Newsletter 8th August 2021

NEXT SUNDAY 15th August

 We will be hearing more from Andy Croft, this time on how we need to depend on God everyday – as we say in the Lord’s prayer ‘ Give us this day our daily bread’.

Jokes from Simon

  • A friend of mine was sacked from working on the dodgems.  He’s suing them for fun fair dismissal.
  • Our neighbour now worships car exhausts.  He’s a catholic converter.
  • I’ve tried growing lettuce at home with any success. I mean how difficult can it be?  It’s not as if it’s rocket science.
  • My grandparents owned a small cinema years ago.

          They were called Pearl and Dean but we knew them as Grandma and Grandpa-pa-pa-pa-      

           pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-papapa. 

The Wall

If you have ever watched “Only Connect”, you will know about the Wall.
Each wall has 16 words, to be sorted into 4 groups of 4.
Should be straightforward, but some words could fit into more than one group.
There is, however, only one solution which will use all 16.

Can you sort out these two?  Find the sets of 4 which have something in common.  

(Answers at the end.)WALL ANSWER

Gentleness

The “Inspiring Women” daily notes in July were about gentleness.  Here are some quotations which caught our attention:                  Lesley & Martin

“Your gentleness shall force / More than your force moves us to gentleness.” (As You Like It)

“Christians always want to be a bridge, but they rarely are willing to be walked over.” (Justin Welby)

“We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering.  We shall meet your physical force with soul force.  Do to us what you will.  And we shall continue to love you.” (Martin Luther King Jnr)

“There is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still.” (Betsie ten Boom)

“Quit the aggression – fists and curses are out; palms and calm voices are in.” (Philippians 4:5, Street Bible)

The Value of Prayer


(AND A REMINDER THAT SOMETIMES A RESPONSE COMES QUICKER THAN ONE EXPECTS!)

This Christian inmate was “gutted”. He thought his marriage was going reasonably well. However, he had just received a letter from his wife telling him she wanted a divorce. In the letter she said the papers were in the prison waiting for him to sign. He asked me, “What shall I do?”
“Do you trust God in all things?” I asked. 
“Sure”. (He was American!)
“In that case we will put the matter into God’s hands. Then I will walk with you to the office for you to sign them. Are you prepared to do that?”
“OK”

We prayed together then we walked down from the threes landing to the ground floor. As we walked down, I could feel his misery and utter despair. On the way, suddenly a shout came up from the office saying there was a telephone call for this particular inmate. That was almost unheard of. Inmates are not permitted to receive incoming telephone calls. They can phone out if they wish using their phone card. I told him to go and that I would wait for him. A short time later he returned looking white faced and utterly stunned. It would appear that in the few minutes since we had prayed, his wife, thousands of miles away in America had suddenly changed her mind. She had rung the prison from the United States asking to speak to him urgently. She told her husband not to sign those papers. She did not want a divorce after all!! She finished by telling him,” I will wait for you.”

Inmates tended to have a simple trusting faith that I personally found challenging but refreshing. This event made me think of Abraham. Here was a man who trusted God in all things, so much so, that he was prepared to offer his only son Isaac as a sacrifice in obedience, but at the last minute, God provided a way out.        Bafflin’ Brian

Team GB swimmer Daniel Jervis has thanked God and his family church for their support during his Olympic participation

“I want to thank my village, obviously, of Resolven and I want to thank my church, Sardis Baptist Church, Ammanford church in Ammanford, who have really been supportive of me and everyone back home has been praying for me. 

“I am proud of many things in my life, but the thing I’m most proud of [is that] I’m a Christian and obviously, God was with me tonight, and I’m just really grateful to be representing him,” Dan Jervis told the BBC just after he finished his last race of the games. 

The 25-year-old from Resolven in Wales was baptised in Sardis Church, where his father, Jonathan Jervis is a deacon. Last month, Jervis told the BBC programme Sunday Worship he was brought up in a Christian household and recalled a moment where he felt the presence of God. 

“I remember in the 2016 Olympic trials and everything was going well. I was going into the final and I remember a feeling of God being very close to me just before my race.

“I was thinking to myself there’s a reason why I feel he’s very close to me right now – because I’m ready to do this. In the race, it didn’t go well. My race plan fell apart completely. When I got home, I remember thinking to myself, what just happened?

“It took me a few weeks to realise that I was feeling the presence of God more strongly than ever because I think he knew that I could not deal with this on my own,” Jervin said. 

He continued: “When you are in the presence of God it is not a weird feeling, you feel very calm and safe. I pray before every single race. I don’t so much pray to win, and he knows that.”

“There is a particular verse from the Bible that is my favourite, and which stays with me. It is on the back of the Bible that my church gave to me and I have it tattooed on my arm. It is Deuteronomy 31 verse 6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and do not be terrified before them, because the Lord your God is going with you. He will not abandon you and he will not forsake you.”

Jervis finished fifth in the final of the 1500 metres freestyle event but said he’s determined to come back stronger next time.

“I wanted the British record. I mean, I was kind of going into this race, not thinking about the time but deep down, I wanted the British record and that’s held by a Welshman, and it’s going to be beat by a Welshman mean soon.  I wanted it to be tonight. But, you know, it’ll be sometime in the future.”

Father God,
We thank you for life of Daniel Jervis and the boldness you have given him to talk about his faith.
Amen

(From Premier Christianity)

Persisting in prayer for ‘forgotten’ crises

We have a God who wants us to bring everything to him in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7). However, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to begin – or how to keep going when the situation feels unchanging or too big. Also, how can we talk to God about refugees or hunger when sometimes we don’t even know the scale of the crisis ourselves, due to it being under-reported?
‘For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.’ (Isaiah 41:13)

We do not have to carry the crises of the world alone; God knows, understands, and cares deeply. We can be assured that God is working to restore all things and when we align ourselves with his plan, incredible things can happen.

A prayer activity 
Five million Venezuelans have made journeys, many by canoe and foot through dangerous terrain, to flee the economic and political crisis that’s devastated their country. Nearly 2 million of them fled to neighbouring Colombia.

‘It is very, very hard to leave your country and go to another place… it is too hard… it is as if a little piece was torn away from you,’ shares Yalitza, who fled Venezuela.

Tearfund is working with local churches in Colombia to welcome Venezuelan refugees and to help them to rebuild their lives.

For this prayer you could use a map of the world. 
If you have a map place your hand over Latin America and pray for safe passage for Venezuelan refugees across the region. Ask God to comfort and provide for them as they seek refuge. (You can still pray this without a map!)

Repeat this with other refugee routes, such as the English Channel, Syria and Yemen.

THE WALL ANSWERS

Please send any contributions that might be published by next Tuesday morning to:   andy