I’M RUNNING HARD FOR THE FINISH LINE. I’M GIVING IT EVERYTHING I’VE GOT. NO SLOPPY LIVING FOR ME! 1 COR.9,26
The Olympic Games are upon us; how different if they were The Christian Games. As the five-ring logo has hung beneath Tower Bridge, should we adopt the logo of the ‘Ichthus’ fish, but three of them, representing the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
We would go into strict training as everyone competing does. We would “head for the target” as the Bible instructs in 1 Cor.9 v25. But the results may be different. The Church 100 metres would be won by the equivalent of Usain Bolt, but Jesus says, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” As so much with Jesus, the “expected” becomes the “unexpected.”
All those buildings provided for the events will eventually crumble to rust and ashes. There will be no everlasting legacy. But The Christian Games result in a prize in an everlasting kingdom that sustains for ever. A legacy beyond a Gold Medal.
All this is not a game, it is serious, life-changing stuff ! Have you started training yet? You do not have to worry about the result – Jesus already has the Victory. Just join Him in it. Even if you come last, you will be awarded First Place in The Christian Games with no closing ceremony. Pastor Jim Beveridge
HIGH-JUMP AND LONG-JUMP TIDDLYWINKS
Throwing beanbags into a bin (shot-putting), paper–plate discus, a one-minute walk, unravelling jumbled sports such as “simingmw, sngilai and nnetsi,” and wreaths for winners made from real leaves – that was the Squeeze Olympics !
THREAT OF RAIN SENDS SCHOOL FAIR INDOORS
The move put our table just inside the Main Hall. We had two games for children to play: lollipops with the stick hidden at five pence a go gave a 5p lollie to every player, and a bit extra if your stick had a silver or coloured tag. The other was for suckers – transferring peas from one cup to another by sucking on a straw. We also gave copies of the New Testament and ‘My Book of Hope,’ an introduction to the Bible, on request. It was good to see several of our Youth Club members; many past pupils have a strong affection for the school. Sylvia Catt
Have you noticed how often talks are based on three points? Three power points; the three-point sermon. The theme of three comes up in songs such as “Trains and Boats and Planes.” Also for ladies at Weddings – Handbag, Hat and Shoes – Sorry! handbag, Fascinator and shoes. And food: take the simple sandwich, the most popular one is the BLT, Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato.
Now, having bought all that, you need a coffee – Cappucino, Latte or Espresso? Now is that all there is to life? Outwardly dressed, inwardly fed and thirst quenched?
We are made up of three parts: Mind, body and spirit. What of the inner part? The Spirit so often does not get fed. Many are on a starvation diet. The thirst of the inner man or woman is not quenched. There is an empty ‘hole’ and the whole of us is not whole or complete. The spiritual wine of the Kingdom is on offer – but not taken and drunk. The Biblical food is taken in scraps and not as a ‘whole’ feast.
Is that all there is to life we ask at the end of our lives? The body and mind die, the spirit lives on. That important third of us continues. Where you ask? In one of two places – one with God and one without God. One with another ‘three,’ Father, Son and Holy Spirit – with you as one. The other place? Darkness – because you neglected the third of the three points – spirit. It is so important to know and find that there is more to life than Clothes, Food and Drink. Can you feel your spirit leap at that thought?
FAREWELL TO RECTOR SU MARSHALL
On a Sunday in March 2002 we were delighted to welcome two unexpected guests to our Morning Service – the new Rector Su Marshall and her husband Nigel. Having just moved to the area, Church etiquette would not allow them to visit either of the Parish Churches until she was properly in place, so they came to us. At the end of the meeting we gathered round them and asked God to bless the ministry of ‘Reverend Su’ as we came to call her affectionately, and to bless the family in their new home.
That event heralded an encouraging co-operation between ourselves and All Saints and Saint Mary Magdalene Churches, which has continued over the years. The Reverend Su re-invented the Fifth Sunday in the Month to produce Extra Time, to which our members were invited. We ran joint Holiday Clubs for the children in their Summer school break. We shared Lent meetings to our mutual benefit. And we met at the Reid Hall for yummy lunches.
The last one of those was a farewell lunch to mark Su’s retirement. Among the gifts given to her was a quilt made from squares decorated by various families and groups in the village. The square from the Free Church depicted ‘praying hands’ – a reminder of our on-going prayers for Su, Nigel and their Family as they move on.
REAL POVERTY IS HAVING NO FRIENDS
Real poverty is lack of friendship, according to Brazilian Pastor Claudio
Oliver on his You Tube page. He quotes several Scriptures to support his view, such as: “Two are better than one…if one falls down, his friend can help him up.” (Ecclesiastes ch4 v9+10) “A friend loves at all times…” and “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs ch17v17 and 18v24).
Taking up this theme, our own Pastor Jim Beveridge told those at the May Squeeze of the woman who had no friends (she was alone at the well, the village focal point). Jesus spoke to her, asking for a drink, which was not acceptable in their culture because she was a woman, a stranger, and a foreigner. But this began a conversation which she described to her neighbours as “being told everything I had ever done.” “Could this be the Christ?” she asked them and herself.
Herstmonceux has no well, but it does have those who are in need of friendship. How about finding one or two and bringing them here to be with friends, suggested Pastor Jim.