds. Wait that is not how the story ends! He arose! He triumphed over death! (Matthew 28: 5-6) One day He will return as the conquering Messiah! If the dream, vision placed in your heart is from God, it will be fulfilled! Trust Him; He may need to prepare you first!

Free use Christian article
(Pam Ford Davis 

16th January 2022 - Weekly Reflection
Trusting God

I don’t know what will be, or what God has planned for me,
When I face certain needs, where ahead God’s Spirit leads,
Or what means, He will raise, for my needs in coming days,
But as God fills in the blanks, His Spirit fills me with thanks.

God has led me in times before, to what was a closed door,
Opening up that door for me, in ways, which I could not see,
So I must wait upon The Lord, for by God, I am not ignored,
For God will move in His time, in His ways, by God’s design.

The Lord’s Ways are not mine, for all God’s Ways are divine,
Far above what I understand, as He moves His Mighty Hand,
God moves in ways we cannot, when we are put on the spot,
To change the focus of our story, as God receives the Glory.

Planning from His Heavenly Court, The Lord will not fall short, As He cares for all His own, from His Lofty Sovereign Throne, With the king’s heart in His hand, for He rules over every land, God shall take care of all of us, while we trust in Christ Jesus.

The Lord is not hampered by, our conclusions of how or why, We can always trust God’s heart, to finish all that He will start; God has purpose in all He wills, and every purpose He fulfills, For the Glory of Jesus Christ, in each and every believer’s life.

Free use Christian article
(Bob Gotti)

9th January 2022 - Weekly Reflection
You Are Safe with Jesus!

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the consistently righteous man upright and in right standing with God runs into it and is safe, high (above evil) and strong — Prov. 18:10,

"Be safe!" we tell each other--especially since the virus hit in 2020.

This world is volatile, strange, and way too anti-Christ right now. I cannot imagine how anyone thinks they can make it without the LORD Jesus Christ and His blood covering them! Still, even we Believers sometimes need our faith reinforced about our Covenant with the Most High. Here are thoughts on how you are safe in Him!

If you have received Jesus Christ as your Saviour and LORD, then He is with you and for you forever! We like to sense His Presence, but even though we may not feel that He is with us, we remember that we don't go by feelings, but by faith--belief, trust! in the eternal, unchanging Word of God!   

God gives you wisdom through His Word and Holy Spirit about how to avoid trouble. When you are born again by belief in the blood of Jesus, then the Holy Spirit (Who is the wisdom of God, Colossians 2:2-3) nudges us to do something, or helps us understand in our spirits (the real us; the eternal part of us) not to do something, or not to go a certain place. He is faithful!

He will tell you secrets, strategies for victory and He will also help you realize you are not from here; only visiting! You are first a citizen of Heaven (I Peter 2:9.)

He has a great sense of humour, and Jesus is your joy (Galatians 5:22.) He will help you laugh and see the bright side of things, as only He can do! Joy takes your mind off negative junk, and helps you relax in the LORD.  

Know this: As the LORD told me once years ago, "I've always got your back!"

Yes, He does! His Holy Spirit sees and knows everything, from before the world began. He sees all of your life at once. He knows what the enemy is planning against you, and the LORD will communicate with you to go His way, to avoid snares and trouble (You have to listen to Him and obey!). He is a faithful, loving Father!

If you know Jesus as your Saviour and LORD, you are righteous, and in Covenant with Him. You are safe with Jesus.

He is the only Rock, the only true safety!

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe - Proverbs 18:10.


Free use Christian article
(Tonja Taylor) 

2nd January 2022 - Weekly Reflection
The Hope Found in Christ

Hope. Everyone needs it. Everyone puts hope in something, or someone. However, hope doesn’t always last, because so many situations are fluid, and people, despite our best intentions, tend to let each other down. It’s not a pleasant fact of life, but it is a fact, nonetheless.

One of the wonderful truths of a life surrendered to Jesus Christ is the hope which comes with it. This is not hope in the sense that one “hopes” something good will happen; this is both a calm assurance and a convinced attitude that God is going to work toward our best interests. The Psalmist expressed this hope when, after great suffering, he wrote, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God” (Ps. 42:5). For the person who trusts God, no difficulty in life is enough to make them lose hope that He is still acting on their behalf.

One of the most well-known verses on hope is Isaiah 40:31, which speaks to times of great struggle and fatigue, when it says that those who put their hope in the LORD “will renew their strength”, “soar” like eagles, “run and not grow weary” and “walk and not be faint”. In other words, even in the most difficult of times, their hope in God will be proven effective by His support of them.

In fact, it is fair to say that God uses difficulties to grow the hope of His people. Romans chapter five speaks to this in the first few verses, when it says that suffering produces perseverance, character, and finally, hope. Verse five takes it further in stating, “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” The Greek word for “disappoint” means to disgrace or confound. Stated simply, it means the Christian will never find a reason to regret following Christ, due to the spiritual resources we have through Him.

Are you looking for hope that doesn’t run out? Look no further than a life surrendered to Jesus Christ!

Free use Christian article
(Mark Nickles )

19th December 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Reclaiming Christmas

“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” Matthew 1:23

It seems that amid the noise and haste of Christmas preparations, that we have lost the simplicity and joyous wonder of the season. We need to reclaim the One who has been forgotten.

At Advent our first attention is Jesus. The gift of giving ourselves to Christ will take precedence over our gifts to family and friends. For it is Jesus’ birthday – not ours, not the children’s, not our friends, but His.

So, the nourishment of our souls in intimacy with Jesus must be more important than the physical food we emphasize in this season. The beauty of His presence must be greater to us than the array of glittering tinsel and coloured lights. Our peace must first be found in times of silence with our Lord, rather than in the noisy clamour to spend more. And the good, in-filling times alone with Christ must come before the outpouring times with family and friends. Our priorities need to be turned around so that Christmas is not a burden but a blessing. This is how we reclaim Christ at Christmas.

May we grow in an increasing awareness of His presence with us over this season, so that rather than being squeezed out of Christmas, Jesus becomes the only reason that we celebrate it at all. May our desire be not to fill our days with all that needs to be done before the twenty-fifth of this month, but rather a willing responsiveness to be led into worshiping our Saviour and being obedient to His desires alone.

Free use Christian article
(Jennifer Woodley)

5th December 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Give Thanks

“To you, O God of my ancestors, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and power, and have now revealed to me what we asked of you.” Daniel 2:23

Daniel asked God to reveal Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to him. The Father answered by showing Daniel a vision of the dream. Surely Daniel was excited about this. He could have raced to the King with the news. But he did not. Instead, Daniel remained with God, giving thanks. Just as Daniel had invested time in praying to God, Daniel now invested time in praising God.

How do we feel when God answers prayers? Excited, light with relief, ready to declare the good news? Most definitely. But before we go tell what He has done, do we stop to give God the credit? As much as we have been persistent in prayer, let us match this commitment with gratitude when prayers are answered.

Giving thanks in times of answered prayer not only shows God our humble appreciation, but it is a reminder that nothing good happens without His doing. Our prayers have been answered because of God’s goodness and His involvement, not because we have done anything deserving. He alone has worked in our lives, He alone is merciful, kind and loving. Giving thanks puts everything back in the right perspective.

Answered prayer is a precious gift and it is at the very least polite to thank the Giver before we tell everyone about our blessing. Let’s stop to consider how God may feel when we take His gift for granted, not stopping to thank Him for it. In our enthusiasm and excitement let’s not neglect to give Him thanks.

Free use Christian article
(Jennifer Woodley) 

11th November 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Prayer and Intercession

As Christian’s prayer is vital…

• Prayer builds and strengthens our relationship with God.
• Prayer changes transforms us by being in God’s presence.
• Prayer releases God’s anointing on our life.
• Prayer draws us closer to the Lord so we can hear His
• Prayer changes those who we pray for.
• Prayer alters situations, and circumstances that are 
   humanly impossible. It brings forth miracles.
• Pray weakens and destroys the plans of the enemy.
   Those seven things listed are an incredible reason why we
   should pray more but there is so much more God does in
   us and through us when we pray. It powerful…or more
   correctly stated it’s SUPERNATURAL.

Free use Christian article 

14th November 2021 
Weekly Reflection
The Five Parts of Prayer

Praise - If God inhabits (lives in) praise then I, for one, want to start my prayers with praise! Let me tell you, God not only inhabits praise, He is reachable and closer than you can imagine. He is right there with you. Tell Him how much you love him. He wants your praise! There is POWER in praise! Look at Psalm 149:6-9. In 2Chronicles 20:21-22 the Bible gives us an example of how a battle was won with praise alone.

Thanks - We have things to thank God for before asking for more! Even if things are not going well we have the assurance that even they will eventually turn out good according to Romans 8:28! We have to trust Him. We need to thank Him for everything. We can think of things to thank Him for if we try! 1Thess 5:18,"In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus,concerning,you."

Forgiveness - You and I have been forgiven a large number of things by our Father in heaven. He is glad to forgive us, so we should be glad to forgive others for what they have done. Plus, we need to continually ask forgiveness because even bad thoughts are considered sin and need to be forgiven. Mark 11:25, "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have thought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."

Asking - According to 1 John 3:22 in order to receive the things we ask we need to keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. Verse 23 tells us His commandment is we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. If we are not receiving answers to our prayers then we obviously need to dive deeper into the Bible and get our thoughts and prayers more in line with God's will. "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Luke 11:9

Listening- Listen for the answers to your prayers. Listen for other things God wants to tell you. "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Psalm 27:14. Wait can mean wait a minute, wait till tomorrow, wait for a few years. God will reveal things to you in His time. He knows what you need and also knows when to give it to you. When you are praying leave plenty of time to wait on God to speak to your heart. Imagine Him to be in the same room with you (because He is!) When Jesus died the curtain to the Holy of Holies was split by God from top to bottom so we could enter into that holy place and be with God!

Free use Christian article

7th November 2021
Weekly Reflection
The Faithfulness of God

This is one trait everyone wants in the next person. Your boss hopes you’d faithful to your job and do your tasks and hopefully they create an environment that fosters this faithfulness. No one (in their right minds) will dare marry someone who won’t be faithful to them. In friendships, our kids, our politicians, our pastors etc…we all look for faithfulness. And more often than not, as is human nature, men fall short of this requirement, desire and need.

If you’ve ever been hurt by human beings in any form, you can relate with this unfaithfulness stings. In my short life, I have experienced people being absent, noy keeping their promises, betrayal of secrets, trust, love, kindness etc. and maybe you have too.

That is why today, more than ever, I am grateful for God’s faithfulness. See faithfulness is not just something that God does but he is. “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 NIV

He is forever faithful. As faithful as he was when he spoke light into the earth, when he parted the red sea, when he preserved the Israelites from the plague, when he delivered Daniel from the lion, when he caused a virgin to give birth, when he raised Jesus Christ from the dead, when he redeemed forever. His faithfulness doesn’t change, or shift neither is it influenced by anything or anyone because he is a self-regulating being.

Let’s celebrate the faithfulness of God. Thank him for his faithfulness. Thank him for the fact that he has stopped being faithful for a second. That his finished work is still finished in 2021 and will remain finished in 3000 (if Christ tarries in returning). Nothing in the weather, government, economy or in your personal life will stop him from being faithful – it is who he is. 

I know it’s not every day we wake up and feel like God is faithful. Trust me again, I have been through situations. I have gone through seasons where I even feared for my life. BUT! if there has been just ONE time in your life where you felt God’s tangible faithfulness, that is proof positive that he is still faithful and will remain so. If he did it before (for anyone one on the planet, living or dead), he can do it again for you. Trust in your faithful Saviour

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32 NIV

Used by permission of CB 

30th October 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Our three kinds of suffering

We experience three kinds of suffering in this life.

One, deserved suffering. We sin, and we suffer misery for it. Sin always spawns misery. It’s all sin can do. So, deserved suffering is inevitable: “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). When our sins catch up with us and we feel the pain, in humility, let’s humble ourselves and accept it.

Deserved suffering is hard to bear. But our suffering can be even harder:

Two, innocent suffering. We do not sin, we do nothing wrong, but we still suffer. A natural disaster brings innocent suffering. Racial prejudice brings innocent suffering. Abortion brings innocent suffering. “Manasseh shed very much innocent blood” (2 Kings 21:16). We should respond to the innocent sufferings of a natural disaster with whatever help we can provide. And we must courageously oppose the powerful who torment the innocent, as much as we are able.

Innocent suffering is horrible. But our sufferings can be even more intense:

Three, righteous suffering. We not only do not sin, but we do what is right, we stand for Jesus and his gospel, and we suffer for it. Why did Cain murder Abel? “Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s were righteous” (1 John 3:12). Abel’s crime was his integrity, which made Cain look bad, and Cain couldn’t stand it. Abel was persecuted for righteousness’ sake (Matt. 5:10). His death was among “the righteous blood shed on earth” (Matt. 23:35). This world dishes out righteous suffering to us all: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). It happens even in churches.

Not all of us will experience the innocent suffering of, say, racial injustice. None of us should experience it. We should all oppose it with every fiber of our beings, no matter what the personal cost. If we chicken out and keep our heads down while innocent people are suffering, we offend our Lord and erode our own credibility. But it is righteous suffering where all of us who love the Lord, every one of us without a single exception, can gather at the feet of Jesus and weep together with the deepest understanding.

Righteous suffering is a powerfully unifying force in the body of Christ. Used by permission of CB

24th October 2021 - Weekly Reflection
What is so important about Christian hope?

If our future is not secured and satisfied by God then we are going to be excessively anxious. This results either in paralyzing fear or in self-managed, greedy control. We end up thinking about ourselves, our future, our problems and our potential, and that keeps us from loving.

In other words, hope is the birthplace of Christian self-sacrificing love. That's because we just let God take care of us and aren't preoccupied with having to work to take care of ourselves. We say, "Lord, I just want to be there for other people tomorrow, because you're going to be there for me."
If we don't have the hope that Christ is for us then we will be engaged in self-preservation and self-enhancement.

But if we let ourselves be taken care of by God for the future—whether five minutes or five centuries from now—then we can be free to love others. Then God's glory will shine more clearly, because that's how he becomes visible. 

When God satisfies us so deeply that we're free to love other people then he becomes more manifest. And that's what we want above all.

What's the difference between a Christian definition of hope and the way it is usually used? The word "hope" in ordinary English vocabulary is generally distinguished from certainty. We would say, "I don't know what's going to happen, but I hope it happens."
When you read the word "hope" in the Bible (like in 1 Peter 1:13—"set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ"), hope is not wishful thinking. It's not "I don't know if it's going to happen, but I hope it happens." That's absolutely not what is meant by Christian hope.

Christian hope is when God has promised that something is going to happen and you put your trust in that promise. Christian hope is a confidence that something will come to pass because God has promised it will come to pass. 

How do we build our hope in God? Hope is a portion or part of faith. Faith and hope, in my mind, are overlapping realities: hope is faith in the future tense. So most of faith is hope.

The Bible says, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). This implies that hope, like faith, is also strengthened by the word of God. Hope comes from reading his precious and very great promises and looking to Christ who purchased them. I would sum it up like this: The most important verse in the Bible for me, probably, is Romans 8:32: He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Now that last part is hope producing! But it's grounded in the rock-solid statement that "God didn't spare his own son."

So the essence of what we look to in the Bible to build our hope is, What has Christ done for me in my sinful condition that enables me to know that I will not come in to judgment and condemnation and that all things are working together for my good? And the answer is that Christ died for me, rose again for me, and therefore all the promises of God are yes in him.
So let's look away from the circumstances that confront us, look to Christ, look to the promises, and hold fast to them. Hope comes from the promises of God rooted in the work of Christ.

Used by permission of CB  

17th October 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Christian Courage

Christian courage is the willingness to say and do the right thing regardless of the earthly cost, because God promises to help you and save you on account of Christ. An act takes courage if it will likely be painful. The pain may be physical, as in war and rescue operations. Or the pain may be mental as in confrontation and controversy.

Courage is indispensable for both spreading and preserving the truth of Christ. Jesus promised that spreading the gospel would meet resistance: "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name" (Matthew 24:9). And Paul warned that, even in the church, faithfulness to the truth would be embattled: "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them" (Acts 20:29-30; see also 2 Timothy 4:3-4).  

Therefore, true evangelism and true teaching will take courage. Running from resistance in evangelism or teaching dishonours Christ. There is a kind of cowardice that tells only the truths that are safe to tell.

Where then shall we get this courage? Consider these pointers.

From being forgiven and being righteous - "The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion" (Proverbs 28:1). "Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, 'Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven'" (Matthew 9:2).

From trusting God and hoping in him - "Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD" (Psalm 31:24; see also 2 Corinthians 3:12).

From being filled with spirit - "They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness" (Acts 4:31).

From God's promise to be with you - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).

From knowing that the one with you is greater than the adversary: -"Be strong and courageous . . . for the one with us is greater than the one with him. With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles" (2 Chronicles 32:7–8).

From being sure that god is sovereign over the battles - "Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what is good in His sight" (2 Samuel 10:12).

Through prayer - "On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul" (Psalm 138:3; see also Ephesians 6:19-20).

From the example of others - "Most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear" (Philippians 1:14).

Used by permission of CB

10th October 2021 - Weekly Reflection
The Love of an Invisible God

God loves you’ is probably one of the most common phrases used by Christians. It is used during church services, when winning souls, to console people in difficult situations, when things are going well and in our daily conversations. These words have become so common that they are gradually becoming a cliché. Have we actually sat down to meditate on the meaning of this simple words? A God, who is unseen, loves me? Is that possible? How does this love manifest?

One of the most common ways of defining the love of God is through the biblical salvation story of Him giving His only Son to come and die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16).

There are other scriptures that describe this love that God has for us including:
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) 

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 136:26)

Apart from what we know from the Bible, the love of this ‘invisible’ God is so ubiquitous. It is expressed in the most simple forms that we are beginning to take them for granted. It is now a normal phenomenon to wake up from bed feeling very healthy and forgetting to say ‘thank you’ to the giver of life. Through our own efforts, we go through days, months and even years of not hearing any bad news. We have worked so hard in school and are gainfully employed; therefore, we are not able to decipher the meaning of God’s love. Everything has become so normal that every gift from God is being seen as results of our hard work.

Before you categorise all of God’s gifts as ‘normal’ things, remember there are people who choked on their food. Some people board buses and are not able to reach their destinations. There are fit and healthy young people who are dying of sudden heart attacks but you wake up each morning and are able to go through the day so effortlessly. 

You remember the day that guy proposed to you or when the lady accepted your love proposal? The way you heart flipped when you vowed to spend your lives together. You ensured your life and day revolved around each other. It is time to transfer this same measure of love or even more to God, the giver of life and the provider of every gift.

As for the love of this ‘invisible’ God, it is indescribable but it can be seen in the most minute forms. If you haven’t spent some time today to say ‘thank you to God,’ this is your chance to do so.

Used by permission of CB  

3rd October 2021 - Weekly Reflection
News from Nigel
One Month in Grenada

Time goes by so fast and yet so much has happened in this past month. I arrived in Grenada on 25th August and stayed in a quarantine Hotel until 28th. It was a very nice hotel and a good chance to get a little used to the heat and on the last day I was able to go out for a wander and my first paddle in the Caribbean Sea.

After getting a temporary Driving licence and a SIM for my phone which did not work, we drove up to my new house at Mac Donald College in St Patrick’s. A lovely house with some amazing views, I sit and eat breakfast on the veranda looking out to sea. It is hot and in most days the temperature ranges between 27 and 33°C most of the day and into the night. I struggled to sleep as it was a debate between having sheets on me to keep away mosquitos and other flying creatures or being too hot and sweating. While some of the windows have mosquito netting some don’t, so do you keep them closed or leave them opened for a slight breeze? I can now sleep better with the mosquito net.

I came at a difficult time for the nation as the Covid19 virus is on the increase and from having very few infected, but there is now over a third of the population. Whilst they have the vaccine the take up has not been so good and many are anxious about the idea of taking it.

When I arrived, the decision to close all schools and revert to online learning had been made and continues. The government provided tablets for Children and access is good when the internet is working well. I am due to be the Chaplin to a Primary school near the Church and MacDonald secondary school where I live. I am very much looking forward to the role, but apart from a positive meeting with the primary principle nothing has happened yet.

I have since been trying to engage with the Samaritan Church community and have had one live service my second day here and 4 Zoom service with the whole Presbyterian Church of Granada. I have been involved in this. I have walked across to the Community 9 times which takes me about an hour each way. What is the say: ‘Mad dogs and English men go out in the midday sun’ it gives me a chance to chat to people along the way and I am getting known.

When I arrived, I had to drink a lot as I loose so much water through sweat and spent the next day refilling. I am sure the Hills and heat is good for me and I think I am getting fitter and slimmer. I do have a car to drive, but I prefer to walk whilst I have the time to do so. The bends and steepness of roads means a constant tooting of the horn and I have to keep changing sides when walking just so to be seen by oncoming traffic.

Once you hit the Samaritans community you have three villages, described as prongs to a folk and so climbing the hills up to them is the next challenge. I have chatted to so many people introducing myself as the new Minister and the word has go around and I get greeted by people I have not yet met. I have had some individual meeting with people leading different things in Church and I am slowly getting a picture and some understanding.
It has been great to visit the people who are housebound (‘locked in’s’ called here) we have prayed and sung and chatted. Last week we started our first Prayer meeting on Zoom and today as part of the National call to prayer and reflection we have had 3 sessions on Zoom, one a Family time type session on the theme of prayer.

It does feel isolated here especially after 6.30pm when it gets dark. The house is in the school ground with only distant houses, so I get out as much as I can before the 7pm Covid19 Curfew. For the past 3 weeks, we have been staying at home from 5pm Friday until 5am Monday. I have had valued Zoom calls and WhatsApp calls from the UK but this will all change when schools open and normal activity resumes. I swam in the seas twice last week and plan to do so again this week. I see fruits on the trees and a lizard roams my bathroom, it’s like the Garden of Eden.

There is plenty of chance for reading and I have found some places with a gentle breeze to do this. God speaks in a gentle breeze
1 Kings 19:11-13 

God said: 11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Do stay in touch my email remains the same, I can set up a Zoom call or speak on ‘WhatApps’ when I am in the house pastornigel19@yahoo.co.uk

God Bless you all

Nigel Lindsay     

26th September 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Harvest Festival Poem

We bring our gifts:
The first-fruits of our labour,
or perhaps the spare we do not need,
(an offering to mitigate against our greed).

To the church we bring them,
and into the hands of Christ we place them,
and we say, ‘Take this,
and do with it some miracle:
Turn water into wine again,
or multiply my loaves and fish to feed a crowd again.’

And Jesus takes them from our hand,
this fruit of the ocean, this product of the land,
and blesses them, accepting back
what always was the Lord’s.
Our gifts will fill the lack

of hungry people,
putting flesh on words
of charity, and making folk in our small corner of the world
more equal.

We know there is enough for everyone.
But once the leftovers are gone –
taken to the homeless, hungry poor –
what of those twelve empty baskets standing idly by?
Can there yet be more that we can ask our Lord to multiply?

Into those baskets therefore let us place ourselves,
those parts of us that need transforming,
grace and strength and healing,
the gifts in us that need to be increased and shared
with a greater generosity than we may be prepared to offer on our own account.

For we are God’s rich and splendid bounty,
seeds, sown and scattered by the Lord in every place.
the human race:
the crowning glory
of the ever-evolving creation story.
We thank the Lord
that he does not just separate wheat from tare,
but takes our very best then turns us into far more than we are.

Used by permission of FAB 

19th September 2021 - Weekly Reflection
How Do You Get God’s Peace?

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).

God has promised to give you peace of mind. In fact, one of God’s names is Jehovah Shalom, which means, “I am the God of peace.”

Finding peace is one of our deepest needs. If God has promised peace of mind but you don’t have it, why? Here are three things that may be robbing you of peace:

We lose our peace when circumstances are uncontrollable.

Much of life is beyond our control. We sit in gridlocked traffic and miss an important event. A couple keeps trying desperately—but unsuccessfully—to have a baby. Someone loses their job unexpectedly and wonders how they will provide for their family. When these things—big or small—happen, we get frustrated and lose our peace of mind. 

We lose our peace when people are unchangeable. 

The quickest way to lose your cool is to try to change somebody else. Most people are just not going to change the way you want them to. Even when we know it won’t work, we still try to do it! And it keeps us from being peaceful.

We lose our peace when problems are unexplainable.

We know life isn’t fair. Things don’t always turn out right. And when we don’t know why, we get anxious, nervous, and stressed.

Accepting God’s peace doesn’t mean your life will be problem-free. It means that even when your world seems to be falling apart, you will be able to think clearly and sleep peacefully.
How do you get God’s peace in your life? God’s peace is not something you work for or beg for. It’s a gift you receive by faith. Turn to God in prayer. Tell him what’s on your mind. Focus on his goodness. And his peace that passes understanding will fill your heart and mind.

Used by permission of FAB

12th September 2021 - Weekly Reflection

As we go about our busy lives, we take for granted that everything will continue to go as planned. In fact, most days go on about the same as the others before. But on occasion, God works in unusual ways and the status quo gets rattled.

When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. Isaiah 64:3

Unfortunately, God sometimes uses hard times to get our attention or to help us to see His Will in our lives. Most of the time, these troubles make life harder and we long for the days when each day was a dull as the last. But something amazing happens when God works in unusual ways to make us focus on Him, we grow in Him. During these times, we seek out answers and, in doing so, we find God waiting.

God likes to work in ways that we are not expecting. It is only in these times that we can see the mountains quake. If God solved all of our problems instantly, the hard times would not be used to His glory.

God could have kept Daniel out of the lion’s den. But He wouldn’t have been able to show that He is faithful to those that love Him. He could have kept Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace. But He would not have been able to show that He protects the faithful. There are many other examples in the Bible in which God shows us His power during dark times.

Next time things are not going the way you expected, remember God may be using this opportunity to show you something different. Realize that God works in unusual ways. Do not get discouraged but try to be hopeful. Soon you will be able to see the mountains quake in your life.

Used by permission of FAB

5th September 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Experiencing Jesus in a Storm

In the book of Mark, chapter six, we read that the disciples got into a boat, at night, and took out across the sea. In their obedience to Jesus, the disciples ran directly into a storm. Their obedience literally took them into the nucleus of a disaster.

I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means you will never have to face any storms. I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means that the waters of life will always be calm. I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means life will be rosy and all of your days sweet. But I can’t.

These disciples were following Jesus, and they ran right into rough seas. The disciples discovered, as many of us have also discovered, that you can be both in the center of God’s will, and still in a storm. 

There is a lot of preaching today as well as many Christian books that tell you that if you follow Jesus, then you will never have to face any challenges in life. That wasn’t true for Jesus or for anyone else I know who has followed Him. Following Jesus doesn’t offer immunity from troubles. What it does give is the opportunity to experience Him in the midst of the trouble.

Life comes with troubles, regardless of whether or not you follow Jesus. You get to choose if you want Him to join you in your troubles, or if you’d rather go through them alone. Experiencing Jesus in the storm allows you the chance to see His power over whatever it is you are facing in your life. Keep your eyes focused on Him, and experience the calm that focus brings your way.

Used by permission of Tony Evans 

29th August 2021 - Weekly Reflection

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

“Do everything for the glory of God”. We have all heard of this before, but what does it look like? If you were to analyse your life right now i.e., your lifestyle, mannerisms, attitude etc, would they be glorifying God? We are not perfect, hence why we need Jesus to guide us, but if our aim as Christians is to become more like Him (1 Corinthians 11:1), then we must seek to do what is right (Isaiah 1:17).

 We are bound to make mistakes, something God knows full well, but one step to making the world a better place is to reflect on our words and actions. “Is what I am doing pleasing to God?”, “Am I a changed person now that Christ is in me?”. We are quick to point the finger at politicians and others in authority when they fail but disremember that we too have fallen short of God’s Kingdom (Romans 3:23).

One way we can make the world a better place is by showing genuine love to others and not false love. Our world is full of manipulation, unkindness and pretence, but God wants us to embrace people with open arms just as He embraces us. We all want to be loved, but do we love others? If we come to church on a Sunday to worship and sing praises to God and yet we curse others on the next day, is that glorifying God?

 Love is God’s greatest commandment to us, to love Him and to love one another which is not easy for us to do especially if we have been betrayed or hurt by someone we love. But when we show the love of Christ to others, it heals our broken world and restores the relationships God yearns for us to have.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for loving me with an unfailing love. I am overwhelmed by the mercy, grace and compassion you bestow on me. I know I am undeserving of it, and I fail to live up to your Kingdom. I am sorry and I ask for your forgiveness and create me anew. Help me to do what is right when my flesh fails me to do the opposite, give me the strength to love others even when it’s hard and fill me with courage to make a meaningful (worthwhile) impact in the world.


Blogger –Chidinma

22nd August 2021 - Weekly Reflection

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

As I have grown in my journey as a Christian, the meaning of this verse has become much clearer. We’ll inevitably find ourselves in positions where all we can do it trust God, which isn’t always easy. When you look at the situations around the world, be it in Afghanistan or Greece, we feel as though trusting God is useless. “If there is a God then why am I suffering?”, “If God is loving then why are His people living in despair?” These are questions that may have crossed your mind and you want answers to.

Don’t get me wrong, the injustices around the world are unfair and disheartening. Their presence however doesn’t mean that God no longer loves us or has turned His back on us. We must go against our fleshly ways of leaning on to our own understanding and put our trust in the Almighty God. He sees the suffering of our world and it pains Him deeply. We have the hope for a better tomorrow, where the world is free from suffering and hardship simply because Jesus lives. When He died on that Cross, He rebuked any illness, difficulty or hardship that had the power to overcome us. The blood He shed is potent enough to carry us through all our trials – “Greater is He that is in me, than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

Chidinma means “God is good” – a true testament to God’s faithfulness in my life. God has showered me with blessings, from friends and family to an amazing education. I have so much to be thankful for. This doesn’t mean I haven’t faced challenges, but I know that they don’t last forever because the One who created me thinks good and not evil towards me.

Soon I will embark on a new chapter in my life, living home and starting university – moving away from home and living and studying independently can be a big step for me. While I am excited for what God has in store for me, I am very much aware that I will be faced with many challenges. I might not know exactly what they are, but I do know that the same God who has always been with me will be beside me as I face them. I ask that you would pray for God to continue to give me wisdom and discernment, hope and strength, determination and tenacity.

God loves us despite our mistakes, failures and disappointments. Trust Him and keep your eyes fixed on Him because HE IS ABOVE ALL THINGS.
Blogger –Chidinma 

15th August 2021
Weekly Reflection

Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian. Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord.

The Bible speaks much of prayer. But, sometimes, too often, we ignore prayer and seek to accomplish in the strength of our own wills those things that we desire to have or happen. For those of us who are too often guilty of this, we need to bow our knees, confess our sin, receive God's forgiveness, and beg that the will of the Lord be done above our own. God is sovereign and loving and He knows what is best for us and others, even if it doesn't always seem to make the most sense. 

We so often come to the Lord with legitimate requests for healing, conversions, and needs and yet the answers we hope for often do not come. We wonder and sometimes doubt. Yet, we persevere and praise God. We pray because we know that God hears us and because we desire to see results. We should pray by faith, trusting God. We should pray consistently, trusting God. We should pray for healing, trusting God. We should pray for others, trusting God. We should pray and when our prayers are answered or are not answered remember this: If we knew what the Lord knew, we wouldn't change a thing.

Prayer changes the one praying because in prayer, you are in the presence of God as you lay before Him your complete self in confession and dependence. There is nothing to hide when in quiet supplication we are reaching into the deepest part of ourselves and admitting our needs and failures. In so doing, our hearts are quieted and pride is stripped and we enjoy the presence of God. James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

There is another benefit of prayer: peace. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus," (Phil. 4:6-7).

I suppose that we can test our prayer life and dependence upon God by the peace or lack of peace in our hearts. In all things we are to seek the Lord and in His continued presence. Peace will surely be our gain.

Prayer is the practice of the presence of God.

Used by permission of Ben Cerullo 

8th August 2021 - Weekly Reflection
What thoughts come to mind when you hear the word dementia?

Does it just affect older people or it’s about forgetfulness/memory loss? There are lots of thing that we should be aware of when it comes to dementia
Earlier last month, I attended a Dementia Awareness training at work, then on 22 July I conducted the 4th Sunday Interview with Tim, a volunteer from the Alzheimer’s Society.

The lockdown has affected us all, but people with dementia were worst hit due to lack of social interactions and loss of daily routine. I am amazed that many people I know have a loved one affected by dementia.

The Awareness training highlighted that we could be working with colleagues who have dementia. This made me to think how can we know or be able to tell if someone worshiping with us or using our building possibly had dementia? More importantly, do we know, as a church, how to be dementia friendly?

The training also made me to think about the different ways that I can make use of the services that I’m involve in accessible to those with dementia. As I listened to Tim, I wonder what we can do to ensure that our church is accessible and can be used in a way to benefit those with dementia.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia. Currently there are approx. 850,000 across the UK, who have been diagnosed with dementia. I believe we, as a church should educate ourselves and create a Dementia Friendly Community/Cafe or become Dementia Champions, as these are some of the things we could put into action.

If you think this is something that you would be interested, then let me know and we can create a dementia friendly community within the church. I have lots of ideas, but I can’t do it on my own and would like to get you all involved.

Whether we know someone or not, no matter our age or heritage, we are obligated to love one another. I believe we can use our church to support the local community and will also help us to learn and understand how to support people living with dementia.

“My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people say they have faith but do nothing to show it? Claiming to have faith can’t save anyone, can it?” James 2:14
“Instead of each person watching out for their own good should watch out for what is better for others”. Philippians 2:4
“Contribute to the needs of God’s people and welcome strangers into your home”. Romans 12:13

Blogger – Marilyn A.

1st August 2021 - Weekly Reflection

During the recent updates for restrictions in church due to the Covid Pandemic I found myself constantly checking when we would be allowed to sing in Church again. The House of Commons finally announced: “There will no limits on the number of people who can attend life events such as weddings and funerals, and there will be no restrictions on communal worship or singing.” – ALLELUIA.

I checked out the Methodist church website and it has now been advised singing is allowed but masks must remain on. How lovely it was to be able to sing in church again, last Sunday albeit behind a mask.

For many of us who attended the in- person worship service after the first lockdown, turning up at a church service but not being able to sing was both strange and hard. Attending church as a child, my first recollection was the singing. Services always had singing. I heard a comment recently “why go if you cannot sing? Stay at home on Zoom –you can sing to your heart’s content, although not for my poor husband who has to suffer my out of tune renditions.

For me whilst in lockdown since March 2020, no singing has increased my focus on prayer and maybe that is fitting. In the midst of a Pandemic prayers are needed for every situation, prayers for the world, for the Government and the Health service, for our community, our families and friends. Some of us met weekly on Zoom to offer our prayers for those in need.

Many of us were both saddened and shocked to hear the death of Hannah Cole. For me I instantly recalled her singing, I could hear her voice clearly to my right whilst in church especially if the tune was unfamiliar or not in time with the majority.

The Bible never says, let those who can sing, sing, as if it was a spiritual gift. ... The Bible just says “Sing!” Over and over, dozens of times, we are commanded to sing - to sing praises, sing joyfully, sing a new song to the Lord and to come into God's presence with singing.

As we move forward, sadly without Nigel leading us in worship with actions, let’s “Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul Worship His Holy name, Sing like never before Oh my soul.

10,000 reasons for my heart to find" to praise God. ...A song enumerates various attributes of the love of God for mankind that makes him worthy of "praise unending", worship for "ten thousand years and then forevermore".

Blogger - Sue Stinson

25th July 2021 - Weekly Reflection

It is sad to be leaving after such a short time with you. I still have lots of ideas and energy and loved working with the diverse community that is in East Ham. Over the past two years it has been great getting to know many of you. Some I have had lots of contact with and some very little and I am sorry that is has not been possible to get to know some of you better.

A big thank you for all the cards and gifts people have given me, the laptop case will come in so useful and all the other things, too many to mention are much appreciated.

There is still lots to do on 28th I plan to move all my stuff to be in storage to a friend in Eastbourne. I have packed some boxes to go to Grenada, but getting quotes and getting them off is complicated. Much stuff has gone to my sister’s loft and my car will be my storeroom until it has to be got rid of at the end of August. Much paperwork has to be sorted. I will be at the house from about 10.30am on Thursday 29th to do final cleaning of both the house and the garden. If you are free bring your own refreshments and you can be part of the cleaning team. Do ring to check first.

I will be at the Curry, Cake and Table top sale on Sat 31st from 9am setting up if you can help that will be great and starts from 11-2pm then the clearing up starts. I will be then off but back for Emmanuel’s funeral on Wed 4th August. I am due to fly out on 25th August.

I believe it is the job of the minister to work himself out of a job: By encouraging and empowering people to step up using their God given gifts. Each of you are special in God’s sight and he has placed you in this place to be part of a community of Christian believers. As a community you can grow in your own faith and in numbers, but it needs people to step forward. In some ways I have not been here long enough to help you very far on this journey, but I hope I have encouraged you to know there is more and there is always more when we walk this faith pathway.

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life.

God Bless you all, keep me in your prayers as I will do the same for you.


18th July 2020 - Weekly Reflection

The welcoming and fellowshipping with believers and non-believers out of truth and love for Jesus Christ so that they may see Christ…

God has commanded that we be hospitable people. Hospitality is not about elaborate meals or perfectly groomed homes. Some of the most enjoyable meals are made with few ingredients and shared outside on the beach or in a park.

Some of us may be saddened that we are unable to “bring and Share food following Nigel’s farewell Service on Sunday. Hopefully there will be an opportunity to do this before he travels to Grenada and food after Harvest and Anniversary Services will return.

Many of you will know I have worked within the Catering industry for over 30 years, an occupation that gives me great pleasure to offer food to friends and family and the wider Community. In my role as Community Cafe Manager at St Bartholomew’s, volunteering with the Newham Night shelter and eating breakfast on a Saturday with the Vulnerable has provided both an insight and debate.

The monthly Cafe Cake and Curry also allows us to offer hospitality to both believers and non-believers. In doing so hopefully many see Christ working within us especially during the current times when many people feel lonely and needing company, food and friendship.

Due to start soon in the Myrtle Hall will be our further offer of Hospitality to the Community in conjunction with FOODCYCLE.


To make food poverty, loneliness and food waste a thing of the past for every community.


Week in, week out we nourish the hungry and lonely in our communities with delicious meals and great conversation, using food which would otherwise go to waste.

Connect communities:

Help strengthen and build resilient communities by bringing people together to share healthy and delicious meals.

Support Mental health and wellbeing:

enhance the health and mental wellbeing of all by creating welcoming spaces for people from all backgrounds and walks of life to have conversations together.

Nourish the hungry:

Improve nutrition and reduce hunger by cooking healthy meals for those in need, leading to improve food knowledge and changes in behaviour.

Promote sustainability:

Change attitudes to food and society’s impact on the environment by cooking with surplus ingredients.
Volunteers for the Project and the Cafe, Curry activity are needed. Roles Include cooking, serving or hosting. Commitment is minimal- “a few hours on a Saturday or a Tuesday.”

Let us all contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:13

Blogger - Sue Stinson

11th July 2021 - Weekly Reflection
What Next

This is your newsletter. I am never sure how many people read it, but over the last two years I have written a reflection most weeks. Now it is your turn. If you have a reflection, a poem, a song you have written do pass it on to Mary before 5pm on a Wednesday evening for inclusion.

Maybe you could write about something you have passion for and who knows there may be someone else who shares that passion.

This is your Church and I am sure you have a vision for how it moves forward as we emerge out of Covid19. Do speak to your Church council about how you can help the Church move forward. Is Church for you an hour on a Sunday or is it an involvement with others to grow the church and a community of people caring and sharing with each other?

This is your Faith Journey, is it limited to what someone tells you at the Sunday service or do you read your Bible? Do you pray? Do you get together with other Christians to encourage and challenge each other? Do you serve in some way?

What Next?

That is up to YOU!


God bless your week - Nigel

4th July 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Moving on

As we come to the start of July, I realise that I only have one month to go here in East Ham. The time has come around so quick and there is still lots to do. Over these last months since my resignation, I have tried to continue activities which we had started together. Some have worked but for one reason or another some have pulled less people than before. I had hoped there may be people step forward to take a lead and I am so grateful to the new team that have taken on leading the Youth group and I am confident that it will go from strength to strength.

I am aware that some people have run out of energy and things they have done before Covid19 are more of a challenge. Some have spent the time re-evaluating their priorities and are changing focus. Some are still scared to engage in community activities and some have got used to sitting at home and Zooming in to stuff from all over with little effort and a cup of Coffee.

I have been trying to do a few things outdoor but the weather has not been helpful and I know some have enjoyed singing in the Car Park at the end of PW church and I think our two Table top sales have gone well.

I know that my decision to leave has been a disappointment to many and possibly a joy to some. I am sure it is the right decision although my move to Grenada is still not certain as I wait for the arrival of my papers in Grenada so they can apply for a work permit (I welcome your prayers for this.) I will be sorry to leave East Ham the cultural diversity, the friendly people, the chats I have in the park and outside of Church. I can see there is so much we could have done together in reaching out to our local communities and growing together on our faith journeys.

In resigning on 21st March, I had wanted to give the Churches the most time possible to get things into place. I am just sorry that we are still in some uncertainty. (Just to explain: As a Methodist minister when you curtail, you are still a minster in the Methodist church and they will find you a new posting. As a Congregational Minister if I resign, I am unemployed and would have to apply for a new job thus I needed to have something in place before I resigned and it is very unlikely the new post is going to wait over a year for you to come.) I have however been trying my best to make sure things are in order for the end of July.

Some of you may still have questions and I am very happy to answer them.

God Bless us as we move together over this last month.


27th June 2021-Weekly Reflection
Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-26 22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

If you had to rate yourself on how good you were at the 9 different ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ how would you do. Like all of us I am sure you are better at some than others, but that should not stop us working towards getting better at them all. If you want to know more, then do join us for the Bible study on Tuesday Night on Zoom 7.30pm. This week we looked at Self-Control. You must all be better than me when it comes to custard cream biscuits.

We all may be strong in some areas of our lives but weak in others when it comes to self-control. When you stop doing it is good to fill the gap with something more wholesome or you may be tempted to fill it with something which is just as bad or the same again.

We also looked at Gentleness or Meekness as in some translation. Interestingly meekness is different from gentleness. Those who are persecuted for their faith show meekness in their strength for their faith

God bless your week - Nigel

5th July 2020 - Weekly Reflection

I am excited that I will be doing my first Baptism/Christening in East Ham this Sunday. It will be for Kashay the Great-grandson of Rosetta. Some Churches have the tradition of Baptising Adults/ people when they make the decision for themselves to follow Jesus. Other Churches will baptise infants and expect parent, family, church and sometimes Godparents to help the child grow up in the Christian faith and make a commitment at confirmation or membership. Some will do both and I will always talk to parents about the commitment they are making.

It is so important that we welcome Children and Young people in our Church. Having something ready to engage them as they are welcomed at the door. PW have agreed to have a young person’s steward/advocate to greet young people as they come in and to make sure they have some age-appropriate activity to engage with and that will start from this week.

Mark 10:13-16 The Little Children and Jesus

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Jesus was welcoming the Children and said that we should be like little children as we accept his gift of living in his Kingdom. We should be ready with a welcome and our great team will be trying their best, but we do need everyone to play their part and not say or do anything which will put families off. Think before you speak or tutting. What can you do to welcome people?   

God bless your week - Nigel

13th June 2020 - Weekly Reflection

It is amazing how much you accumulate. I was talking with someone outside the Church on Tuesday at Chat and she was saying they have just taken so many bags to the Charity shop, possessions of a relative who had just died. I have only been at Henniker Gardens for less that too years and I have so much to move to a new home, I have moved a lot.

I live in 9 different houses in Nigeria over two years and travelled to different beds in village and town at least every two weeks. Even in the UK I have lived in many locations the longest being Eastbourne but even then in different places. Some of you may have been in one place for so long. Just think of all the things you have accumulated that someone will have to sort out.

The earth is not our long-term home and we should travel light sometimes our possessions are our security blanket, but at times they stop us from moving on. I know I collect things thinking they will become useful in the future and by the time the future comes I had forgotten I have saved something or cannot remember where it is kept.

This is Refugee week, if you had to pack a bag and run what would you carry in your bag? Maybe never to be able to go back and collect other things. Jesus family fled Bethlehem to Egypt as refugees. How 

God bless your week - Nigel

6th June 2021 - Weekly Reflection

Mark is the shortest of the Gospels written, but does seem to have many verses in its Chapters. It was written before the other 3 gospels and Luke and Matthew used some of the material as a base for their writing.

On Tuesday during the weekly Chat, someone asked me why the Gospels have different accounts of Jesus’ life and I can understand. Why not just one accounts? But they wrote of different audiences and from different viewpoints. I think that gives it more credibility and all were written within the life time of people who would have known and could have challenged any untruth.

Over this month of June, the Circuit will be looking in more detail into the book of Mark and we will be doing this at services and in our Bible study. You will have heard of the Alpha Course, but less know is Christianity explored which uses the book of Mark as its base.

Do join us on Tue 7.30pm for our Zoom Bible study on Mark on the following dates. 15th, 22nd 29th June and 6th July. I have moved back to Tues as we had less people on Wednesday.

My thanks to all who came and supported the first outdoor Curry, Cake and Table sales on 29th May. God was good to us with the weather. A special thanks to those who came early to set up from 9am and those who stayed to 4pm clearing up. It is great being outside, but there was a lot of work involved in moving things out and in. I do hope 26th June will go as well and it is down to you to promote it amongst friends, work and family.

God bless your week - Nigel

30th May 2021 - Weekly Reflection
When Do We Support Something?

I did not get to watch the Eurovision Song contests and I wonder if you did or did you try to watch the Glastonbury Festival which had technical problems?

The UK has not done well for many years now and it may not be to do with the Song but it’s all politics going on there. People voting for friend countries, neighbours. If I vote for them then they will vote for us, it may help with our trade negotiations or they may invite me for a meal?

Does this happen in Church when we elect those to be on our leadership team or support an activity or not. Does it depend on who is already on the team or as to whether we put ourselves forward to join or not? I know with some Young people they will come if their friend is going to come, they will be part of a team if their mate is taking part.

On Sunday at Church, I mentioned that God has brought us together as a body of Christians and within that group all the gifts and skills are represented. It needs us to step forward and take on the challenge of using our gifts and maybe a greater challenge of working alongside others who would not naturally be our friends to hang out with.

As we come back to Church next week, I pray that we can all work together as a body united to serve our community. I will just have two months until I leave you and I hope in that time we can work out a strategy for winning with God over this next period.

I said I would report back who made contact with me following my item in the newsletter last week. The Answer is no one across both Churches. The question is what does that mean?

God Bless your week.


23rd May 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Coming Back to Church

I wonder how many of will be coming back to Church when we reopen on 6th June. I am looking forward to seeing people again. Maybe you will need to come with a picture frame and hold it in front of your face so I can recognise you. On Zoom we are in little boxes.

To start, we will have the same rules as the last time we returned, no singing, wearing of masks, socially distanced in your bubble and no socialising in the building. But we all hope that from 21st June some if not all of these restrictions will be lifted, the Indian variant may have an impact.
We plan to have a 10.30am service at PW, at 11am Service at HSS and we hope to zoom both for those not able to join. Then at 6.30pm there will be Zoom service which will replace the live service that used to be at PW. Anyone is welcome to join, this 6.30pm service will be helpful to those working through the day.

It would be good to get your feedback on the Bible study and Prayer meetings and may need people to step forward to lead them if they are to continue. I know HSS plan to have a live Bible study at 10am for 30-45 minutes.

Youth group will continue on Zoom 6-7pm Tues, but other Young people activities we have yet to discuss. Walk and Talk can continue as a Bible study/exercise on Monday 4-5pm do come and join and maybe there could be more at other time. Just need a few people to take a lead.

I wonder what Jesus would have done in this situation? He would have wanted us to love our neighbour and that would have been about keeping everyone safe. He I think would have wanted us to step out and use this new start as a way of freeing from the shackles of the past and doing something new.

New does not mean abandoning Jesus Kingdom Values, but engaging with them were Jesus become more of the centre and the structures become less important.

Do me a favour, if you have read this thank you, just ring or email me to let me know. I will let you know how many next week.
Let’s pray that God gives us vision


16th May 2021 - Weekly Reflection

This week has been both Christian Aid and Mental Health Awareness week. I think if we look through our diaries, we will find there is a day for everything and maybe a week for everything and it is difficult to keep up.

Christian Aid work with some of the poorest communities across the world and have been around for 50 years now. Over the years, I have delivered envelopes and collected money from the doorstep. I have done sponsored walks and jumble sales, quizzes and shows. Last year their income was affected as much fundraising was prevented due to covid19. Then with governments cutting their Aid budget, some project such as the Congregational Federation in Kenya was about to support have ended. What that means for the Orphaned children it was due to support I do not know?

Any money we raise will now go to a Covid19 Fund to support poor communities.

Is there a connection between Mental Health and Christian Aid? I think there is, in that we have to meet people basic needs like food, water, shelter, healthcare before we can meet their emotional and spiritual needs. WHAT DO YOU THINK? As humans, we thrive when our holistic needs are met and so often today bits of us are put in separate compartments. In Churches we may be in danger of doing that, but a Church should be a place for the whole person.

There is evidence that those who are regular part of a Church have better mental and physical health. Jesus gives us hope for the future and our connection with him allows us to unload, praise and knowing that he is there for us. We also get to support each other from that community. We were not made to be on our own and we need that connection with our creator and with others.

It is often those at the bottom of the pile who have the most challenges. We need Christian Aid, even fundraising for it give us a sense of purpose and of community.
Let’s be a holistic community which supports each other in every need.

God bless your walk


9th May 2021 - Weekly Reflection

What is a Miracle?

The definition from the Cambridge dictionary:
An unusual and mysterious event that is thought to have caused by a god because it does Or A very lucky event that is surprising and unexpected :
Today we can give some much more explanation for why things happen, the wonder and praise to God has been lost.

With our knowledge of mental health, science and the human body we can explain away, what was a mystery in the past? Miracles are not just about healing as we see from the account of Jesus turning water into wine and Moses parting the red sea for the Israelites to cross. They have not only been performed by Jesus but Moses, Elisa, Peter and others, but all we need is to be connected to God in order to perform these amazing and often unexplained acts.

Over the next few weeks, during our Wed Bible study we are going to look at why Jesus performed these wonders. When we get the answer maybe we can get back to you. If you are unable to join us and have the time do read through some of the miracles in the gospels and then ponder why?

Maybe just look around you and see the wonder. When walking in the park, I wonder at how the tree grows so beautiful, the daffs, and the squirrel climbing the tree. We just become so used to what God provides and maybe looking at it through the eyes of a baby just exploring their new world. It is all a miracle.

We often think of healing miracles and the big question is why God heals at times and not on other times? That could be subject for another newsletter and one we have talked about in questions about God.

This week just revert to being a child in wonder! God walk and talk with you as you connect to him.


2nd May 2021 - Weekly Reflection
‘Getting the Balance,
But Not Just Resting’
Check out Romans 12: 1-8   

I am excited that we are slowing coming out of lockdown as more have vaccine and many have had second doses. The makeup of our Churches is of older people who have done so much over the years, but are now wanting to rest and slightly younger ones who are busy at work. Not many in the next age group as many have left Church or moved to other Churches. Then our Young people who have energy, ideas, but need older people to give them a chance and enable them.

I do not think we should spend all our time at Church and in a Church bubble. But we do need people to step forward to do their part else our Churches will just plod on struggling to keep going. At the same time, we need to engage with other groups in our community so that we can invite them to be part too. We need to reach out to others and not expect them to come to us. Jesus stepped out into his community and engaged. But he also gave time to God in prayer and worship in the synagogue.

Balance is important and it is not easy to get that right. Some of us spend too much time doing and not being and some spend all their time being and not doing.

1 Corinthians 12: 7 talks of the gift of the Holy Spirit are given for the common good. They are not just for us to hold ourselves to benefit ourselves, but the whole of our Christian community. We have seen these past Sundays that our Young people have so much to give us. I am sure that with the opportunity many more in our Churches have unique gifts to give. We need you to step forward and we have so much to do.

PW will have a Church Meeting on 15th May 2pm at the Church (see invite) and I hope all will come and contribute. HSS will have their AGM on 13th June and I hope again all will come. Let us pray and seek the mind of Christ.


25th April 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Reflection: ‘Is this trafficking?’

Some of you may have seen Kennedy who I have been supporting in Kenya. He came to a Zoom service or two. He had offer of an Education placement in Canada for able young people in Africa who came from a difficult back ground.

He travelled to Uganda for an orientation and then returned home. This week he travelled to South Africa for a journey on to Vancouver in Canada where his course will start. After arrive in Johannesburg he was accommodated in a Hotel for a night and then moved with others to some accommodation in Soweto and his passport and card with money on has been taken. He has been separated from others and today the last I heard from him he was running away from someone who wanted to put him in a van. I may not have the whole story.

I have tried to contact the organisation who was sponsoring to training project, but have had no reply. Trafficking is still taking place at this very moment!

Here in East Ham, I see vans of people being dropped off at a house or picked up from a house. Where are they from and where are they going? We know that some places that provide cheep service like nail bar and Car washes may have trafficked people. Some will end up in prostitution or working for long hours with no pay and passport take from them.

Our Bible talks about standing up for the oppressed and marginalised. How can we do this? The mayoral election and council elections are coming up and chance to use your vote for good. Do check out what they are saying and vote for the best candidate who will speak out for the poor and hold them to account.

Jesus would do this.

I will let you know what happens to Kennedy as I hear more. Do pray for him.


18th April 2021 - Weekly Reflection

This week was the start of our ‘Walk and Talk’ in Central park we meet at 4pm at the bus turnaround end of the park. Walk and talk for a bit, stop for rest and read a Bible passage, debate and discuss and then move on to another bench. You can either walk with the slow or the fast group.

Isn’t it great to get out and if it’s sunny that is a bonus? I am not good at staying in and seem to spent a lot of my time staring at a computer. I take every opportunity to get out and meet and talk.

It is important to get balance. Jesus was good at that. Out in the countryside walking from one place to another talking to people wherever they were. Travelling through places where you meet people not from your own tribe, the woman at the well is a case in point. But he also spent time praying in quiet places, he also stood up for justice in places he could be seen and heard. 

No one came to walk and talk this week. I did wonder if people would remember, but I was disappointed. It would have been great to meet up again to have those social chat alongside going deeper into our Bible understanding. Maybe some will come this week?

I walked away disappointed, but that is something I have been used to, I would rather try something and be out than to sit at home away from many. I walked through the park and a man I have got to know through the lockdown invited me to be goal keeper. He was getting worn out with his son and sons’ friend. I played in goal and then played badminton with him. I had a great time. I do find that when one door closes another open. But we just have to be ready to step out and be open to God leading. 

As I sat at my desk typing the Newsletter; the sun is shining and I would like to be out in the park playing football. Ask me the next time you see me whether I stayed in or went out. What is God plan today?  


11th April 2021 - Weekly Reflection

The theme of Spring Harvest this year is about worship, which is quiet fitting after the circuit has been running a ‘Worship Leaders’ course. I have been listening and seeing what Spring Harvest are doing and saying, but I am not sure they have got it all in place yet. I wonder what you think Worship is about? What definition would you come up with?

In some Churches they say let us now worship and hand over to a band or music group to lead sung worship. But Sung worship for me is just part of the many different ways people can worship. In the ‘Big Start’ (an All-Age event at Spring Harvest at the start of the day) I think they have got it right. They had a couple of young people do Gymnastics, they had a young man doing gardening and planting and growing blobs. Yesterday they had a woman doing painting and sculptures and someone dancing. You see sung worship is only part of the picture.

It is amazing that God has created us all unique and with different learning styles and differ ways of expressing our joy, our excitement, our dedication, our reverence, our praise. In fact, our Worship. How do you worship God? How do you connect with him?

If we are to be Church for all people, what we have traditionally done as worship is fine for the small and getting smaller group of people who do come? But other have voted with their feet. As we come out of lockdown and return to our Churches what can we do to worship in a way which engages with not Just US, but with those in our community who want to be part but just do not connect the way we do.

As you know I have been a Scout for most of my life and what I like about scouting is that we don’t expect people to connect all in the same way. That is why we have an active programme with different ways of doing things. We are not a football team or a knot tying group or a hiking group. We do a little of all giving young people the chance to decide what they want to go deeper about what they want to perfect.

Worship should be done in different ways if Church is the front door to a Christian faith journey. People can latter focus in the way they connect to the Saviour. God never changes, Jesus’ message never changes, but as society changes the way we deliver it has to change. What do you think?

God Bless this first week after Easter, As Jesus appeared to his disciples and gave them purposes and mission. I pray he appears to us and moves us. 


4th April 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Death is Not the End 

Can I start by wishing you a Happy Easter as we celebrate the Risen Lord which brings us hope for the future? Over these weeks since the new year I have gone out as it gets dark and have turned on my Christmas outdoor light which I moulded into saying the word HOPE. As people came down the top end of the park, they have seen it and it has become a talking point. As Christians we have Hope because Jesus Christ died, but that was not the end. 

When they have acted out the ‘Passion of Christ’ in Trafalgar Square on Good Friday (Do go and watching when we can do those things) after Jesus dies people walk away and I want to shout don’t walk away this is not the end. We serve a risen Lord. 

In our last Youth group, we were asking the question what is more important the Death of Jesus on the Cross or the Resurrection. What do you think? Maybe ask one of the young people what we concluded.

Do read the different accounts of the Resurrection in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I take this from Luke

Luke 24:9-119 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.

The disciples thought it was all over, but the women were the first to find that was not the case. Death was not the end of Jesus and if we believe and trust in him it is not the end for us. We can be part of his eternal Kingdom. We don’t need to worry about our future we have room prepared for us. That means we are freed up to be God’s hands and feet here in our communities. Jesus’ love was so great he died for you and me. Our Love for those around us should reflect Jesus’ love. How will you do that?

‘And Now these three remain faith, Hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’ 1 Corinthians 13: 13. 


28th March 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Shock, Sadness and Opportunity…

Many of you would have received my news that I will be leaving at the end of July when I spoke to both churches on Sunday 21st March 2021. If this is the first time you have heard, I am sorry I have not had a chance to speak with you in person. I did try to tell as many people from the Churches I came to serve on the same day as possible.

As you are aware, it has been a challenging time and I have valued the opportunity to get to know you. We have done lots together and still have a few months to do more. As you know I am a Congregational Minister and the members of the church after prayer and the Holy Spirits guidance make the decisions about all aspects of the church’s life. This is not so possible when we are part of a Methodist Circuit and I did not fully understand this when I came.

It takes a while to find a new role and I applied to work with the Council for World Mission and have been called to a Church in Grenada to take up a role as a Chaplin to a Primary and Secondary school. I was hoping to get firm confirmation of this before informing you. But I was also keen to let you all know as soon as possible so plans could be made for your future. The plan is for me to start in Sept 2021. 

I am grateful to all who have expressed their sadness about my leaving plans and the positive comments you have made about what we have done together. I will miss all of you and will miss the diversity of East Ham. BUT we still have months to go and, in that time, let us work out that you as a church want to do and be in this new post Covid19 season. What Can I help you get into place to be beacons of hope for those in our community? This is a new opportunity. God is doing a new thing and he wants all of us to be part of it. 

You are all unique and special. I have seen new things people can do and we need to nurture and grow this gift. What is your task in this plan and what help do you need to put in place? Let’s talk and as Church come together and achieve together.

As the stone was rolled away on Easter Sunday, let our light shine this Easter Sunday.

There is lots going on this week do see above. I will try to send out Zoom links in good time., Do invite others to be part of this Easter week experience. People come because of invitation from Friends.

God bless your week and do phone me if you want to talk.


14th March 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Methodist Way of Life in Lent?

This past week, I attended the Methodist District Synod and we had a great presentation on the Methodist way of life. I have given out some of the cards I had to some of you and will try to get more. 

It reminded me of a small card we used at Moorland’s college when I did my BA. We had been encouraged to get into small groups of 2-3 people who we trusted and could share with on a regular basis. Then used the card to enquire of each other about our Christian Faith journey. It helped us grow as we asked questions about pray life, use of money, our sexual integrity and more.

John Wesley and others met I think weekly with a small group to encourage each other on their Christian journey and the Methodist have this as one of their methods. Called Class groups. It seems to me that some of this has been lost, the meeting together and supporting and challenging each other. We are trying to sort out or pastoral care in both Churches, but this would not stop you from forming a small group of between 2-5 people who can get along and meet regularly and help each other grow in their faith and life journey. 

The questions you can ask are on the card and I will try to get some more. Areas include worship, learning and caring, Service and Evangelism which are all marks of our Christian journey. 

In this Lent time maybe, this is something we can take up and continue after. It does not have to be with people in our own church, it could be with others local to you. Maybe it does not need to be with all who have yet decided to follow Jesus, but it could help them with their journey.

Do let me know how you get on and if you need help or resources. I wonder how many in our Church will step out to do this?

God be with you this 4th week in Lent.


7th March 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Choose to Challenge in Lent?

This Monday is International Women’s Day and in the 21st century it is a shame we still need to have a day to challenge the injustices which women experience every day. In the past years the ‘Me too movement’ has highlighted the abuse suffered by women. Sometimes the Bible has been used to justify women staying in abusive relationship and certainly laws in the past have favoured men.

When I worked and lived in Warno, a small village in northern Nigeria, a very able woman stood to be elected as a Chairperson of the Village development committee, rather it was a less able man who took that role. Culturally they understood that at that time a woman would not command the authority to negotiate with others and get the most for the community. But this woman took the role as treasurer, a trusted position and did a lot of application writing and communication when things need to be done in English. 

If you look through the Bible, we see women in lead roles and back up roles, but all the disciples chosen were men. It was a woman who first saw the risen Christ. 

Our Bible passage this Sunday John 2: 13-22 (have a read) Jesus is challenging the Authorities because of injustice. This week we have heard about Children taken and then released in Zamfara state, northern Nigeria (where I lived for 4 months) We hear of children needing education in Yemen with little funding and yet our government plan to reduce funding. We hear of students paying too much for education in this country and people having to queue at foodbanks and having to squeeze into small room. I believe God wants us to stand up for injustice and not to stay quiet. 

How can you do this through and beyond this Lent period?      


28th February 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Engaging Lent?

Yesterday we had our first E6 group Lent meeting and all who came were maybe expecting something different. It is great that God has made us unique and brought us together. In orchestra you have so many different instruments that come together to make a collective special sound. God has planned that we should not be alone. Some welcome being in their own space and having peace and quiet, but being part of group sometime enhances who we are as individuals. We can learn and grow with each other.

Some may have noticed I am not so good at just staying still, but if I did not have others around me to make me slow down, I would burn out. Equally there are some of us who would quiet be happy to sleep and rest all day and they need those of us who have more energy to encourage them. 

For me the story of Martha and Mary talks about the balance we need to stuck between activity and pondering. Luke 10: 38-42

I can remember when I went to work with a Methodist Church in Fiji in 2007 as I came to this new community, I was given very little to do and had so much time on my hands to just be and reflect. I soon got into action but found that quiet time is valuable for what I then went on to do. It gave me chance to ponder, understand more about the needs of that community and then address some of those needs.

It seems that we may slowly come out of lock down and we have 5 weeks left before Lent. Let us be actively listening to God so that when we emerge, we will be ready for what God has in store for us.

God bless your week and do join us 7.30pm Tue for our second Lent Reflection. Do get the Zoom link and Zoom in.             


21st February 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Why Lent

On Shove Tuesday last year, we gave away about 150 pancakes outside Pilgrims Way. This year that was not possible. Pancake making was to use up stuff we will not then use for this period of reflection. I got the information below from the BBC website (below) and it help to explain. Over the next coming weeks I would encourage us to be reflective and try to make time to connect with God. Do join us for our Zoom Prayer meeting 8am Tue and 5.15pm Wed just for half an hour and find some other time in your busy week to spend time with God.

Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.

Whereas Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus after his death on the cross, Lent recalls the events leading up to and including Jesus' crucifixion by Rome. This is believed to have taken place in Roman occupied Jerusalem.

The Christian churches that observe Lent in the 21st century (and not all do significantly) use it as a time for prayer and penance. Only a small number of people today fast for the whole of Lent, although some maintain the practice on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. It is more common these days for believers to surrender a particular vice such as favourite foods or smoking. Whatever the sacrifice it is a reflection of Jesus' deprivation in the wilderness and a test of self-discipline.

Some today decide to take something up rather than stopping something. Many run 40 days of doing something God for the community a good turn. 

Why 40 days? 40 is a significant number in Jewish-Christian scripture: In Genesis, the flood which destroyed the earth was brought about by 40 days and nights of rain. The Hebrews spent 40 years in the wilderness before reaching the land promised to them by God. Moses fasted for 40 days before receiving the ten commandments on Mount Sinai. Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry.

Most Christians regard Jesus' time in the wilderness as the key event for the duration of Lent.

Do join us on Zoom Tue 7.30p-9pm for our E6 Lent group. I am negotiating with Jews for Jesus to join us on 30th March to tell us about the Passover meal on Zoom. I am also planning a Zoom reflection for 12noon through Holy week and we have yet to plan our Good Friday. Make this Lent count as we emerge into a new season and new day. 


14th February 2021 - Weekly Reflection

Over the next few Sundays, we will be looking at Healing as we have a collection of healings in this first chapter of Mark. If you look from verse 21 onwards, we have the driving out of an evil spirit which Jesus did with authority and then the healing of Peters Mother-in-Law (some Sons and daughters-in-laws would not have been too pleased.) Then we have crowds gathered around the front door for physical healing and casting out demons and then Jesus heals a man with leprosy.

I wonder, did Jesus come to heal? I believe that the healing was his way of showing compassion and caring. A way of engaging with people for them to come and listen to him as he talked to them about the Kingdom of God and that they should turn away from their wrong doings. Then in the middle of Mark’s accounts of the healing is this passage about prayer.

Mark 1: 35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!’38 Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so that I can preach there also. That is why I have come.’ 39 So he travelled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

Why is this bit about prayer in the middle? Surely Mark could have just gone on with all the healing accounts. But know Jesus connected with his father in heaven and Mark knew how important that part was.

In the Old Testament reading for today Elisha heals a man called Naaman. Elisha is the vessel through which the healing takes place but God does the healing. When Jesus prays, he demonstrates that he can be the vessel of God to his disciples. Many of them go on to be the vessel of healing. Healing can only take place when we have that connection with God and that was why the prayer slot is so essential to be in the middle of the healing narratives.

Do come back to me with questions on healing before Wed next week and I will try to answer.

May God bless your week.       


7th February 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Growing Church

In the last week I attended a Zoom conference run by the Methodist Church on Church growth. There is an on-line conference 7th – 8th May and they are encouraging small groups from different churches to attend. If you are interested, let Nigel know.

Here are the 7 stages and as a Church we should all be thinking about them as we move into after the COVID-19 Era normality.

1. Create a prayerful culture
2. Build and active strategy
3. Practice fruitful evangelism
4. Have engaging worship
5. Be inviting and welcoming
6. Create pathway for seekers to become disciples
7. Begin a planned Journey for growth

I am keen that when we are able to meet together in person again, we can have an Away Morning or Day to think about how we move forward as a Church. But I ask that you start praying about this, it’s something, we can do in a lockdown.

From this Sunday’s reading Mark 1:35-37 35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"

We got the sad news of the death of Captain Tom the last week. One of so many people who have died recently so do make sure you keep yourself and others safe. Captain Tom came from an ‘Can Do Time’ I hope that we can move forward in the same Spirit.

God Bless your week.


31st January 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Positive Mental Health in Lockdown

Last Sunday night we held our 4th Sunday interview, but this time we interviewed each other and finished with a 10 minutes mindfulness. It has been a challenge for many through this Covid19 season and some spoke of those close to them that have passed away and not being able to be closed to comfort them. As the recording of Covid-19 deaths has reached over 100,000 this week we bring all those individuals to God in prayer and pray for their families and loved ones.

Technology has helped us through but there are many for whom this is a struggle for both those that cannot get one and those that staring at screen for many hours can cause some side effects. In speaking with the Youth Group this week, some said they have 7 lessons a day on computers and this can be bad for them.

But from our 4th Sunday interview we learned about some positive ways people are coping with the situation. Listed below are some of the suggestions:

• Celebrate birthdays
• Play Christian Music
• Get out when sunny and bright
• Accept important priorities
• Watch Birds in the garden
• Engage with the wonder of creation
• Have a routine
• Give someone a ring
• Help others if you can / Call/ Shopping/ Food
• Appreciate waking up with a thankyou God
• Bible study
• Today what can I do for you God?
• Be kind to yourself
• Have some Fun every day

I hope that picking up one or two of the listed will help.

Isaiah 40: 27-31 31but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I pray that in all circumstances you stay safe. God Bless your walk with Him this week.


24th January 2021 - Weekly Reflection
ON Your Own

I know my Mum liked me to ring and was excited to get my call from Kenya even if just once a week. My sister called me when I was going through a time of illness in 2018 and had done again daily since lock down. It is great to have family and friends call. I wonder what it’s like for those who do not have that connection?

The call does not have to be long, but it is good to receive and give a call. A two-way process. People used to live in families and sat together now many are on their own. Couples who have separated, Children who have moved to another area sometimes because of work. In spite of all the communication devices we have, we are still isolated.

Since I have been living on my own (not through my own choice) I have noticed I’m beginning to talk to myself more as there is no one to bounce off ideas or have moan. And now I cannot even invite people for meals, so no need to do all the cleaning or cooking that I enjoyed and provided some relaxation.

What is important to remember is that God is with us. We can connect with him. But do remember those who are on their own this week. Join us for our 4th Sunday interview at 6pm Sunday night this week on Zoom.

May God walk with you this week.


17th January 2021 - Weekly Reflection
Christian Unity - Is it possible?

When I worked as a social worker,  from the start  I had opportunity to link with the health services, schools, housing departments, youth provision and more. At that time, we worked in a geographic locality and we could get to know those who worked in the area and that helps our relationship. As money got tighter and the roles got more specialised, we moved to covering a whole or bigger town and lost the local knowledge.

Policies were put into place to make sure you talk to each other and work together, but we had lost the relationship. I believe that relationship and spending time together is important. Time is tight. But when we trust each other and understand each other role and way of doing things we can work together better.

Why am I writing about Social workers relationships as we start the week of Christian Unity 18th – 25th Jan 2021. Do READ: 1 Corinthians 1: 10-17. Paul talks about us all serving the one God and yet there is division.

I believe myself to be Ecumenical, have been Christened in a Congregational Church which is now URC, I grew up in a Methodist Church, did my placement with Baptist, Church of England, Congregational and Salvation Army Churches. I ran a closed Catholic Scout group. I attended a Baptist, Elam, Evangelical Church of West Africa, C of E. And they are all about Jesus. It is just different ways of going about it. The denomination is not always the defining factor, it is the people. When you get to know the people and have a relationship with them the differences matter less and we start to understand and see the similarities. 

I think we get set in our ways and like what we have done and the way we have done it for years. The Covid19 Season has shaken us out of that mindset. We are free to drop into other service all over the world. Different styles, order of service like a hymn sandwich and others with chunk of song led by a Worship band and then a Preacher doing their part. We may never do it the same way all are unique as we are individual BUT LET US HOLD ON TO WHAT UNITES US.

Do focus your prayers this week on the unity of the Church in East Ham as we seek to work together over the Easter Season.
I pray for unity in 2021.

PS - Thank you for all the cards I was sent for Christmas

10th January 2021
Weekly Reflection

Promise to God and Others

On these Sundays the Methodist Church members make promises to God about their commitment to Him and the service they will give.
I wonder if anyone puts what they have promised into action?
I know as a Scout we make a promise and we repeat that promise at an annual renewal, but some of what we say is difficult to keep up all the time (See from the covenant.)

In this covenant God promises us new life in Christ. For our part we promise to live no longer for ourselves but for God. We meet, therefore, as generations have met before us, to renew the Covenant which bound them and binds us to God.

This means that, by the help of the Holy
Spirit, we accept God’s purpose for us,  and the call to love and serve God in all our life and work.

Christ has many services to be done:
some are easy, others are difficult;
some bring honour, others bring reproach;
some are suitable to our natural inclinations and material interests,  others are contrary to both;
in some we may please Christ and please ourselves;
in others we cannot please Christ except by denying ourselves.

Yet the power to do all these things is given to us in Christ,
who strengthens us.

It is never easy to keep to our promise but with Gods help we can

The passage we read from Jeremiah talks of the law being part of us on our minds and heart and not external. Something that is part of us and not inflicted and policed by others, but our own doing. Something in that connection between you and your God.

This year has started with Challenges but if you have that relationship and connection with your God you will be helped on the way. Even with small Faith God will walk with us.

I talk lots about the body of Christ in this community and you are part of the unique body and we all have a role to play so that Church functions in the right way.
This year find your role and run with it we need you as God has a big plan for His Church in 2021.

I pray that God helps you discern your role in 2021


13th December 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Light to the World

Light to the world you stepped down into darkness. Jesus came to bring light and that helps with seeing better. My mum brought a light to switch on behind her chair so she could read better as her eyes struggled as she got older. When I have been in the village in Africa sometimes the light is not so good as I strain my eyes with my touch or candle. Having good light is so important and I am more aware of this as we wake and go to sleep in the dark. 

What is so amazing about Christmas is that God became man and hung out with humans. It is my understanding that all the other religions don’t have their god experiencing what it’s like to be human. Our God cared so much about us that he came to show us the way, to tell us the way as he demonstrated something different. He shines light into areas that were dark and no-go areas. He stood up for justice and the needs of those who were at the bottom of the pile. Then he gave his life that through him we can have a connection and constant relationship with our God. How amazing?

So, this Christmas what can you do to shine that light/Reflect that light into the lives of those who do not know Jesus and do not know it is possible to have a relationship with him. How can you be a light?

And a second So, this Christmas how do we shine Jesus light on our own lives to reveal some of the parts that we know about but hide from others. The parts of our lives that need to change, the opportunity to spend more time with Jesus and to connect more. 

Light of the World
Tim Hughes

Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, Let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore you
Hope of a life spent with you
Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down

God bless your week

6th December 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Planning Ahead

Are you very good at planning ahead or are you a last-minute person? I think I am a bit of both in that I like to have things planned for the future to look forward too. I will book the date and make the general arrangements, but the detail and tighter plan I tend to do at the last minute. I know that I need to get dates out in advance if I am to encourage and maximum involvement. Many do not like to commit themselves until they know they have not got another invite which may be more important to them. 

But for me this year is difficult, how can we plan when we do not know what the rules will be like in 2 weeks’ time? I just think we need to plan, but be prepared to change our arrangements so we keep everyone safe. 

I hope we can have some away days in 2021 to help us look at our vision as a Church. I hope that we can have an alternative Christmas celebration in June next year. I hope we will do a number of outdoor activities as it gets a bit warmer. I have many more hopes and plans. 

Proverbs 29:18 King James Version: ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’

What plans do you have for yourself, your family and your Church community? How much will you be involved in all of them and what could you do today to start making them a reality?

Some are saying we cannot plan at this stage, let’s just wait, but that will just delay our action. We can plan flexibly. What do you think?

God Bless your week.

Rev'd Nigel

29th November 2020 - Weekly Reflection

On my week off, as I walked down towards Hackney Marshes and then again on my Friday day off, I walked by all the boats on the river. I find it fascinating all the different kinds of boats and had a chat with some of the owners. Some have just been on the river for less than a year and for some, their first winter. One was collecting water and he said how it has made him more aware of the resources he uses, not standing under the shower for longs but turning it off on conscious he will have to top up the water tank. 

On a boat the heat escapes quickly and so waking up at night you can sometimes see your breath. Then in the summer the space can get so hot and you will need to open the windows. In the past my parents and their parents had to be more careful with resources and were keen not to waste anything, but we have got complacent (well some of us have.) There are many now that have been used to a lot of things being provided for them, but with redundancies, reduced hours and big queues for work, people are having to manage on less.

Foodbanks, meals through school holidays and food pantries, the work of ‘Christians against Poverty’ and ‘Church Action on Poverty’ www.church-poverty.0rg.uk are all doing great work at supporting those in their communities. There are many in Newham who are struggling and Bonny Downs community association Home | bdca (bonnydowns.org) and the Renewal Programme Newham Community Renewal Programme are doing a great work so let’s support them through prayer and action.

Matthew 25: 31-46
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

These places can provide practical help but as we talked about at our 4th Sunday interview last Sunday, many are struggling with loneliness and mental health issues. A phone call or a note in the door can help, but maybe we can do something that provides a listening ear. As we develop our pastoral teams let us look at ways of doing this. Do speak to me and others.

God Bless your walk with Him this week.


22nd November 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Made in the Image of God

My thanks for all your prayers while I was on holiday last week. I did a few cycle rides, got one puncture and the Bike AA man came to my Rescue. Thank you, Michael. I also did some walking down the Greenway to Hackney Marshes, walking past the place I was born. No longer Hackney Mother’s Hospital but flats, it was a strange feeling walking past. I am sure it would be the same for all of you when you go back to your birth town, village or city.

Don’t we have an awesome God who made us all unique and yet in his image. I wonder what God looks like? As we are all so diverse, but all human and loved by him. Look at this Psalm 

Psalm 8: 1-9
1 LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.

2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?[c ]

5 You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]and crowned them[f] with glory and honour.

6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their[g] feet:

7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,

8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Don’t we have an awesome God?

Over this holiday I have been reading a book by Ben Lindsay ‘We need to talk about Race’ written in 2019, about a black church leader who Pastors a white majority Church. It is so important that we talk about how our colour, race, traditions have so much impact on how we see the world. I was shocked by some of the things he pointed out and know that as a pastor in black majority Church I have felt uncomfortable at times being the person in power in some situations. It is important that we have this dialog, let’s look at ways of doing that.

God Loves us all and wants the best for all. We are all uniquely able to serve him. Sometimes culture, oppression and much more stops us from stepping forward. As Pilgrims Way hold its AGM today, I pray that all can be part of our Kingdom building here in East Ham.
Travelling back to your roots helps you to know who you are today.
God Bless your walk with him this week.


15th November 2020 - Weekly Reflection
How To Be Sure God Listens
To Your Prayers

There are certain requirements we must fulfil before God will listen to our prayers.

We Must Belong to God.

“There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus” (1Timothy 2:5). Because Jesus is the mediator between us and God, we must give Him our total allegiance. Before I yielded the control of my life to Jesus Christ, I would pray, but I was never sure if God was listening or would answer. After I asked Him to be the Lord of my life, I had confidence that God was hearing and answering my prayers.

We Must Pray to God the Father in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ.

Only the name of Jesus Christ gives us credibility with the Father — not our education, our wealth or poverty, our church, our background or our position — only Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14). Sometimes I use my husband’s name, or my church, or my work to gain credibility with people I meet. But only Jesus’ name gives us credibility with the Father.

We Must have a Clean Heart.

Psalm 66:18 says, “If I had known of any sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened to me. It is very important to keep a clean heart before God. Someone said, “I ‘fess them as I does them, I don’t bunch them.” Don’t wait until you go to church or a crisis arises in your life to confess your sins to God. As soon as you become aware of an attitude or action that is displeasing to God, admit that it is wrong and thank God for His forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We Must have a Forgiving Spirit.

In Mark 11:25, Jesus says, “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven my forgive your transgressions.” Jesus makes it very clear that we can’t carry anger, hatred, or bitterness in our hearts toward anyone if we expect God to forgive us and/or hear our prayers.

We must Pray in Faith.

Jesus said in Matthew 21:22, “And everything you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” The very fact that you are asking God for your needs demonstrates your faith. The answers come every time, but not always in the way we expect. There are times when God answers prayer as soon as we pray. Other times we have to wait for them to be answered. Sometimes His answer is “No”, like all good parents, He gives us what is good for us, but not what is harmful to us, but He always listens and answers.

Used by permission

8th November 2020 - Weekly Reflection

What is your story? We all have one and it would be great to hear yours. In the first lockdown, we did the Zoom Coffee morning and some weeks I posed a question and it was fascinating to hear different peoples stories. What it was like when they first moved to this country or experiences in other countries. The best meal people have had out and who with, or the best and most important present received and why.

I could tell you lots about my time in different countries and what I have had the chance to learn. All of these experiences are what makes us  the people we are today.

Jesus was good at telling stories which help people to understand. In our ‘Questions about God’ this week someone told a story which illustrated what we were talking about. It made more sense and come alive.

1. Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear;
Things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here;
Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,
Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.

How does our story connect to Gods story? Because when we tell it, no one can say it did not happen because it is our story. Have you told your faith story to those who know you? Maybe in this time of second lockdown we will have the time to write down our story and pass it on to others.

I was fascinated when I listened to my Mum tell her story alongside her brother, both in their 80’s at the time.

If you have a story to tell, do write it down and send it to me, maybe we can use it in the Newsletter.

God bless your two weeks and I will be back on 15th Nov


1st November 2020 - Weekly Reflection
What is Church? 

I have the privilege of being part of a national team for the Congregational Federation looking at Pioneer ministries/ fresh expressions of Church. We are all used to traditional Church and that can look very different  depending on your location and the mix of people. It is not down to the denomination, as there can be many different ways within the same denomination.

Many people go at a church today not because it is Methodist, Church of England, Catholic or Baptist, House of Faith or Elim or whatever. They go because they feel welcome, they like the style of worship, they like the singing and they get something or can contribute something.

But many people do not go to Church and do other stuff on Sundays. When was the last time you invited someone? Many of us are not brave enough and fear rejection. What would they say about our Church? Are we proud enough, feel it is good enough to get others to come? Does it have to be on Sunday. If people come to other activities, we do but don’t come on Sunday can they still be a member?

Sometimes I think we have got stuck. For me the group we run on Thursday nights for families was Church for them. We prayed, we sung, we danced, we ate together, we read the bible. Most of them never came on Sunday, but Thursday was church. Those who came to play at our Friday café, we talked and prayers with people, packed shoe boxes for others in needy countries , sung the ‘Wheels on the bus' and also ‘Great big God’ and told a bible story that was Church. 

Sitting in a pub discussion and topical news item, and relating it to the Bible, could that be Church? Going around an art gallery, studying the biblical paintings and trying to understand the artist. Helping at a night shelter and listening to a mans story.

Your Homework for this week is to sit down and pray and write down for you what is essential for it to be church. If you could let me have your ideas it will be helpful to me. I wonder who will do it? Acts 2: 42-47


25th October 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Not long before we have our AGM on
22nd November 2020

For many the thought of attending an AGM is not an exciting one but I am looking forward to it as the people we elect to different roles are going to help shape our Church for the future. I am grateful to those who have been part of the Church council over the past years for all their input. These past months have demanded a lot of them as we have had to cope with Covid19 risk assessments and the transition of tenants on our first floor and much more.

Some of you will not see yourself in a leadership role in Church due to past experience. I found it difficult last year to approach people and ask them if they would consider a role as I did not know you then. This year I am in a slightly better position but there are still many I do not know and not knowing your skill and experiences. 

God does know, some around you also know and if you have some idea that a friend in Church may be able to be part of this Council team then do speak to them or me. The role of treasure has grown over the years and needs to be split up. We will need a minute taker to free up the Secretarial role for all the other things that need doing. The Building is big and needs a lot of work and overseeing some of this is a big task.

So why am I using this as a reflection today? Our AGM is a month away and we do need extra people who have the time and ideas to be part of this leadership team to help our Church. But we also need others to back them up, support them and to be part of action groups in different areas of our Church life. Things like Pastoral support, Young people work, Administration, building maintenance, notice boards and publicity, collection counters, and much more. All of us have a role to play in the body of Christ in this place. Sometimes our own personal situation does not allow us to be in a role for a period. We can then be reenergised for the next part of the journey perhaps in a new role. 

Ephesians 4:16 New International Version.  16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

We had 120 members a few years back but we are now about 60, the numbers are down and we all need to play our part in building the body of Christ in this place. What is your ideal role as we move into 2021?

Do pray about what God is leading you to do today.

Revd Nigel

18th October 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Looking After Our World

What a responsibility and we have not done so well, God made a place that had all we needed to sustain us all. I wonder what went wrong. I have been going through some of my old photos,  which I had too many, and have been reducing them and putting many in the recycling bin. I came across some taken in the early nineties of a project I worked on with Scouts, collecting recycling from older people places and taking and sorting it at the tip. We did not have recycling collection at that stage but we had done some training on the importance of looking after resources. We did it for a number of years alongside helping with older peoples gardens. 

Just the fact that I took too many photos and printed them off (which is what you did then).  I did not need them all, what a waste of resources. But that is the sign of an affluent society. We waste and do not reuse. Something gets broken and we don’t repair any more but just replace and the object gets put into landfill. We buy food we end up not eating and wasting both money and the food. We buy disposable bottled water while the water coming out of the tap is fine. 

Amos 5:

21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me.

22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them.

23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.

24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

One thing the Covid19 has taught us is that we do not need to travel so much, many of our meetings can be by phone Zoom or the like. Less flying has had a major impact on the travel industry, but must have been better for our environment. In order to keep safe, we have been using more disposable plastic and let us look at ways we can get around this. It is safer to walk or Cycle, but this can mean we use our cars more, being fearful on public transport. Using more local places mean we can walk and supports our local economy.

As we are forced to change some of our practices, let us consider our health, the economy and the environment. The Choice we make will impact generations to come.

God Bless your week and keep safe. Do ring me if you want to talk


11th October 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Getting the Balance

The first Funeral service I performed was of an older lady I had visited in a care home. She had been a faithful Member of the Church in Wimbledon for many years through its up and downs. At one stage it had closed for 6 months and then reopened. The lady had not married and so had little family, but what stood out was her caring for those around her and her faithfulness to God and the Church.

I like the story of Martha and Mary which comes just after the parable of the Good Samaritan in the gospel of Luke. (When reading the Bible, it is good to look at the passages on either side as it puts the passage your reading more into context) the passage that follows is about the disciples asking about prayer. 

Luke 10:38-42At the Home of Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,

42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

It is clear that Jesus is supporting Mary in her adoration of him. But I see it as thinking about having a balanced life. The lady I performed the funeral for had a good balance between worship, adoration, prayer and then on the other hand service and connection to those around her in the real world outside the bubble of the Church. 

When we then look at the two passages side by side, we have one about who is our neighbour and the practical example of service and connection outside. Then the instruction on prayer so that we worship and adore and connect with our Living Saviour.

I hope that we all strive to get a good balance in our lives today.

Rev. Nigel

4th October 2020 - Weekly Reflection
I wonder why you come to this Church? 

In our Bible study on Tuesday there was lots of discussion about different types of Churches and in the UK, there are many different denominations. Methodist, URC, Anglican, Baptist, Elam, Catholic, Apostolic and then Hillsong, HTB, New Frontiers, we could go on.

It seemed that people stayed because they felt welcome and the style of worship suited them. Sometime people stay because they feel involved and that they have something to contribute.

The Denomination does not matter to many, but for some it is important. The denomination does not always dictate the stye of worship, but it does have an impact on the structures and decision making of the church. Are there external decisions which as a Church we have to follow or do the members of that Church decide?

As today we welcome new members into our Church, they have had the chance to find out about this Ecumenical partnership between the Methodist Church and the Congregational Church. It is exciting that two Churches have decided to work together.

For many of you will not notice any difference, but as members of this Church you have an important role to play and the Members meeting which again, we have today gives you and chance to ask questions and make suggestions.

This is your Church and your participation and contribution will be the missing piece in the Jigsaw puzzle

Why do you come to this Church? Do write something to Nigel and we can include it in your newsletter.

Rev'd Nigel

27th September 2020 - Weekly Reflection

I think that the experience of those people able to return to Church last Sunday was good getting used to a new way of worship services and keeping each other safe. As we move into new tighter government measures this week, we will continue to monitor what we do and get a balance between Online activity and Live activity which is as safe as possible.

Some of you who we are not reaching through our Online activity and if we can help you to be able to connect do make contact by phone and we will see how we can help. We will continue to stream the service from Church to ‘Pilgrims Way Church Facebook page and you do not have to sign in to Facebook to watch, but you do need a phone, computer of tablet. 

As you see from this newsletter, we are still doing some activities on Zoom and when it gets colder and cannot meet outside, this will be some kind of new normal. Things are changing!
BUT the God we serve is faithful and never changes. He has a plan for each of us and for us collectively as a Church in East Ham.

Psalm 46:7-11

7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields[a] with fire.

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Maybe this is a time to be still and just get to know Our God/Your God.

To rest and trust in his faithfulness to all generations, but it is not a time for us to sit back and do nothing as a Church, I think we have done that for too long. We are God hands and feet on earth and we should not leave the action to others in our Church community. What is it that God has called you to do now? It may not be the same as what he called you do 5 years ago. But YOU have a role to play and being still today to decern what that is and get into action is important.

God bless your still quiet deliberations.


20th September 2020 - Weekly Reflection

Life is a struggle for many and some have lost their jobs and some are fearful as the Furlough scheme come to an end, many will have no jobs to go to. There is an organisation in Newham who are supporting young people into work if you need more information do contact Nigel. Do pray for people facing financial challenges. Christian against poverty run courses that can help with budgeting, but that won’t helpful if you are a low-income earner.

Mark 12:41-44 The Widow’s Offering

41   Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.

42  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43   Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

The Old Testament talk about Tithe, which is giving 10% of your income before you start buying other stuff to the priest to maintain them. Many chose to continue that practice, some give regularly to different charities, some have big family responsibility. Each of you know your own situation however, do consider what you give to the Church. If you buy a cup of coffee for over £2.50 and the cinema for over £12 so if you have been given £5 to the church for the past 10 years, then it is time to think again. 

I hope that you trust those who have been elected to the Council to use your money wisely for the growth of the Kingdom of God in this place.

At Pilgrims Way, we spent £3000 more this month than what we received. HSS is also struggling.

God bless your week and as we return to Church, I pray you keep safe and take all the necessary precautions for yourself and those around you.


13th July 2020 - Weekly Reflection

It has been interesting looking at the passages for last Sunday Ezekiel 33: 7-11, Romans 13: 8-14 and Matthew 18: 15-20. Do have a read again. When we are Christian family, we have an obligation to help each other on our Journeys. Sometimes we shy away from the responsibility to point out to someone when they are taking the wrong path. If we love them and care about them, we would step out and make that challenge in a sensitive and caring way.

It is important to check out that your challenge is appropriate and is done because you care and not because you are just angry with the person or you have some bias against them, this can grow your relationship and start a two-way support. 

I am writing on Wed evening after the announcement last night that there should not be more than 6 people together. We will decide tomorrow if we will open for Worship service on Sunday at 10.30am. If we don’t reopen, we will resume at 2pm on Zoom. Whilst we practice social distancing during church gatherings we do gather and want to socialise for being a community is very much a part of our Christian Journey. 

If we cannot come together maybe you could arrange to meet up with just one or two in your local park as we have been doing with walk and talk. To pray together, read a Bible passage and discuss, keeping your social distance. Maybe you could send a paragraph about what you explored together to Mary or myself and it can be included in the next newsletter.

We are trying to sort out the Youth Zoom group. We plan to restart again on 22nd 6 - 7pm. Do let us know if this time is OK and if not suggest another. Do let us know the kind of things you wish us to include.

God Bless your week as you walk together and challenge when friends go down the wrong path.     


6th September 2020 - Weekly Reflection

Thank you for your prayers whilst I was away. This time around the weather was a bit wet at times and I slipped over twice, I again did walk and completed two days of 15 miles and one of 20. God is good at walking beside us on our Journeys. It is not the distance we travel or the destination we get to, but the experience on the way is what makes the memories. The conversations you have with people and with God as you walk. The time you take to stop and listen to peoples stories and listening to nature itself. 

Sometimes we are just rushing to the destination and do not make time to take in the journey. I used to co-ordinate the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for the Scouts in Eastbourne. There were some young people who did it because their parents wanted them to,  and encouragement is always good, but they needed to own the desire to do it. For some of you your Christian Journey may be a bit like that?

Others were doing it to get the piece of paper, the certificate which they could use to progress their career. Sometimes they would cut corners just to get it over with. Others were taking part for the journey, for the skills/experiences they would learn on the way and the people they would meet. Sometimes they would carry on doing the activity and help others out. 

I know you are not doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award or walking for miles, but we are all on our own Christian journeys. How do we see that Journey? Are you just racing to get our obligation over with or are you savouring each moment? Where is God on your Journey?

Part of Psalm 23 He leads me beside quiet waters,3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

God Bless your week and may the journey of this week be blessing to you.


30th August 2020 - Weekly Reflection
My Siblings Died  
And My Dad Sang this Song

The phone rang and my mum answered. She never imagined the horrific news my grandfather was about to share: My dad’s two children from his first marriage had died in a plane crash. Scottie and Rhonie Rogers (ages 10 and 14) were last seen with their mum and stepdad on July 5, 1981, when they took off in a light airplane en route to Florida for a vacation. The plane never made it there.

The newspaper reported that the plane was flying through a thunderstorm when it plunged from 11,000 feet to 4,000 feet. It dropped off the radar and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, leaving no trace of wreckage. When my mom got off the phone and told my dad, he walked out of the room and found a cassette tape with the old hymn “It is Well with My Soul” on it. He play and sang the song, which was written in 1873 by Horatio Spafford, a prominent Chicago lawyer whose four daughters drowned in the Atlantic Ocean when their ship crashed into another vessel. The song starts with a verse that is fitting for a father who has lost his children at sea:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say ,It is well, it is well, with my soul

 Spafford actually wrote the lyrics to the song while crossing the Atlantic to meet his grieving wife. He never dreamed that the song would bring comfort to a dad who was grieving a similar loss over 100 years later. Thirteen years after Rhonie and Scottie died, my dad spent a frigid day with my brother Caleb and me in Biloxi, Miss. After eating breakfast at Shoney's, we walked to the beach, stopped, and looked out onto the Gulf of Mexico -- that same, vast space where Dad's children had disappeared. We talked and sang old hymns together until suddenly my dad halted, unable to sing or speak anymore. He then put his short arms around our teenage frames and pulled us close to him, squeezing a little too tightly. And then I heard him gasp for air, with an achy cry coming from somewhere deep within him, like he was dying of a heart attack.

Tears streamed down his face and then they began streaming down ours as well. We somehow understood that we, his two remaining children, were standing next to our siblings' graveside, that we were hearing the sounds of a grown man's broken heart. Looking out onto the Gulf, Dad finally managed to sob the words, "Ain't God good, boys?" and wept some more. We shook our heads up and down and let him hold us tightly. Later on that night, Caleb was driving home with me and suddenly, he blurted out with a sob: "That's screwed up! His kids are dead and he's talking about how good God is." Caleb's outburst is the cry of so many people whose hearts who are breaking over their own losses. It might be the loss of innocence, the shame of unemployment, a devastating diagnosis, rejection by people you love, your failures as a parent, all kinds of open wounds that haven't healed. Whatever your loss may be, it will be a test of faith -- yours and mine -- as we ask ourselves:

Can God really be good if He will allow me to hurt this much? 

When some of Jesus' disciples deserted him, Jesus asked Peter, “Do you also want to go away?” To this, Simon Peter responded, “'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:67-68, NKJV). And so we must ask ourselves: If there's no good answer for our pain, will we leave Christ behind? God forbid. Jesus is the only one who can speak authoritatively into our pain. He is "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" -- the one who willingly plunged into suffering, drowning in our sin in order to save us (Isaiah 53:3, ESV). Surely, we can wait with heartbroken anticipation, trusting that Jesus will return to make every sad story come untrue, that resurrection will finally be realized upon His return. Until then, we stand on the shore of our own grief, singing:

And Lord, haste the day when our faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul

With permission from Joshua Rogers website

23rd August 2020 - Weekly Reflection

I had a great holiday, it gave me a chance to relax, walk, read and reflect. We all need to do that from time to time when we step out of our familiar actions and environment, we experience something new. Sometimes God pushes us into that as we have had done over the past months and experience new things. Some ask when can we go back to keep doing what we have always done, the safe place we know and love. Others see this as a time for new things. 

Revelation 21:5, And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

As I talk about it in the YouTube and our Zoom services this week, we are all on a journey and we should not stop travelling that Christian Journey. At first the Christians were described as following the way. Christianity is a journey and not a destination where we stop and we all have different roles at different times. 

In our Church council meeting this week at HSS and PW, we have been talking about returning to our buildings and we want to make sure it is safe for those who will come. We will have done things differently but this time we need to look after each other so now is the time to think out of the box and this may help us reach out to more people in our community and making it more loving. 

We all have our roles to play in the number of things that we do, so invite others to be part of that Journey with us. Our activities are for us to grow yes, but we grow as we get out of the boat, ask a friend to come or Zoom in as all we do is also for all.

God bless your week. I will be way from 24th back on 2nd Sept


16th August 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask God The Questions Keeping You Up At Night

I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a lesson with beloved teacher and author Beth Moore as part of my friend Ainsley Earhardt’s Bible study. Beth centered her lesson on themes from her new book, “Chasing Vines,” which focuses on Jesus’ message of “The Vine and the Branches” in John 15.

While reading through the passage, Moore paused on the fifth verse, where Jesus states, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” She asked our group to stop and truly consider what Jesus was saying and pointed out that if we take His statement that “apart from Him we can do nothing” at face value, it doesn’t fully make sense. “After all,” she said, “there have been many people over the course of history who have achieved great things who were not believers, so how does this make sense?” But, she highlighted, what Jesus is actually talking about here is whether or not someone can produce spiritual fruit. Unless someone has a relationship with Jesus and “abides” in Him, they have no chance of producing anything that God will see as truly good, no matter how talented they are or how hard they work.

I was deeply moved by Beth’s keen insight into this verse, but what struck me, even more, was her direction for us to actively pause and ask this question. As Christians, we are taught that the Bible is the living Word of God, meant to instruct us — but I think it can be tempting for many of us to skim over things in Scripture that don’t quite make sense to us initially. I know I’ve done this before, and part of my hesitation to stop and question these things was guilt. I’d tell myself I was somehow questioning God’s authority if I didn’t fully understand or believe what I was reading. Beth’s lesson was a reassuring reminder of God’s character. He does not easily anger and actually encourages us to seek answers for the things that don’t make sense to us: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

We are all being reminded in this season of confusion and anxiety brought on by the coronavirus that the Bible isn’t the only place where we might question God and His plans. It’s been devastating to see the lives taken, jobs upended and financial chaos caused by this virus. We want to find hope in this seemingly hopeless situation, but it’s hard to make sense of any of it. In the midst of our confusion, let’s not be afraid to go to God and ask Him the questions burning on our hearts and keeping us awake at night. Rather than looking outward, seeking comfort or affirmation from the world and allowing our emotions to be driven by what we see and hear, let’s quietly pull our focus upward to the Creator.

It’s OK if you don’t feel hope. God would much rather you admit that to Him and seek His wisdom than ignore those feelings and miss out on an opportunity for Him to grow your faith. We can look to King David’s conversations with God in the Book of Psalms as an example of this type of prayer. In Chapter 13, David asks God, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death” (Psalm 13:2-3). Though these lines show David clearly felt anxiety and confusion, just a few verses later he would go on to praise God, saying, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me” (Psalm 13:5-6).

David’s prayer is a perfect example of the freedom God gives us in our conversations with Him. God didn’t strike David down for expressing His frustration and fears. In fact, He actually comforted David in real-time, which we can see by David’s expressions of gratitude toward the end of his prayer. Let’s be encouraged to be as honest and real with God as we are with our friends and family. Despite what we may feel, He understands our needs more than anyone else. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

Article posted with permission from Christen L. Bloom website

9th August 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Why True Beauty Does Not Come
From Within

“Where does true beauty actually come from?” Does it come from inside of us? How can that be true knowing we are sinful and broken on the inside?

After searching through my Bible it hit me-I don’t know why I never thought of it this way before. All true beauty comes from God. As James 1:17 tells us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” And, of course, Genesis 1:26-27 reveals, “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. “So God created mankind in his own image.”

Genesis helps us understand that every human being inherently possesses beauty not because of our own nature, but because of God’s perfect nature and the love He imprinted on us from the beginning of time. Psalm 139 celebrates the delicate care God takes to create each of one of us, saying, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

God’s love for us is what gives us our unique and irreplaceable value. In some ways, humans are like God’s precious gems, distinctive to the rest of nature because we are the only creatures made in His image. Unfortunately, we strayed from God’s perfect nature when Adam and Eve gave in to the temptation to sin. Theologians tell us that the Fall distorted God’s image in us but did not completely destroy it. Though the devil tried to strip it away, humans still bear God’s likeness and hold glimpses of His image. These remaining, precious glimmers are what give us the potential to be reformed through His Son Jesus.

Although we often think of God’s redemption plan simply as His means to save us from sin and death, it was more than that. God also sent Jesus for the purpose of restoration. By accepting Christ, mankind can get back to God’s original, beautiful design through the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts. Like uncut, precious stones, humans are born with potential to become breathtakingly beautiful; but it’s up to each of us to accept our Maker’s plans to cut and shape us into the stunning gems He designed us to be--to allow Him to make us look more like His perfect Son. This beautification process begins the day we accept Jesus into our hearts, but is not fully completed until we reach Heaven. So the point that brought me to the end of my search is that while true beauty does EXIST on the inside of us, it is not in the sense we tend to think about it.

As God says in 1 Samuel 16:7: “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Beauty is not something we can claim as our own. True beauty comes from God and is developed through God. We will become utterly radiant when God’s perfect nature is increased in our hearts through our dependence on Jesus. This is humbling, but beautiful.

Article posted with permission from Christen Limbaugh Bloom website

2nd August 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Carrying Burdens  
3 Ways to Carry Each Other's Burdens

How can we help “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2) even when we are stuck at home ourselves? Here are some ways:

1. The Ministry of Consolation: The path of life is littered with losses. Job cried out in his agony, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart” (Job 1:21). This implies that life’s journey is about losing everything we have picked up! The things we shall lose include our health, our wealth and our loved ones. Suffering together means whenever any community member suffers a loss, we do not make light of their season of pain. We give our brothers and sisters ample time for grieving. We do not tell them to move on while they are still grappling with their losses. Instead we stay by them, offering a ready, listening ear and a virtual shoulder to cry on. Just as God comforted us, we extend His comfort to one another (2 Corinthians 1:3–4).

2. The Ministry of Sharing Burdens: Burdens are the constants in life. Either we pick them up or they will be dropped upon us. The approach to handling all these burdens is the same: we carry them together. In situations where our brothers or sisters are laden with emotional burdens, we invite them to unload their burdens by offering our listening ears. There are also other burdens like relational strains, health problems and financial difficulties. We ought to share in these burdens too. The community may be roped in to reconcile members in conflict, look after the sick and offer financial assistance to the poor. It is always a great comfort to those who are suffering when the community does not shun them and their troubles, but comes alongside them instead. In fact, hardened members have been known to soften their hearts after encountering the love of the community, when they have experienced unconditional care from their brothers and sisters in the days of their troubles.

3. The Ministry of Travailing in Prayer: Travailing in prayer as a community is also a way of facing hardships together. We carry each other’s burdens by petitioning to God with those in need. We conduct prayer chains, we synchronise our prayers and we fast together, in order to maintain solidarity with those who desperately need a breakthrough in their lives. Corporately, we take on a posture of waiting upon the Lord until He comes to our brother or sister’s aid. There has never been another time in human history when the world is so fearful of suffering. Just as our Lord entered the gateway of resurrection through suffering, may we follow in His footsteps, embracing hardship as a community, knowing that the glory of God lies beyond our afflictions. May the world discover hope from heaven as it witnesses the people in our faith communities drawing near to one another and loving even more deeply during times of adversity.

Adapted from: Living in God’s Family.
Used by permission of Lam K. Yung.

God bless your week - Nigel

26th July 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Loving Relationships – Love

Love according to Biblical teaching is not just warm feelings, but something that manifest itself in action. It’s not so easy.

This is my final week looking at the 8 Characteristics of a Healthy Church. Love nowadays has mixed meanings as we watch things like Love Island, Big Brother and other shows on TV. It has become more about short term attraction and people are judged today by the outer appearance more than inner hence we photoshop to look better. But God looks on the inside and the actions that come from the person and the love they show to God and the neighbour. 

The Bible is full of Quotes and teaching about Love. 1 Corinthians 13 is used at wedding so much, do check it out. 1 John 4: 7- 12 is good to read, study and digest. But loving others in Church can be difficult, loving some in our Families can also be a challenge. Sometimes it is easier to love someone you don’t have much to do with as you can easily walk away and choose to join a different group.

Love does not come easy and we need to pray and work at it. Forgiveness and grace have a vital part to play.

I wonder what loving relationships means to you in the Church context? Send your answers on a postcard please.

That reminds me I will be on holiday from 28th July – 12th August and then back and away again from 24th August – 2nd Sept. This means some of you will not be receiving newsletters for a few weeks. I plan to do a 15+ Miles Sponsored walk to support the Lift Fund and your sponsorship will be greatly appreciated. Do phone or email me with your donation amounts or you can donate after the Walk. 

Have a great God inspired few weeks - Nigel

19th July 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Need-Orientated Evangelism  
Needs relief

Committed to meeting the needs of non-Christians in order to help them experience the love of God. Over the years there has been much discussion about how we serve our local community. In the early Church they would look after the needy in their own community people who were following the Way (later to be called Christians). It is important that we look after our fellow church members, but Jesus also want us to have an impact on those around us. Showing Jesus’ love in different ways. Acts 4: 32- 37 

The question for me and many around is; are you doing it to show love to people regardless of the outcome or are you doing it to get them to follow Jesus or come to your Church? What is your motivation? I know that in Kenya people would join the Church and come regularly to the Church that Pastor Jack ran because he had access to an Education project that could fund their children’s schooling. Yet the project was there to serve the whole community for families who were poor. 
Traditional can be fine but does the Spirit flow into you? People connect both to God and fellow believers in an intimate way. 

Before the Welfare State in the UK, Churches provided education, healthcare, welfare support and people sometimes felt an obligation to attend Church and therefore hear the Christian teaching. In the UK some parents will attend a certain church and get their child baptised in order to access a church school with a good reputation.

As Christians, I am sure we want to share the relationship we have with Jesus with those who do not know Him yet. We know the benefit of that relationship ourselves. We also live in a needy world and Maslow’s hierarchy of need show us that food, shelter, warmth and health are basicity needed, before people can interact with belonging and possibly spiritual connection. Showing we care and demonstrating love to those around us to meet their needs can open a door for them to have a relationship with Jesus. But we have to allow God to work through our partnership with him. We should not take advantage of a person’s vulnerability.

In our East Ham community there are many needs, loneliness, poverty, understanding language, relationship breakdown, mental health Challenges, family issues etc. and we need to work out how we engage with these. It is important that we are open and honest about our motivations and that will impact on how we engage.

Pilgrims Way are in discussion with a Community organisation which will open our doors to opportunity to show love to some in East Ham. How do we do this and what will be the impact?

Just one more week of the 8 Characteristics of a Healthy Church to go. Do give me some feedback about what you think. Maybe we should have an Away Day to look at what we do well and what we can do about it. 

God bless your week - Nigel

12th July 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Holistic Small Groups – Community

Holistic small groups impact your Heart (Emotions and Spirit), Head (intellect) and Hands (action) Different focus: - Choir, Youth Group, Decorating, Mechanics and New Mums. 

As already mentioned, we are all different and connect in different ways with different spiritual and practical gifts. It is good to build on this and having small groups for people to feel at home and cared for is important. It is my understanding that John Wesley encouraged this and was part of a small group himself. 

Some Churches run Bible studies and have different activities like Knitting groups, Craft clubs, Scale electric cars racing groups. You name it, you could have group. The Holistic part of it is about not being just spiritual like a prayer group and Bible study. Not being just practical like a Craft club, but integrating the different elements of life. Sometimes this happens informally, but some other times it gets missed. 

So, when we come together you may have an interest to focus, but you include prayer, a chance for people to talk about their week, opportunity to refer to a Bible passage, check out how we can support someone in need in our group. Perhaps they are unwell and would benefit from shopping or a hot meal. How we provide pastoral care could work around these groups. 

During the upcoming months we will be looking at how we do Pastoral care and groups for people to grow in. There will be question sheet for you to give your views. Do we do it by interests, by location or by availability. At the Methodist Conference, they spoke about the new normal as we go forward and the use of small groups maybe the way forward given restrictions on larger gatherings. Let’s pray about how we do this.

Jesus had a small Holistic group of 12 

God bless your week - Nigel

5th July 2020 - Weekly Reflection
Inspiring Worship Services – Inspiration

The Natural Church Development organisation reckons that there are 8 characteristics of a Healthy Church. They need a mix of people to allow them to work Loving Relationships, Need- Orientated Evangelism, Holistic Small Groups, Inspiring Worship Services, Effective, Passionate Spirituality, Gift-Based Ministry and Empowering Leadership. 

This week we look at: Inspiring Worship Services – Inspiration

Traditional can be fine but does the Spirit flow into you? People connect both to God and fellow believers in an intimate way. 

There are so many Churches out there worshiping in different ways. I know in all the three ministerial posts I have been in the expectation has been different. Together those leading worship have met to evaluate, to challenge each other and help all of us to grow. It is clear that for some they will leave disappointed, you cannot please everyone all the time. 

It is however important to try to meet the needs of those who come, both young, young adults and older people and age will not dictate the style of worship they like. Culture and nationality will have an impact, and sometimes what you remember from your place of birth when you return may have also moved on in style. Those who have come for some time, years and years may be like things as they have always been, but that may not help if your trying to grow the congregation. Feedback is important and will help people feel part of how we move forward in worship.

I think having different preachers each week brings in variety, but is difficult when those people are not part of your church reflection on how you want to worship and structure worship. 

Psalm 150 1 Praise the LORD.[a] Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. 

People should leave more connected with their God, inspired to get on with task God has given them this week, filled up and comforted, challenged and energised. If that is not you then talk to me about what needs to be different.

God bless your week - Nigel

5th July 2020 - Weekly Reflection

I am excited that I will be doing my first Baptism/Christening in East Ham this Sunday. It will be for Kashay the Great-grandson of Rosetta. Some Churches have the tradition of Baptising Adults/ people when they make the decision for themselves to follow Jesus. Other Churches will baptise infants and expect parent, family, church and sometimes Godparents to help the child grow up in the Christian faith and make a commitment at confirmation or membership. Some will do both and I will always talk to parents about the commitment they are making.

It is so important that we welcome Children and Young people in our Church. Having something ready to engage them as they are welcomed at the door. PW have agreed to have a young person’s steward/advocate to greet young people as they come in and to make sure they have some age-appropriate activity to engage with and that will start from this week.

Mark 10:13-16 The Little Children and Jesus

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Jesus was welcoming the Children and said that we should be like little children as we accept his gift of living in his Kingdom. We should be ready with a welcome and our great team will be trying their best, but we do need everyone to play their part and not say or do anything which will put families off. Think before you speak or tutting. What can you do to welcome people?   

God bless your week - Nigel

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