Thought for the day
Thought for the Day Saturday 4th July Ken Williamson
It is somewhat ironic that on the day the people of America celebrate their Independence and the new start that independence would bring to their nation, we are making a new start off sorts. More of our businesses are re-opening, but having to do so in a new way. It seems we are constantly facing up to changes and new ways of doing things. Our traders have been busy preparing their buildings ready for today, they will have followed the guidelines given to them, in short, they have done everything to best protect us as we use their premises. Their efforts require a response from us, a response to follow carefully the measures they have put in place and to support them as much as we can.
It reminds me of Jesus, Jesus brought and continues to bring a new start, not just doing old things a new way, rather a complete transformational change, accompanied by a wonderful reassurance of eternal life. In John’s Gospel, his words are recorded as he claims to be: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14: 6
Jesus is promising a wonderful new start with God through himself.
Thought For the Day Friday 3rd June Rev Alex Dunstan
I have recently kept going back to a verse in Jeremiah (a book in the Old Testament of the Bible) where God is talking to one of his Prophets:
“This is what the Lord says, ‘Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it and you will find rest for your souls.’” (Jeremiah 6:16)
First of all, this is God speaking and he says stand at the crossroads and look. If ever, as a nation of people, we're at a crossroads, that time is now.
He then goes on to say we should ask for the ancient paths, in other words, ask for a good way. And as it is God speaking, the good way is referring to God’s way.
Then follows a further instruction – once you have found God’s way, you should walk in it. In other words, don’t take a glance and walk away, actually give it a try.
Why? Well, if you look at the words that follow, they are words of great assurance. If we find God’s way and walk in it, there we will also find rest for our souls. And so often, that is really what we are searching for.
Thought for the Day Thursday 2nd July Ken Williamson
After reading Alex’ thought for the day yesterday, it reminded me of a canvass bracelet I was given when I became a Christian. It had four simple letters W.W.J.D. standing for What Would Jesus Do. I wore this bracelet until it eventually fell apart just before the lockdown began. It was a constant reminder for me when I considered any action, to ask what would Jesus do in my circumstance? During the years I wore it, there is no doubt it stopped me making some bad decisions on many occasions. I feel it is a good question to ask ourselves in our current situation, before we make any important decisions, why? Well, Jesus has something to say about everything, and in particular, as Alex highlighted yesterday, how we should treat others.
One of the best known of all Jesus’ parables is the Good Samaritan, which teaches us that we are to treat everyone as our neighbour and to display mercy to them. In the days ahead we will need to treat everyone as neighbours and to be understanding. We won’t get everything correct, and neither will others, so we need to be understanding.
35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbour to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” You can read the whole parable on the link below.
Thought for the Day Wednesday 1st July Rev Alex Dunstan
I am sure you have heard the following phrase many times in your life, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” It is a quote taken straight from the Bible in Luke’s Gospel, which is now part of parcel of everyday speech.
It’s really important that how we act and what we say towards others, shows how we would like to be treated ourselves. If the two are polar opposites, we need to stop and think about how we would feel on the receiving end and make changes to our behaviour.
When Jesus said these words, he was talking to a large crowd about how we should love others and how we should not judge others.
At this time in our nation, during the Pandemic, when we see anti-social, and non-social distancing behaviour becoming a regular occurrence, and huge groups meeting together it is good to remember what Jesus said at the end of his teaching.
He reminded us that we can pray for those who are finding restrictions prohibiting, and pray that they would find peace. I don’t know what you think about that, but prayer can bring about miraculous changes where we least expect it.
Thought for the Day Tuesday 30th June Ken Williamson
Yesterday Alex was writing about common sense and how sometimes we need to look beyond it. As I reflected on the position we now find ourselves in, once again as with Alex, I was drawn back to the bible and how it gives us clear advice which is highly applicable in our current circumstances. As we have further restrictions eased, it is critical we think of others rather than ourselves. We must not be selfish, indeed Paul wrote in Philippians that to think more of others was to be of the same mindset as Jesus.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2: 3-5
We need to be humble, not selfish and to truly value those around us. As we go forward and restrictions ease, we need to think carefully about our actions and how they might impact others.
Thought For the Day Monday 29th June Rev Alex Dunstan
I was at a meeting at the end of last week when the easing of Lockdown Restrictions was being discussed. There was a lot of conversation about people using their ‘common sense’. When you look this phrase up it states it is about people being ‘rational, reasonable, sound and consistent.’
That can be quite hard at the best of times, but when people have been shut-in for a few months and not been able to do the things they would naturally do (or would REALLY like to do), common sense seems to be stretched to its thinnest. Just think about the images of Bournemouth Beach on Thursday in the blazing sunshine. Common sense? Not a bit of it!
So sometimes, we need to look further than common sense and seek something or someone who WILL help us to be ‘rational, reasonable, sound and consistent,’ even at very difficult times.
Time and again in the Bible, we are told to Seek the Lord. He is always there. He is absolutely reliable and constant and he will help us when we are grappling with what to do for the best and need some extra strength to do the right thing.
Psalm 105:4, “Look to the Lord and his strength. Seek his face always.”
Thought for the day Tuesday 16th June Ken Williamson
Yesterday saw many of our shops and small businesses re-open to the public for the first time. I had noticed increased activity in many of them in the days prior to opening as they set in place the measures required to permit us to safely use their premises. It seems our NEW NORMAL is constantly re-shaping and no doubt it will change again and again in the months ahead. Today I want to encourage you to pray for all of the local businesses we have, no matter whether they have remained open, just reopened or are as yet awaiting the government go-ahead to reopen. Particularly pray not just that they will be able to open safely, but that they will be able to sustain their businesses in the future, and that they will thrive during this difficult time.
In one of his letters the Apostle John wrote:
1 John 5:15 - "And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
Please continue to hold our local businesses in your prayers, and also to remember to support them practically by SHOPPING LOCAL.