That God is present . . .

. . .  at death as God is present in all life, makes it possible for us to journey through sorrow and pain. This is evident in the story of a young widower whose son could not sleep once they had returned from the funeral service. They slept in the same bed but the boy was still restless:

‘Finally, the boy reached out in the darkness and placed his hand on his father’s face asking, “Daddy, is your face toward me?” Assured by his father’s words, and by his own touch, that his father’s face was indeed toward him, the boy said, “If your face is toward me, I think I can go to sleep.” And in a little while he was quiet.’

As we grieve today, we are comforted by the knowledge that God’s face is turned towards us, is turned towards the whole church family.

 


Welcome back!

I guess it’s been a while since the whole church family were together but we are – gathered, worshipping, listening to God, reaching out to him and sharing and supporting one another.

Time is such a precious resource and we need to use it wisely, so this morning we shall be thinking about just that and looking at how we might make great choices to do with our time. Of course, time spent together and with God holds a special place in our lives, so savour it, today

 


Wow, what a weekend!

Even after a time of sober reflection over the past week we are still reflecting on the ‘Weekend At Home 2017’ as a really significant and encouraging time in ABC’s life. On Friday evening we took stock of where we had travelled, thanking God for all that he is doing in us and looked ahead to what he was about to do. On Saturday Kate Coleman brought us some brilliant teaching which seemed to inspire and challenge us in equal measure, before an evening of food, games and madness on the farm, (when did you last laugh that hard?)

Then on Sunday – wonderful breakfasts in homes again, then out in mission across Altrincham, before reporting back with exciting stories of what God had done.

Once again we are so thankful to God for family, mission, presence, understanding and so much more…

 


‘NOT STANDING STILL ‘ABC Gift Day.

But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to make this freewill offering? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” 1 Chronicles 29:14

Our treasurer Paul Rowley quoted these words on Thursday evening. In just two sentences we find that much of our protesting, our over-complicating, our ‘Umming’ and ‘Ahhhing’ over what we should give, is undone by these words of King David.

Today we find ourselves in a very similar position as we contemplate NOT Standing Still – our gift day. The focus of the giving is to develop the mission-life of ABC, or rather – to side with God in the work he is already doing. So let’s give to God what is already his and take a stand with the work he is already doing.

 


NOT STANDING STILL

This weekend I actually want to make reference to next weekend, when we shall be holding our Gift Day, NOT STANDING STILL.

Giving is one of the five right uses of money which we see in the Bible, (along with borrowing, saving, spending and paying tax). Ultimately giving shows that the money we have is not our own it belongs, as all material things do, to the realm of that which belongs to God. We give first from what we receive – (in contemporary life that means the standing order is set for straight after the money hits our accounts).

In giving we demonstrate the faithfulness of our following Jesus, the grip which material things have on us is lessened and, as William Barclay puts it, there are on occasion, times to be reckless with giving, (extravagant might be another word!)

Jesus couldn’t have put it any better, when he said, ‘… where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ Matt 6:21