Lord, our Lord, HOW MAJESTIC IS YOUR NAME IN ALL THE EARTH! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, WHAT IS MAN THAT YOU ARE MINDFUL OF HIM? You made them a little lower than the angels, crowned them with glory and honour. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:
All flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea, all that swims the paths of the sea. Lord, our Lord, HOW MAJESTIC IS YOUR NAME IN ALL THE EARTH!
Question: Creation is amazing I’m sure we all agree. What gets your attention and stops you in your tracks when you are out and about in the countryside? Type in a few words to tell us about it?
As you’d expect the bible doesn’t talk about evolution but what it does say is that God created the world. The biblical view doesn’t conflict with science, rather, it’s in conflict with any world view that rules out a creator. Sincere Christians have struggled with this subject of how things began and have come to differing conclusions. This, of course, is to be expected because the evidence is very old and due to the amount of time that’s passed quite fragmented.
Those who study the bible and those who study science would do well to avoid absolutes and black and white thinking. Students of the bible should be careful not to make the bible say what it doesn’t say and students of science must not make science say what it doesn’t say. The most important aspect of the on-going debate is not the process of it but the origin of it. The world is not a product of blind chance and probability. The bible not only tells us that the world was created by God, more importantly, it tells us who this God is.
The Bible reveals God’s personality, His character and His plan for His creation. It also reveals His deepest desire to commune and have fellowship with the people He created. The heavens and the earth are here. We are here. God created all that we see and experience. We can, if we must, agree to disagree on how it all began. However, one thing for sure is that God took the ultimate step towards that relatonship with us when he came in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1 has ~ For in Him (Jesus) all things were created. Things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; All things have been created through Him and for Him.He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. We may never know for sure how it all began. But we can know Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him here ….now.
We can thank God for revealing His nature and personality in His Son Jesus who came to bridge the gap between man and God, taking our sin upon himself.
mallchurchmusic3.com for music.
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You have searched me Lord and YOU KNOW ME. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word in on my tongue You Lord know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before and YOU LAY YOUR HAND UPON ME. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from Your spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will hold me fast. If I say “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You. 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 WONDERFULL. I know full well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are Your thoughts God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I AM STILL WITH YOU.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you are bloodthirsty! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and LEAD ME IN THE WAY EVERLASTING.
Question: The psalmist says of God “You have searched me Lord and you know me.” How does it make you feel knowing that God knows you? Type in your thoughts.
Hymn: Just as I am.
Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee, OH LAMB OF GOD I come.
JUST AS I AM, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within and without, Oh Lamb of God I come.
Just as I, am, poor wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind, yea, all I need in thee I find. OH LAMB OF GOD I come.
JUST AS I AM, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, clense, relieve; because thy promise I believe, Oh Lamb of God I come.
Just as i am, thy love unknown had broken every barrier down; now, to be thine, yea thine alone, OH LAMB OF GOD I come.
JUST AS I AM, of that free love the breadth, length, depth and height to prove, here for a season, then above, Oh Lamb of god, I come.
Question: The hymn writer talks of being drawn to God just as he is, warts and all. What do you think about that? How does that make you feel?
We can give thanks to God that He knows us and still loved us enough to send His only Son that we may have everlasting life.
Image: Seedresorces and Ange.
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At the quiz this week, you were asked to identify biblical fathers. How well would you have done?
1. A Roman Official who begged Jesus to cure his dying daughter. Jesus complimented him on his faith and raised the girl from the dead.
2. This father was a priest of Israel. When an angel told him that he and his elderly wife were to have a son, he doubted the angel and was struck dumb until after the baby was born.
3. This twin cheated his brother out of his patrimony by deceiving his blind father. He went on to have 12 sons.
4. This stepfather promised to give his beautiful stepdaughter anything she wished if she would dance for his guests. Her request shocked him.
5. His young son disappeared in the city of Jerusalem. After days of searching he found him in the temple, astounding the learned rabbis with his knowledge.
6. He married the only woman in the world, and they eventually had at least three sons.
7. A Galilean Fisherman. The father of James and John, two of the apostles.
8. Another elderly dad. He had 2 sons. The second of which he was willing to sacrifice when God asked him.
9. A writer of poetry and the father of Solomon and Absalom.
10. A father figure to the entire Hebrew people as they escaped from slavery in Eygpt. His sons were Gershom and Eliezer.
Soon afterwards, he went to a city called Nain. Many of his disciples, along with a great multitude, went with him. Now when he came near to the gate of the city, behold, one who was dead was carried out, the only son of a mother, and she was a widow. Many people of the city were with her.
When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, ‘Don’t cry’ He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said ‘Young man, I tell you arise’ He who was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.
Fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has arisen amongst us!’ and ‘God has visited his people.’ This report went out concerning him in the whole of Judea, and in the surrounding region.
(Luke 7:11-17 WEB)
The reading talks of Jesus’ compassion for the widow. How does Gods compassion manifest itself to us, when we are grieving, or distressed?
Dear Jesus, when I grieve, please touch me.
When others grieve, may I touch them.
When I cry please comfort me.
When others cry, may I comfort them.
May my heart be open to the needs of others,
and when I die may you be there to raise me to new life.
Images by Jo, and www.seedresources.com
Prayer by Judith DImond (taken from www.seedresources.com)
The Empire State Building was the tallest free standing structure in New York City from 1931 to 1972, until the North Tower of the World Trade Center opened. Several companies, from architects to construction contractors, worked together to complete that 102 storey building in just 15 months. It certainly was a great accomplishment in its time.
Job 1:1-3 says, There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God, and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. His possessions also were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the children of the east. Job was very successful and accomplished great things in his lifetime.
Do you consider and rehearse what you have accomplished in your life from time to time? In the Bible, many of the accomplishments of God are listed for us to rehearse. John 1:1-3 says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made.
In short, the Word of God accomplished the creation of everything that we see around us, including the building materials that people have put to use in creating things. The crowning glory of God’s creation was when he took red clay, molded it into a human being, gave it the breath of life, and sat him in the Garden of Eden.
People have been trying to get back to the Garden, so to speak, and have searched for the origins of life for ages. They have studied in depth the fauna and flora on earth and have made great discoveries in outer space, but they have not generally accepted that only God can give life.
When I compare my meager accomplishments with those of famous people in history, I turn for solace to what God is teaching me, as a believer, through the work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 1:26-27 ~ The mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints, to whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory;
The greatest thing that we can accomplish in life therefore is to respond to God’s call and allow him to lead us to repentance and faith. When we begin to show the fruit of the Holy Spirit it should bring us great comfort.
When believers show unconditional love for one another it gives God great pleasure. In fact God’s greatest accomplishment is to transform people, who willingly submit to him, to transform them into the likeness of his Son, Jesus Christ. PRAISE BE TO GOD.
Images by Ange and seedresorces.com.
There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate.
Question to consider : Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiates, talks of times and seasons in our lives. What do you think is God’s purpose is in allowing us to go through different seasons in our lives?
He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundries of their dwellings, that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
Question to consider: The writer of Acts tells us that God determines the times and places that we are born and where we will live so that we’ll have the chance to reach out to him. What do you make of that? How does that make you feel?
Hymn: Great is Thy Faithfulness.
Great is thy faithfulness, Oh God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with thee. Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not. As thou has been, THOU FOREVER WILL BE.
Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed THY HANDS HAVE PROVIDED. Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me.
Summer and winter and spring time and harvest. Sun, moon and stars in their courses above. Join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, MERCY AND LOVE.
Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed thy hands have provided. GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS Lord unto me.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth. Thine own dear presence to cheer and the guide. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. BLESSINGS ALL MINE and then thousand besides!
Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness. Morning by morning NEW MERCIES I SEE. All I have needed thy hands have provided. Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me.
Question to consider: The hymn writer talks of God’s faithfulness to him and says that God is his great provider. How has God provided for you?
Images ~ morguefile.com.
After he had finished speaking in the hearing of the people, he entered into Capernaum. A certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and at the point of death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent to him the elders of the Jews, asking him to come and save his servant.
When they came to Jesus, they begged him earnestly saying, ‘He is worthy for you to do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he built our synagogue for us.’ Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him,
‘Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. Therefore I didn’t even think myself worthy to come to you; But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having under myself soldiers.
I tell this one ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.
When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned and said to the multitude who followed him, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel.’ Those who were sent, returning to the house, found that the servant who had been sick, was well.
(Luke 7:1-10 WEB)
When we ask for healing, for ourselves or someone we know, are we as confident as the centurion? If God does not respond to our request, is it because of our weak faith?
Dear Jesus, Grant me faith in your power and hear my earnest plea. I bring before you all the people known to me who are in need today. Say the word and heal all those for whom I pray.
(Images by Eric Davey and Jo. Prayer by Judith Dimond, taken from www.seedresources.com)
In him (Jesus) we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession to the praise of his glory.
Don’t we all have something, one little thing that we would change about our appearance if we could? I’ve been thinking about mine ..I’m tall. I’ve always been tall, ever since I can remember. There are photos of me aged 6 with a neighbour’s child who was 9 and I was head and shoulders taller then her, even at that age.
When children are tall for their age folks take them for being older and expect more of them. I’ve seen it in others and their children too. Bullies will pick off anyone who is different, the misconception of onlookers is that the tall person must be more confident and can handle it. When, in actual fact, they can be painfully self-conscious and not confident at all.
In early teens it seemed that shorter, petite friends attracted the boys and I was always the wallflower. I remember being at a dance one time in my early teens. A group of us were sat at the edge of the dance floor and a rather good looking short lad came up to ask me to dance, only having seen me seated. I simply got to my feet, stood to my full height and sat down again, without saying anything. He smiled broadly, said ‘Fair enough.’ and walked away!
Everyone wore platform heels or blocker boots in the 70s. When fellow tally Lady Diana Spencer later appeared on the scene, taller than her fiance, her flatties were copied by everyone, especially me! Things changed one summer evening when I was on holiday with my family. My sister and I took a walk around the coastal town’s busy pleasure beach. Where folks were riding carousels and eating candy floss (cotton candy) and toffee apples.
A gorgeous fella and his friend took us on the Waltzer ride. I learnt later that he elbowed his friend in the ribs before coming over to us and said, out of the corner of his mouth, ‘The big’ens mine!’ He was just a tad shorter than me but he didn’t give it a thought. He still doesn’t and that was 40 years ago!
Coming up to date. The times I’m made to feel aware that others notice my height now, I feel, are for positive reasons. Old ladies ask me to reach for something off the high shelf in the supermarket for them.
I have a clothing allowance from stock in the busy shop where I work and customers will buy what I’m wearing saying it looks good on me because I’m tall. I’m told I give a nice hug because of my height and I too know that feeling when my son of 6 foot 3 engulfs me in his arms, hugging me. But it wasn’t always so.
How about you? Is there anything you’ve had to come to terms with about yourself over time?
Along the way things can happen, in life, that wound, creating scarring emotionally. I married young to a good ‘en. But it also got me away from a home life, at the time, that was far from ideal with a domineering father and a mother who was in and out of hospital most of my formative years. When I made a decision follow Jesus in my late thirties I found total acceptance. Jesus wants the best for us. He’ll never condemn or belittle us.
He called Zacheus, a despised tax collector, down from the tree where he’d climbed to catch sight of the saviour. Jesus then spent time with Zacheus in his home with him and his friends. Jesus spoke kindly to the Samaritan women at the well, when she was deep in immorality. Jesus touched lepers and healed the untouchable ones. Jesus saved the women found in adultery from stoning and sent her on her way to a better life. There are no excluded ones with Jesus. In fact, the bible is clear that when we turn from our old ways, make a decision to follow Him, determine to live a life that honours Him and put Him first some amazing things happen.
We are made brand new… 2 Corinthians 5.
The Holy Spirit puts a mark on us saying ‘This one belonging to God!’ …Ephesians 1:13.
No one can condemnation us… Romans 8:1.
We become one with other believers… Galatians 3:28.
We have eternity, a place we can’t even imagine, to look forward to…. 2 Timothy 2:10
Images ~ seedresorces.com and morguefile.com.
Facebook Event of 04/06/13.
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Pray because God is listening.
Pray because God understands.
Pray because God cares.
Pray because God is great enough to carry us through all we have to endure.
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[Words - snippet from "Why Pray" by Marjorie Dobson from seedresources.com.
Picture - Rachel Holbrook.]
This Service is based on the Roman Catholic Octave. Most of us, who are not Roman Catholic, know little about what goes on in Roman Catholic services. Why not draw closer? See what it is all about; there may be jewels which we can share too….see what you think.
Sometimes in our lives we find it hard to pray. We are too tired, too disturbed, or just find it hard to concentrate. Here is a little devotion, based on the Roman Catholic Octave which might just be helpful at these times, to help you to concentrate, keep your place or remind you what comes next.
You can use the cross and first set of beads of a Rosary, a Chaplet which is designed for the purpose or even make your own aide-memoir. You’ll find you need to use a Cross or a ‘medal’, which could be anything round or square, ten plain beads which can be separated easily and a patterned or larger bead. I know, I know! It is called an Octave and here we have twelve elements.
Perhaps someone can tell us why, after the Service. The picture shows part of a very ancient Rosary which my Grandad found trampled into the mud of the battle field of The Somme as he lead his horses home after the battle; and a home-made chaplet which is Dutch and orange! This time we shall be using the Rosary.
The beads are made from clay which is a mixture of earth and rose petals, moistened and then pounded together. As it runs through our fingers it still gives off a faint scent of roses……
Starting at the Cross: We ask God to listen to us and help us: O God please come to my assistance, Lord make haste to help me.
At the first bead: We pray for God’s mercy and forgiveness: Lord have mercy upon me, Christ have mercy.
At the second bead: Abide with me; fast falls the eventide, the darkness deepens, Lord with me abide. When other helpers fail, and comforts flee, help of the helpless, Lord abide with me ……. Hold Thou thy cross before my closing eyes, shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies; Heaven’s morning breaks, and Earth’s vain shadows flee: in life, in death, O Lord abide with me!
At the third bead: Psalm 91 v 1-6 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High and abides in the shade of the of the Almighty says to the Lord ‘my refuge, my stronghold, my God in whom I trust.’ It is He who will free you from the snare of the fowler who seeks to destroy you and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings shall you trust: His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not fear the terror of the night; nor the arrow which flies by day, not the plague which walks in the darkness nor the destruction which lays waste at noon-day.
At the fourth bead: Revalation 22:4-5. And His servants will render Him Holy Service and will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no night there; and they will have no need of lamp-light or sun-light, for the Lord God will illumine them, and they will be kings for ever and ever.
At bead five: We pray for protection: Protect us Lord, while we are awake, watch over us while we sleep, that awake we may keep watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace. Alleluia.
At bead six: Christ is the Light of the World and the Glory of Israel. Luke chapter 2: 29-32 Now, Oh Sovereign Lord, Thou dost release Thy servant in peace, in fulfillment of thy word. Because mine eyes have seen Thy salvation. Which Thou hast made ready in the sight of all nations- A light to shine on the Gentiles and the Glory of the people, Israel.
At bead seven: Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Ghost as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, Amen.
At bead eight: Protect us, Lord while we are awake, watch over us while we sleep, that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace. Alleluia.
At bead nine: May the All Powerful Lord grant us a restful night.
At bead ten: Thank you God for Mary and her obedience to Your Will; that she bore Your Son Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins, the Lamb of god who takes away the sin of the World.
At bead eleven: Our Father in heaven, may Thy name be kept Holy; Let thy Kingdom come; let Thy will be done as in Heaven, so on earth; give us this day our bread for the day; and forgive us our shortcomings as we also forgive those who have failed in their duty towards us; and bring us not into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. Amen.
Image: Wendy and morguefile.com