The Rectory Bulletin

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Church History

Amy Carmichael

Tue 19th Jan 2021

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19) - Amy Carmichael was born in a small, coastal village on the east coast of Northern Ireland in 1867. The eldest of seven children, she was reputed to have been full of life and the happy child of devout parents. She once wrote of God that “it is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfil the desires which He creates”. Her life bore testimony to the truth of that statement.

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The Crushed and the Brokenhearted

Mon 18th Jan 2021

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18) - If you are reading this, feeling crushed by ongoing restriction and loneliness then please do be assured of this: the LORD is near.

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Sundays

Come and See

Sun 17th Jan 2021

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:45-46) - It is our task to point people to Christ and give the indication “come and see”, but in the end it is Jesus who converts people. The task is in fact a straightforward one. Just say “come and see”. And then leave the rest to Jesus.

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Psalm 1

Like a Tree Planted

Sat 16th Jan 2021

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. (Psalm 1:3) - If you meditate on the scripture, and are carefully planted, you too will bear fruit “in season”. Perhaps that will be in a time of suffering, or in a time of great joy, but there is the confidence that the fruit will be there at the right time.

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Psalms

The Slaughter of the Priests

Fri 15th Jan 2021

Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day. Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit. (Psalm 52:1-2) - We are back in the time of King Saul, when David was emerging as a very popular military figure. Even though he was a close friend of the king’s son, David could not escape the jealous wrath of Saul and so he went on the run. He doesn’t seek to put on a polite front before God, but rather pours out his heart. God does not require our politeness, rather he hears the cries of our hearts.

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Psalms

Delighting in the Law

Thu 14th Jan 2021

... but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2) - As you lie awake worrying, you hear the call of Jesus: “Come to me…”. As the issues crowd in, you can cast your burden onto Christ. This truly is the blessed life.

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Walk Not!

Wed 13th Jan 2021

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; (Psalm 1:1) - So much of our life is seen through screens, especially as we are told to stay at home. This Psalm reminds us that these screens (or the radio speakers) are not neutral and that we would do well to be discerning about what we watch or listen to. - whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

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Church History

George Müller

Tue 12th Jan 2021

If you were to drive through Bristol you might notice some large buildings at the top of a hill in Ashley Down. The buildings provided accommodation for just over two thousand orphans, which was forty per cent of the entire orphanage capacity in the country. All he did was pray for the money he needed. He never made requests for any financial support, and he never went into debt. When he died, he had received £1.5m (£150m today) and had provided for over 10,000 children. Such is the God who answers prayer.

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Psalms

Be Blessed

Mon 11th Jan 2021

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:1-2) - Yes, there are commands of God but their aim is bring blessing and a deepness of joy. They are there to enable the individual to grow in an ever-deepening relationship with God. They are the signposts on the road to glory, guides to lead us safely home. The aim is blessedness, not joyless obedience. In the end true, enduring joy and fulfilment is only to be found in the one who created you in the first place.

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Sundays

The God who Smiles

Sun 10th Jan 2021

And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10–11) - If you have not yet taken that step, that first step of following Jesus, then resolve to do it now and feel the radiant smile of God. If you are living as a Christian in a sort of twilight. If you have a life of compromises and just not really going for it. Well, recommit yourself and bask in God's smile. If you are doggedly going on with Jesus, and it is causing you trouble at work, at home, well look up! See the smile of your God as you seek to follow him. My friend, you need to experience the smile of God.

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