Chill in the park

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chill

Its that time of the year again in kempston ,Bedford for the wonderful event that is Chill in the Park. on Sunday June 16th 1-5 p.m

Last year 2000 people made there way to kempston,s Addison Howard park for a chilled lazy afternoon of free Music , kids activities and picnicing with friends and family.

The afternoon is hosted by /http://www.graceinthecommunity.com/, Bedford Borough Council and Project 229 – Bedfordshire – Spurgeons.

I have attended the last two and enjoyed them greatly even last year when i was on litter picking duties!!.

Events like these are crucial to a community- they bring so many people from so many different backgrounds , faith groups and social standings together to enjoy each others company in a relaxed atmosphere, its a chance to slow down and take a breather even for a few hours from the break neck speed of  life.

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

The above passage is an encouragement to Christians to be bold and to meet together to encourage one another to good deeds and love, and to be faithful to the Lord. As a Christian days like Chill in the Park are a great way for fellow Christians to spend time together  and to show an outpouring of Gods love onto our local community. I will be praying that the Lord will be with us and will open up opportunities to meet and talk to people who are yet to come to know the Lord. If a tiny seed is planted in one person who is yet to come to know The Lord that will be a great victory!

CHILL_IN_THE_PARK_GRACE_04

A church garden. Good idea?

 

In recent years i have gradually been bitten by the grow it yourself bug. Before we moved house we had no room in the garden to grow much fruit and vegetables, but we was lucky enough to get our hands on a local council allotment.

Great we thought , we had big plans of transforming the plot into a growers paradise full of neat raised beds full to the brim with wholesome goods, set between gravel paths with a nice little shed to sit in and enjoy a well-earned cuppa.It was going to be a family project and we would reap the benefits! But our own best laid plans usually fall short and this one was no exception. It started ok, although at first sight the overgrown plot looked quite intimidating.

After a few weeks of hard graft and plenty of stings from nettles and thistles we had the plot pretty much weed free. A composter was added to the plot. We put some manure over the plot and spent the next couple of months controlling the weeds and enriching the soil ready for the spring. Even in the winter months we was spending around 6 hrs per week at the plot removing the odd stubborn weed and turning the soil over , working in the compost and manure.

In our first year we produced carrots, parsnips, potatoes, lettuce, onions and garlic and raspberries. Throughout the summer we needed to spend an hour a  day, at least, on the plot just to keep the weeds under control. The second year was a different story, mine and my wifes hours increased at work , this along with a house move and the kids after school clubs and activities increasing ment less time could be spent on the plot and it became more and more over grown, eventually we had to concede and give up the allotment.

Now with a bigger garden we are able to grow a little bit at the end of the garden. We are currently nurturing leeks, onions, peppers, beetroot, carrots, strawberries, green beans and potatoes.

 

Then the other day i thought wouldn’t it be great to be able to grow enough fruit and vegetables to be able to give out to those who really need it in our community. So my thoughts have now turned to whether i should look into starting a group through my church who are able to give up the time to grow enough produce to make a real difference to peoples lives. But i dont really know were to start!

so many questions .Where would we grow it?. Who and how many would be needed to help?.  How would we distribute the produce and how would we identify those who would benefit the most? What if we have a poor yield of crops.

So i think the place to start is in Prayer. To pray for some answers, for some guidance and for God to bless my plans. The lord has  put these ideas into my heart so i hope and pray he can guide me in the coming months to whatever outcome he has in store for me.

It would certainly be exciting to be able to be part of a team who plants the seed and watches as God nurtures and provides for those who need. The same way as he provided through his Son Jesus for all of us who truly needed him to save us.

Psalm 104:14

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth

Matthew 25:31-46 

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, …

 

 

Colossians 3 : 1-4

 Colossians 3:1-4

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above,where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life,appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

I have spent the last couple of Friday evenings with a friend studying the above passage , in some depth. I have been blessed with the help Edward has provided in interpreting scripture , the Lord has gifted him great skills in teaching and we continue to be a blessing and an encouragement to one another.

These 4 verse’s when dug into deeper have  reveal so much to us , and personally have been a real blessing in keeping on track , faithful and, importantly, aware of how easy it is to be distracted from our loving God.

Two lines really stood out for us :

1. Set your hearts on things above

2. Set your mind on things above

These too statements are not requests but commands from God. But how can we achieve this?

1. Acknowledge that its no longer i that is living but Christ living in me.

2. Reading the bible and praying.

Ezekiel 36:26

 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

The above verse from Ezekiel tells of how God has given us a new heart ,a loving heart of flesh filled with his glorious spirit. If we fail to keep our heart and mind on God however things soon slip back and our heart turns back to stone as we turn away from him.We find ourselves stumbling blindly along the path that is our own inferior plans ,set to fail, putting our trust in perishable things that cannot ultimately bring eternal happiness.

So turn back to God set your heart and your minds fully on him, accept that his plans are the key to our ultimate happiness , do not let your plans intersect the Lords plans,

and most importantly PRAY. Pray that his will be done.

Birthday

Today is my birthday. It’s a great time to sit back and reflect on God’s love. We each are special  to the Lord.

God’s plan of salvation is available to every human being, so that we may enjoy happiness and life with him forever. Birthday’s are a time for celebration especially for Christians who have been born again.

 

Psalm 71:6
From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.

 

Isaiah 46:4
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

James 1:18
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

 


 

Today I found myself,
After searching all these years,
And the man that I saw,
He wasn’t at all who I’d thought He’d be,

I was lost when You found me here,
And I was broken beyond repair,
Then You came along and sang Your song over me

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
For the very first time,
In my life

Make a promise to me now,
Reassure my heart somehow,
That the love that I feel,
is so much more real than anything
I’ve a feeling in my soul,
And I pray that I’m not wrong,
That the life I have now,
It is only the beginning

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
For the very first time

It feels like I’m breathing
It feels like I’m moving
For the very first time
For the very first time

I wasn’t looking for something that was more,
Than what I had yesterday,
Then You came to me,
Then You gave to me,
Life and a love that I’ve never known,
That I’ve never felt before

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
I’m living for the first time

It feels like I’m breathing
It feels like I’m moving
For the very first time
I’m living for the first time,
In my life

John 3:3
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. ”

 

The Frontline

So what is ‘The Frontline’?.  Well as Christians we all have one. It is the positions and situations we find ourselves in on a daily basis, a place God has intentionally put us in to use us as his special agents! A place were we can make a real difference  for Christ. It may be at home with the family, it could be as we meet up with friends or team mates and for most of us when we are at work. It is  easy  , at church on a Sunday, to build up high barriers between us and the outside world to feel safe and secure within our church family, but the real work for Christ happens out beyond the church at all of our frontlines. Maybe you are fed up with your job , bored and feel like you are ‘better than this job’ . But stop and think –  has God put me in this place for a reason?. Of course he has, and you should learn to make this your motivation.

We need to respond to what is in front of us on our frontlines. We should trust that God will lead us where he wants us to go and will make clear what he wants us to do. Maybe we just need to hear the cries of the world around us to know how best to offer the good news to people . Maybe we need to develop our alertness to the promptings of God, who we believe is at work in his world.

Remember wherever your frontline may be God has given you a set of  unique skills, to conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.

Colossians 3: 12-17

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do,whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Small Screen Big impact – Gaming

Another part of the Small screen Big impact series this one relating to gaming from Ray Evans Paster at Grace Community Church in kempston.

This is a great series talking about some of the most popular modern media, there place and impact on our lives as we try to keep our focus on God.

The gaming industry is mind bogglingly big. Games outsell Hollywood 5 fold, and have millions around the world obsessed.

Take a listen to this sermon its around 25 minutes long.

http://www.graceinthecommunity.com/Media/Player.aspx?media_id=98566&file_id=108243

PSALM 11:5

The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

 

 

Small Screen – Big Impact Social networking

The link below is to a sermon by a Martin Salter one of the Church leaders at Grace Community Church in Kempston, Bedford.

It is a great insight into the impact of social media on our lives. It is part of a series of 6 talks based around the title small screen – big impact.

Have a listen it will be of great help i,m sure.

He talks about the dangers of social media , and also the great benefits of using social media.

I will try to add each talk in the series daily.

http://www.graceinthecommunity.com/Media/Player.aspx?media_id=98851&file_id=108539

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 
Ephesians 4:29