"Messenger" newsletter JUNE

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LEIGH BAPTIST CHURCH   MESSENGER”  JUNE  2021       

VERNON ST / CHURCH ST . LEIGH. WN7 1BH           

 

Website :  www.leighbaptistchurch.org.uk            Contact:  admin@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk

Pastoral Leader – Val Hulme ( Days Off Wed and Fridays)

email :   pastoral.leader@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk          TEL  07817142192

Check LBC website for updates and info also LBC FACEBOOK page

 

God’s Peace in the Storm.

 

We usually think of storms as occurring in the natural world. Typhoons, hurricanes, torrential rain, thunder and lightening can result in devastation causing such as flooding, collapsed buildings rough seas and even tsunamis, and death. I have read again an article written in 2005 by Anne Graham Lotz in which she mentions that that year the hurricane season in the eastern part of the USA had been the worst for many years, causing death, loss of homes, businesses, cars and belongings and then all the clearing up and cleaning afterwards; so much devastation which would cause heartbreak for many people. In this country in recent years there has been more flooding from swollen rivers bursting their banks and leaving a trail of destruction affecting many people. These all cause what we might describe as storms in people’s lives.

 

At times during the past year many people have felt that they are in the eye of a storm. No-one realised when the pandemic struck how devastating it would be for so many people, and just how much anguish would be caused by different aspects of the results of the virus. After all this time it has still not gone away, although we can give thanks for the success of the vaccine.

 

Anne Graham Lotz goes on to give a list of things that a storm cannot destroy. One of these is Peace. For those who put their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, it is the Peace of God, an inner peace which is in the heart of every believer. In John 14:27 Jesus said, “My peace I give unto you.” A well known incident in the Bible is the time when the disciples were in the boat on Lake Galilee and Jesus was asleep. A storm suddenly arose, as it can do on that lake, and the boat was filling with water.  The disciples were terrified. When they wakened him, he rebuked the wind and the storm abated, then He wanted to know why they were so frightened and where was their faith? They still didn’t understand who He really was. When we really trust in Jesus he gives us the peace in our hearts that we need. It is an inner peace not dependent on outward circumstances.

I have spoken before of how, when my husband died, I was filled with an inner joy and peace which sustained me through the following months of my Mother’s illness and death. I was in no doubt that the Lord was with me at that time.

In his letters to the churches, Paul ends them with a blessing. Here are some of them:

1Thessalonians 5: 23 GNB “May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way.”                                         2 Thessalonians 3: 16 NKJV “Now may the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace always.”

2 Corinthians 13: 11 NIV  “Finally, brothers, --- be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

Peter wrote in his first letter, “Peace to all of you who are in Christ.” 1 Peter 5: 14b and in 3 John 14b we read, “Peace to you.” This shows how important the Peace of God was to the apostles.

 

In Psalms 42 and 43 the question is asked, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? ----

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God.”  This occurs three times when we put those two psalms together, suggesting that when we put our hope in God it will lead us to praise Him. The more we praise our Lord, the more our spirits are lifted up and we have peace in our hearts. We can praise God by singing hymns of praise or reading a psalm of praise, or thinking of the words in our minds.                                                                                               Psalm 18 tells how the psalmist calls to the Lord when he is in danger or when he is worried and upset. We read in the NIV the following verses, “I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise and I am saved from my enemies.” v3; “He reached down from on high and took hold of me.” v16a; “---- He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. --- The Lord was my support.”  vs 17 & 18b.

It is also good at the end of the day to remember to give thanks to God for the good things that have happened to us during the day, including what we have been able to do. This can help to give us peace.  “Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits.” Psalm 103: 2 NKJV.

 

When we turn to the Lord for help and believe that He is with us at all times and in the storms of life, including those caused by the present pandemic, we can be helped and can know what it is to experience His inner peace.       “My Peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14: 27. NKJV

“May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”            Corinthians 1: 2 GNB                                                 Kathie Williams.

 

DIARY DATES

 

Sunday 6th June  Church at Home with Val on our Facebook page and Youtube channel 3:15 pm

Saturday 12th June  Coffee Morning Zoom 11:00 - 12:00

Sunday 20th June  Church at Home with Val on our Facebook page and Youtube channel 3:15 pm

Sunday 27th June Zoom Communion Service 3:00pm

 

 

All meetings and services are continuing online. The Leadership Team will continue to monitor the situation and any decision to re-open the building for worship/meetings will be taken in line with government guidelines, BU advice and local conditions. 

If you would like to join us for any meetings via Zoom, but do not receive an email with the link,  please contact Val by email pastoral.leader@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk

                        

As the weather appears to be improving, we could begin to meet in local parks, as we did in September. If you would like to be included in a group,  and haven't already let me know, please contact me - either by email, pastoral.leader@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk or by phone or text, 07817142192 - and which park or parks would be most convenient for you. Apologies to those who will not be able to join in with these meetings due to distance from parks. 

 

At the recent Church and Congregation Meeting on Zoom, we discussed what church might look like after lockdown, and what is important to us. The Leadership Team asked people to complete the statement  Being a church where  ... matters more than anything else.  Please be thinking and praying about this, so that we can continue the discussion when we are able to meet in person.

The date of the next Church and Congregation meeting, which we hope will be in person, is Tuesday 7th September

 

Thanks,

 

Val 

 


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