Resurrection Eggs

This is ideal for children

Day One link here

Day Two link here

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Thought of the Day

Key Text: 1 Samuel 30:6

David’s life, as 1st Samuel draws to a close, was looking bleak!

He was no stranger to trouble but his problems were multiplying and coming thick ‘n’ fast. He was a fugitive and an exile
His life was at risk from a crazed King
He was living a dangerous life as a ‘double agent’
He had to endure the constant suspicion of the Philistine Generals

The throne of Israel, promised long before, seemed as far away and improbable as it ever had!

As if things were not bleak enough, his life was about to get even more troubled.

Read 1 Samuel 30:1-6

David is ‘being paid in his own coin’ i.e. He is experiencing the suffering that he has inflicted on others.

Because of the Amalekites he has lost:

Prestige,  
Possessions and 
People who mattered to him
Every way he looked the outlook was bleak.

Where was there any ground for optimism or hope?

v6 Tells us, “David found strength in the Lord his God” (KJAV “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God”)

His encouragement came, I suspect, as he reflected on 3 things:

1. God had a personal interest and investment in him

The Lord was “his” God. God was not some remote and unapproachable deity of uncertain character. He was a God whom David knew and whom he knew to be a loving God.

David had what we evangelicals like to call, ‘a personal relationship with God’

He is our God. We are (Ps.100) “the sheep of his pasture” We have become, through faith in Christ, (John 1:11+12) His children.

2. God had been faithful in the past.

Protecting, preserving and providing.

The God who had “delivered him from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear” (17:37) and who had given him victory over Goliath and preserved him from Saul’s murderous attacks, was a God whom David could trust for the future.

David must have been familiar with the memorial stone set up between Mizpah and Shen (read 1 Sam 7) God was an ‘Ebenezer’ God – a God who was faithful to his people.

3. God’s promises for the future.

As David reflected on God’s personal interest and previous faithfulness he must also have found strength in remembering that God had promised him a great future.

God has pledged himself to us, to give us, like a great old hymn puts it, “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow”

Read 30:7-20 and note how, encouraged by these things David sought God’s guidance, found help in a timely and unexpected way, received the strength to pursue his enemies and won a notable victory.

Things are looking quite grim at the moment. In a fast changing and uncertain situation it easy for us to be fearful and discouraged. Let’s take heart from our personal relationship with the Lord. His interest in us, his previous faithfulness and his promise to be with us and to bring his plans for us, inexorably, to fruition.

One final thought:

David looked to God for his strength. He led 600 of the most accomplished warriors in the region. He had years of experience as a tactician and fighting man (see 29:5 “David has slain his tens of thousands”) Yet in this situation it was to God that he turned.

Years of fighting, lying, robbing and plundering may have dulled his spiritual ‘edge’ but it had not entirely destroyed it! Maybe for some of us this emergency has come as a ‘wake up call’ An opportunity for us to freshen our own relationship with God and to get back to our spiritual roots?

Let’s pray that we, the people of our nation, and others will see in this crisis the limits of our human strength and our much trumpeted abilities and the need to humble ourselves and to seek the Lord.

Bob Telford March 2020

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Thought for the day

During the the times of self isolation, we will be posting encouraging words on here to encourage the Church. The following is used with kind permission from Newcastle Reformed Evangelical Church.

Dear friends, One feature of the present saga is its escalating nature. Two weeks ago coronavirus was a significant concern, and we were coughing into our elbows and routinely washing our hands. Now it is a full-blown emergency, and we are scarcely allowed out of our homes. Very rapidly things have moved on. The landscape is constantly shifting, the waters becoming ever more uncharted.

We encounter escalating crises in the Bible. A particularly moving one unfolds in Mark 5. The crisis there is not on a global or even a national scale, but for Jairus and his wife it is deeply traumatic. Initially, their twelve-year-old daughter is very unwell. At this point Jairus goes in search of Jesus. Finding him, he implores Jesus to visit the ailing girl, and he gets the response he desires. Things are looking up for this troubled Capernaum family: the renowned healer from Nazareth is on his way! Frustratingly, however, Jesus makes slow progress. The needs of another sufferer divert his attention and interrupt the journey. Valuable time ebbs away. And it is then that the crisis suddenly escalates. As Jairus shuffles restlessly, waiting for Jesus to get back on task, messengers approach with dire news. The girl has died. But the messengers do more than simply share their dreadful tidings. They also give Jairus some gentle advice: ‘Why bother the teacher any more?’ It is a revealing remark. In their view Jesus was an appropriate go-to when the girl was merely ill. Now that she is dead, however, the problem has outgrown Jesus’ capacity to help. The escalation leaves him out of his depth. He might be at home with sickness and disease, but he has nothing to offer a lifeless corpse. There is a line beyond which Jesus is of no further relevance, and this crisis has crossed that line. That is how they think. And it may be how we think when we find ourselves in an escalating crisis. All our Christian lives, facing troubling situations within the normal range, we have applied the line from the hymn; we have taken ‘it to the Lord in prayer’. And during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, that still felt like a reasonable response. But now we are facing a troubling situation outside the normal range. We are in the unfamiliar territory of nationwide lockdown, makeshift hospitals and new police powers. Perhaps we have crossed a line. Perhaps these are circumstances beyond Jesus’ sphere of influence. Perhaps we are on our own now. Why bother the teacher any more? But we must resist such thoughts. No crisis – neither coronavirus nor any other we might face – can leave Jesus behind. In none of our valleys is he forced to turn back, wishing us the best as we journey on without him, because the way ahead is too dark and too narrow. Whenever an already distressing situation suddenly enters a new, intensified phase, Jesus’ message is always the same: ‘Do not fear, only believe’ (Mk. 5:36). He will be as present and competent in the next stage of the crisis as he was in all the earlier stages. Actually, all of us, sooner or later, shall find ourselves in a crisis deeper and scarier than any we have previously known. Some illness or accident will befall us, and the situation will escalate until finally the heart has stopped beating, the body has shut down, the cold hand of death has struck. Surely that will be a step too far for Jesus. Surely then we shall have slipped beyond his reach. No! The same almighty voice that somehow reached the ears of Jairus’ dead daughter will on Resurrection Morning reach our ears too. Out of the grave we shall come, into the warm embrace of this Saviour whom even death could not overstretch! Why bother the teacher any more? That is not a question that need ever enter our minds!

With warmest greetings in Jesus

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COVID-19 UPDATE 17 March 2020

With heavy hearts we have taken the decision to follow Government guidelines and suspend all our activities at APEC until further notice other than our support for Foodbank. On Friday between 1pm and 3pm we will be providing non contact Foodbank parcels to help meet the great need in the City.
On Sunday 22nd March between 10.30am and 11.30am we are open for an informal time of prayer. If you are isolating inline with the guidance, please join us at home in praying for the need in the world today and what our next steps should be as a Church.
Two bible verses has been on our minds today which are relevant to the challenge we are all facing.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46 v 1

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4 v 6-7

We are currently on our knees before the Lord asking for His guidance on how we can help, support and encourage each other, and will be sharing what the Lord has given us over the next few days.

Keep Calm – Jesus is in control.

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Coronavirus Update

Each day we are reviewing the updated Government advice and will update this page accordingly. Our Tuesday morning Bible Study and Coffee morning is now cancelled until further notice.

Please continue to prayer for all those affected by the virus, wisdom for Government and medical professionals and that the Church will be a witness for Jesus by showing acts of kindness and compassion and trusting in Him during this time.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. John 14:27

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UPDATE LIFE EXHIBITION 2ND TO 6TH MARCH 2020

Please continue to pray for our Life Exhibition that is taking part this week, with many school children expected to visit. All are welcome to visit on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

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LIFE EXPO 2nd to 6th March 2020

Please join us in prayer.

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Life Expo 2nd to 6th March 2020

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Film night 14th March 2020 @6.45pm – Free Admission

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Mince Pie Café – Saturday 14th December 2019 10.00 – 12.30

Pop in and join us for a mince pie and refreshment. Craft activities for children. Join us in this free event

Pop in and join us for a mince pie and refreshment. Craft activities for children. Join us in this free event

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