The Rectory Bulletin
Hymn Stories

Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun

Fri 25th Sep 2020

It is Pentecost in 1862, some one hundred and twenty years after Watts’ death, and a great open air service is in play. Missionaries have brought the gospel to the Island of Tonga, and it now considers itself Christian. As the singing begins, those who can understand the local language would have been able to discern the words of Watts’ setting of Psalm 72 coming through: Jesus shall reign where'er the sun doth its successive journeys run; His Kingdoms stretch from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

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I Will Be With You

Thu 24th Sep 2020

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. (Isaiah 43:2–3) - There isn’t a path round the fire, we just have to go on through. We go on though, but we don’t go on through alone. “I will be with you” says God. We don’t escape, but we do have help. Allow the presence of God to give you courage. You are not alone, for “I will be with you” says the Lord.

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Praying to a Father

Wed 23rd Sep 2020

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:7-8) - God is always ahead of us, and our worrying (“carking” as Manton puts it) is needless.

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Church History

The Swiss Sausage

Tue 22nd Sep 2020

And [Jesus] said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” Thus he declared all foods clean. (Mark 7:18-20) - It was Lent in Zurich in the year 1522. The printer, Christoph Froschauer, decided to give them a meal and so they tucked into some dried smoked sausage. Two of the three priests joined in too.

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The Heart in Prayer

Mon 21st Sep 2020

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:26) - When you find yourself lost for words in prayer, do not be dismayed. Your heart can pray when your tongue cannot. Simply sit before God, and allow your feelings to speak for you.

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Sundays

Is it Fair?

Sun 20th Sep 2020

Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. (Matthew 20:16) - God doesn’t give up on us in our younger years but he can issue his call at any time, even the eleventh hour. To be called late is not disgrace, to be called early is no hard work. The main thing is this: are you a citizen or not?

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Let God be God

Sat 19th Sep 2020

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. (Matthew 6:7) - Eccles. 5:2, ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few.’ Remember, you have to do with a great God, and do not babble things over impertinently in his ears. (Thomas Manton)

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Hymn Stories

The God of Abraham Praise

Fri 18th Sep 2020

The God of Abraham praise, Who reigns enthroned above; Ancient of everlasting days, and God of love; Jehovah, Great I AM - Orphaned when only four, Thomas Olivers was an apprentice shoemaker in that small village. He was also a youth with a bad reputation. In fact, his reputation was so bad that in his late teens he had to leave the village, and so he made his way to Bristol. There he came across George Whitefield.

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Chattering Prayers

Thu 17th Sep 2020

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:7-8). - “Go, chatter out thy requests to thy Father”. Just speak to God, just lay it all out before him.

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The Prayers that are Noticed

Wed 16th Sep 2020

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6) - No prayer is overlooked. No cry is unheard. The room with a shut door is as much a house of prayer as the grandest cathedral. God hears.

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Church History

Dr & Mrs Luther

Tue 15th Sep 2020

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4) - The life of the Luthers reminds us of the great truth that the home is a little church. God does not simply reside in old stone buildings, but lives in our homes. A great comfort that can be.

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The Soil the Nourishes

Mon 14th Sep 2020

Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you. (Deuteronomy 32:7) - There is great benefit from reading older authors as they can help you question your assumptions.

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Sundays

Guilt, Grace and Forgiveness

Sun 13th Sep 2020

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21) - “We are beggars: that’s the truth”. As he lay dying, Luther's final words reflected on this truth which had lay at the heart of the entire Reformation project: “we are beggars: that’s the truth”.

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Assurance

Sat 12th Sep 2020

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. (1 John 5:13) - And so to the end of 1 John, and the apostle gives us the reason why he put pen to paper. The believers in the church had been shaken by the presence of some false teachers. They were doubting that they had eternal life. They had lost confidence.

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Hymn Stories

William Cowper

Fri 11th Sep 2020

Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” (John 13:7) - William Cowper (1731-1800) was not a man who had an easy life, and was prone to what might be today called manic depression. Yet he found solace in his hymn writing. Such is the testimony of a man who struggled his entire life, and yet found solace in the providence of God.

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God and Man

Thu 10th Sep 2020

If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. (1 John 5:9-10) - John was adamant that Jesus “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). He really was fully human and fully divine.

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What does ‘Believe in Jesus” mean?

Wed 09th Sep 2020

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments (1 John 5:1-2) - Believing in Jesus is to see him as the fulfilment of the Old Testament, anointed by God and of divine origin.

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Church History

Luther, the Fish Merchant & the Escaping Nuns

Tue 08th Sep 2020

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33) - As the Reformation swept Germany, the convents began to empty as their nuns decided that life would be better outside their secluded walls. So it was that on the day before Easter, 1523 Leonard Kopp hurried twelve nuns onto his wagon before covering them over.

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Fear Cast Out

Mon 07th Sep 2020

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:18) - Here is the joy of Christianity: knowing that when Jesus, on the cross, breathed out the words “It is finished”, it truly was. That is why we “may have confidence for the day of judgment”. Because “it is finished”. No more punishment is due.

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Sundays

Dealing with Conflict

Sun 06th Sep 2020

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. (Matthew 18:15-16) - There is a pastoral and caring approach here, a chance for repentance in private given first. There is no rushing to public shaming, but even this step might prove ineffective, so a last one is given: excommunication.

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God is Love

Sat 05th Sep 2020

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7) - Love is all the more profound when it is directed at those who might be said to be unlovely.

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Hymn Stories

O Worship the Lord

Fri 04th Sep 2020

Worship the LORD in the splendour of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! (Psalm 96:9) - O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; bow down before him, his glory proclaim; with gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness, kneel and adore him: the Lord is his name.

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Test the Spirits

Thu 03rd Sep 2020

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:1–3) - Christianity is a beautiful tapestry of finely intertwined doctrines. They fit together, and work together. Beware any who seek to remove one cog or another, because the machine will simply then not work. “Test the spirits”!

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The Commandment of God

Wed 02nd Sep 2020

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. (1 John 3:21) - It is not because God is some sort of transcendental Santa, but because if we keep his commandments then inevitably our desires will align with his will.

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Church History

Tyndale’s Final Letter

Tue 01st Sep 2020

William Tyndale stands as one of the great men of this country of ours. His burning desire was to put the scriptures into the hands of the people. Whilst imprisoned he wrote a letter, the only one of his which survives, which gives us a fascinating glimpse into the life and cares of this remarkable man. Hero of the faith he may be, but he is also as human as any other. "I shall be patient, abiding the will of God to the glory of the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, whose Spirit, I pray, may ever direct your heart. Amen."

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Feelings

Mon 31st Aug 2020

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:19-20) - The joy of the faith is that it is founded upon the rock of Christ, and not the shifting sands of emotion.

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Sundays

Get Thee Behind Me Satan!

Sun 30th Aug 2020

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:21) - Rather than trying to create a Jesus who reflects earthly concerns, you need to find a Jesus who is concerned with your soul.

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Acting out the Faith

Sat 29th Aug 2020

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. (1 John 3:11) - In all of this John is reminding us that our heart is most clearly demonstrated in our actions, and not in our words. To love in ‘word or talk” is not enough. To love in “deed and in truth” is to truly love.

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Hymn Stories

We Love the Place, O God

Fri 28th Aug 2020

We love the place, O God, wherein thine honour dwells; the joy of thine abode all earthly joy excels. - With the help of some of the congregation, William Bullock built a small church. In 1827, as he was preparing for the consecration service, he dwelt on Psalm 26:8 “O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells”. Inspired, he then wrote the hymn “We Love the Place, O God”.

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Practicing…

Thu 27th Aug 2020

“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. (1 John 3:4) - Perfection is not possible this side of heaven, and we must acknowledge that we mess up from time to time. When it happens, our response should not be to think we are not Christian - or worthy of God’s love - but to pray for forgiveness, and be determined not to fall again.

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God’s Children

Wed 26th Aug 2020

“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." (1 John 2:28–3:1) - Because of this abiding, we can be confident in front of God and not fear God’s judgment. We can even be called children of God, and practice righteousness, as the Spirit of Christ dwells in us.

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Church History

Jenny Geddes

Tue 25th Aug 2020

As the minister began to intone the collects, one Jenny Geddes - a vegetable seller - picked up her folding stool and hurled it at him. According to tradition she shouted out “deil colic the wame o’ ye, false thief; daur ye say Mass in my lug?”. ( “devil cause you colic, false thief: dare you say the Mass in my ear?")

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Antichrist

Mon 24th Aug 2020

“Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour." (1 John 2:18) - So ground yourself in the Bible- and beware antichrists.

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Sundays

Who is Jesus?

Sun 23rd Aug 2020

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” - Against all this pagan background, Peter gives a very Jewish answer. Here is the Christ - or the Messiah - who is the fulfilment of so much Old Testament prophecy and hope.

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Love One Another

Sat 22nd Aug 2020

Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 John 2:10) - In the end our attitude to other people is a means of taking our spiritual temperature.

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Hymn Stories

The King of Love My Shepherd Is

Fri 21st Aug 2020

The King of love my Shepherd is, Whose goodness faileth never; I nothing lack if I am His And He is mine for ever - Sixteen years after his arrival at Monkland, Baker died, and as he passed he faintly said: Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed, But yet in love He sought me, And on His Shoulder gently laid, And home, rejoicing, brought me.

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Perfect?

Thu 20th Aug 2020

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. (1 John 2:4) - We might stumble, we might be imperfect but we are still seeking to live in the light.

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Light and Dark

Wed 19th Aug 2020

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5) - To confess (to God or to another person) is a sign that we recognise that we are not perfect, as God is perfect. It is a sign that we are striving to be more faithful.

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Church History

Susannah’s Story

Tue 18th Aug 2020

She brought up her children in the faith, and would hold family services where psalms were sung, and a sermon was read (either from her husband or her father) ... She was also a woman of prayer, and the story goes that in order to get some peace in the bustling household she would throw her apron up over her head to pray.

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Letter from Jesus’ Friend

Mon 17th Aug 2020

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest (1 John 1:1) - What a privilege John had in being able to spend years with Christ. What a privilege we have in being able to read John’s reflection on his time, and then to be able to relate to the selfsame God!

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Sundays

The Canaanite Woman

Sun 16th Aug 2020

But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. (Matthew 15:25–28) - Peter may have been called to walk on water, but it was this unnamed woman who had the great faith.

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Patience

Sat 15th Aug 2020

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2) - David’s hope is in something concrete, and a power greater than the other nations. David shall not be “greatly shaken” because he has a sure foundation.

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Hymn Stories

Be Thou My Vision

Fri 14th Aug 2020

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Be all else but naught to me, save that Thou art; Be Thou my best thought in the day and the night, Both waking and sleeping, Thy presence my light. - If we place all our hope, trust and value in God we will never be disappointed.

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Remember my Chains

Thu 13th Aug 2020

I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. (Colossians 4:18) - Even when manacled, he can praise God for his goodness.

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Early Church

Archippus

Wed 12th Aug 2020

And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfil the ministry that you have received in the Lord”. (Colossians 4:17) - At its heart the Christian faith is a relating to God, and like all relationships that takes time and attention. If you ignore a friend for long enough, you lose a friend.

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Church History

The Story of Monica

Tue 11th Aug 2020

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up... (Luke 18:1) - My God has more abundantly satisfied my desire, inasmuch as I see you now, having spurned earthly felicity, become His servant.

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Early Church

Nympha’s House

Mon 10th Aug 2020

Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. (Colossians 4:15) - We might focus on vicars as the ones leading the church, but it is the faithfulness of the congregations which keep the show on the road.

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Sundays

Which Religion?

Sun 09th Aug 2020

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:5–15) - The vital question is: which understanding we hold? Who is the “who” who will save us?

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Early Church

Doctor Luke

Sat 08th Aug 2020

Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. (Colossians 4:14) - What a difference we see in the lives of the two men mentioned in one breath at the end of the Letter to the Colossians.

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Hymn Stories

Glory to Thee, my God this Night

Fri 07th Aug 2020

Glory to thee, my God, this night, for all the blessings of the light: keep me, O keep me, King of kings, beneath thine own almighty wings. (Glory to Thee, my God this Night) - He was a man who was aware of his mortality, and it may well be that the knowledge that he would have to answer to God for his conduct gave him this stubborn strength.

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Early Church

Struggling in Prayer

Thu 06th Aug 2020

Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. (Colossians 4:12) - In an age of church growth techniques, and flurries of initiatives the example of Epaphras reminds us of what is really needed to revive the fortunes of the church. Prayer.

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Early Church

Greetings!

Wed 05th Aug 2020

Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. (Colossians 4:10-11) - From this brief greeting we get a real impression of the tight-knit community which formed the earliest church.

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Church History

Perpetua

Tue 04th Aug 2020

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” (Matthew 10:34–35) - Ah, most valiant and blessed martyrs! Truly you are called and chosen for the glory of Christ Jesus our Lord!

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Early Church

Tychicus and Onesimus

Mon 03rd Aug 2020

Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here. (Colossians 4:7-8) - Sometimes we can be also be amazed by those who are doing both: who are thriving whilst being persecuted.

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Sundays

Beware a Trimmed Down Religion

Sun 02nd Aug 2020

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. (Romans 9:1–3) - All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

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Early Church

A Snapshot of the Earliest Church

Sat 01st Aug 2020

Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.” (Colossians 4:15–18) - These verses give us glimpses into our family history.

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Hymn Stories

Ye Servants of the Lord

Fri 31st Jul 2020

Ye servants of the Lord, each in his office wait, observant of his heavenly word, and watchful at his gate. Let all your lamps be bright, and trim the golden flame; gird up your loins as in his sight, for awful is his name.

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Pointing to Christ

Thu 30th Jul 2020

For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:9) -They all bear witness to a God who gives growth to his people. Like floodlights, they illuminate Christ and don’t draw attention to themselves.

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Why Do You Ask?

Wed 29th Jul 2020

But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” (1 Samuel 8:19-20) - They disregarded the God who had led them out of Egypt, and instead hankered for a king so they could be like the Canaanites.

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Church History

Arthur Guinness

Tue 28th Jul 2020

When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. (Luke 19:15) - “Spes Mea in Deo” (“My hope is in God”)

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What is a Childlike Faith?

Mon 27th Jul 2020

“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Matthew 19:14) - It is trusting God as a loving parent, and putting to one side the accumulated cynicism of our years which tends to coarsen our receptiveness.

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Sundays

Competence

Sun 26th Jul 2020

Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (Romans 8:34) - We can be confident that “nothing can separate us from the love of Christ”, because Christ himself is praying for us. It is not because of what we have done that we can be sure of our position before God, but because of what he does.

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The Prayer of the Tax Collector

Sat 25th Jul 2020

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ (Luke 18:13) - We might be better than the rotten so-and-so down the road, but in comparison to God we cannot but see our shortcomings.

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Hymn Stories

As With Gladness Men of Old

Fri 24th Jul 2020

As with gladness men of old, Did the guiding star behold. As with joy they hailed its light, Leading onward, beaming bright. So, most gracious God, may we evermore be led to Thee

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Badgering the Judge

Thu 23rd Jul 2020

"And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” - Keep on bringing the same names and situations before God. And trust his timing.

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Meditation

Wed 22nd Jul 2020

Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. (Psalm 119:97) - Rather than seeking to empty your mind, the idea is to focus it on God.

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Church History

Simeon Stylites

Tue 21st Jul 2020

We are fools for Christ's sake (1 Corinthians 4:10) - From time to time the history of the Church throws up delightfully unusual people who, in their very oddness, become important leaders of the faith. One such is Simeon Stylites (c. 390–459).

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Weak Made Strong

Mon 20th Jul 2020

Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 1:8) - God does not require of us a staunch character and great eloquence. All that he insists is that we keep to his message, and march to his orders.

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Sundays

Hope

Sun 19th Jul 2020

For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:12-25) - Our hope is in the action of the eternal God. And it is “in this hope that we were saved”.

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A Limping Faith

Sat 18th Jul 2020

Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. (Zephaniah 3:19) - But there you are, under the gaze of God himself. “And I will save the lame…”!

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Hymn Stories

All Glory, Laud and Honour

Fri 17th Jul 2020

All glory, laud, and honour to Thee, Redeemer, King! To Whom the lips of children made sweet Hosannas ring

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Making Sense of the Bible

Thu 16th Jul 2020

They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. (Nehemiah 8:8) - above all the Spirit who inspired the authors is still active within us today. Pick up and read, and you’ll be astonished at what you might find.

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Westminster Shorter Catechism

Temptation

Wed 15th Jul 2020

What do we pray for in the sixth petition? In the sixth petition, (which is, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, (Matt. 6:13)) we pray, That God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, (Matt. 26:41) or support and deliver us when we are tempted. (2 Cor. 12:7–8)

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Church History

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Tue 14th Jul 2020

A congregation consisting of 10,000 souls, streaming into the hall, mounting the galleries, humming, buzzing, and swarming – a mighty hive of bees – eager to secure at first the best places, and, at last, any place at all.

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Westminster Shorter Catechism

Forgive us our Sins…

Mon 13th Jul 2020

Q. 105 What do we pray for in the fifth petition? A. In the fifth petition, (which is, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, (Matt. 6:12)) we pray, That God, for Christ’s sake, would freely pardon all our sins; (Ps. 51:1–2,7,9, Dan. 9:17–19) which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by his grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others. (Luke 11:4, Matt. 18:35)

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Sundays

In Christ

Sun 12th Jul 2020

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) - Trust that we need not do any more, trust that this will be effective, trust that this actually applies to you

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Westminster Shorter Catechism

Our Daily Bread

Sat 11th Jul 2020

Q. What do we pray for in the fourth petition? A. In the fourth petition, (which is, Give us this day our daily bread, (Matt. 6:11)) we pray, That of God’s free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them. (Prov. 30:8–9, Gen. 28:20, 1 Tim. 4:4–5)

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Hymn Stories

The Church’s One Foundation

Fri 10th Jul 2020

The church's one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord; she is his new creation by water and the Word

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Westminster Shorter Catechism

Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven

Thu 09th Jul 2020

Q. What do we pray for in the third petition? A. In the third petition, (which is, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven, (Matt. 6:10)) we pray, That God, by his grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, (Ps. 67, Ps. 119:36, Matt. 26:39, 2 Sam. 15:25, Job 1:21) as the angels do in heaven. (Ps. 103:20–21)

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Westminster Shorter Catechism

Thy Kingdom Come

Wed 08th Jul 2020

Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.” (John 12:30-31) - May God reign more fully in me, and drive out the wrong that I do and the temptations which plague me.

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Church History

The Undercover Archbishop

Tue 07th Jul 2020

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2) - “That is the answer the poor man gave me last night. It cannot be possible that this is he!”

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“The Anatomy of a Holy Man”

Mon 06th Jul 2020

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 42:11) - Now - alas - the psalms seemed to have slipped away unnoticed from our corporate worship.

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Sundays

Are You Perfect?

Sun 05th Jul 2020

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (Romans 7:15) - The joy of the Christian gospel is that it proclaims that we are able to be judged not on the basis of our own life, but on the basis of Jesus’ life. So

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Strength in Weakness

Sat 04th Jul 2020

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) - So leave God’s business to God.

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Hymn Stories

Amazing Grace

Fri 03rd Jul 2020

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine; But God, who call'd me here below, will be forever mine.

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Westminster Shorter Catechism

Hallowed be thy name

Thu 02nd Jul 2020

101. What do we pray for in the first petition? In the first petition, (which is, Hallowed be thy name, (Matt. 6:9)) we pray, That God would enable us and others to glorify him in all that whereby he maketh himself known; (Ps. 67:2–3) and that he would dispose all things to his own glory. (Ps. 83)

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Westminster Shorter Catechism

Our Father

Wed 01st Jul 2020

What doth the preface of the Lord’ s prayer teach us? The preface of the Lord’ s prayer, (which is, Our Father which art in heaven, (Matt. 6:9)) teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; (Rom. 8:15, Luke 11:13) and that we should pray with and for others. (Acts 12:5, 1 Tim. 2:1–2)

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Church History

P G Wodehouse

Tue 30th Jun 2020

“many a man who has seen the light is apt to switch it off when the Old Adam starts to come to life in him”

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What is Prayer?

Mon 29th Jun 2020

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12) - Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, (Ps. 62:8) for things agreeable to his will, (1 John 5:14) in the name of Christ, (John 16:23) with confession of our sins, (Ps. 32:5–6, Dan. 9:4) and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies. (Phil. 4:6)

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Sundays

Speaking for God

Sun 28th Jun 2020

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me." (Matthew 10:40) - Here is the test of whether someone speak for God or not: do their words echo the other words of God we find recorded in Scripture?

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Spiritual Sailing

Sat 27th Jun 2020

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:7-8). - Keep moving the sail until you catch the wind!

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Hymn Stories

Stand up, stand up for Jesus

Fri 26th Jun 2020

Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with pray'r. Where duty calls, or danger, be never wanting there.

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Look Up!

Thu 25th Jun 2020

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)" - There is more comfort in the Bible than in the newspaper.

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Enjoying God

Wed 24th Jun 2020

What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

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Church History

St Dubricius

Tue 23rd Jun 2020

The roots are deep, and let’s pray that they endure.

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The Heart

Mon 22nd Jun 2020

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. (Matthew 15:18-20) - So the question is: how is your heart?

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Sundays

Finding Life

Sun 21st Jun 2020

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39) - As we make following God our priority, rather than our own desires and fear, we discover life in all its abundance.

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“He Cried Out All the More”

Sat 20th Jun 2020

And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47–48) - In the end, though, it is only Jesus who can give you answers to the questions you have.

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Hymn Stories

Blessed Assurance

Fri 19th Jun 2020

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine; Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God. Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. - Rather than descend into bitterness as she grew, her faith gave her a solid foundation

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The Sluggard

Thu 18th Jun 2020

"I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. " (Proverbs 24:30-32) - His attention drifted, and he became less alert.

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