Pastor’s Message: November

Dear Friends,

As the world frightened itself in the darkness of Halloween, the Church of Jesus Christ has marked the 500th Anniversary of the ‘start’ of The Reformation. On 31st October 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door of Wittenberg. This sparked a discussion which was to lead many across Europe to a renewed understanding of the Bible Truths that underpin our faith.

In November we, as a church, will mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of our new church building. As you know, last year we marked the starting of the witness that became known as Alma Street Baptist Church. It is good at these times to remind ourselves of what was said by key people at those times. Mr Harrison, in his vote of thanks at the church dedication service, mentioned various people, but most significantly said,
“Above all we would render praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God under whose providential care all this provision has been made. It is our desire to use that which He has entrusted to us for His glory. In an age of uncertainty, confusion and despondency He calls us to make known the unchanging message of the everlasting gospel that is always man’s only hope. His Word, the Bible, is our authority, and its message of salvation for sinners by His grace and through faith in His eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ is the message that we shall endeavour to proclaim in and from our new home.”

Similarly Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, preaching from Joshua 4, asked the question “What mean these stones?” This was a popular question with Dr Lloyd-Jones and the subject of his final sermon when he preached at the opening of Barcombe Baptist Chapel in 1980.

I don’t want to regurgitate his sermon, but would like to draw out some principles from this passage. Notice that children form a significant part of Joshua’s teaching. It is they who ask the question in v.21. We should be open to the questions of children, because we have a responsibility to fill their minds with good things. Notice too that the question is addressed to fathers. As parents, particularly fathers, we are to be ready to answer the questions of our children. Our Lord has time for children, even when people thought that they should not bother him. Let us never tire of the great gift of children in our families and in our church.

Joshua was concerned that a rising generation should be able to relate the great works of God on behalf of His people. In verse 23 he refers to both the crossing of the Jordan as well as the earlier crossing of the Red Sea. These events were separated by 40 years, because God’s own redeemed people had not been willing to trust Him to lead them into the Promised Land that He had already prepared for them. As God’s people we must acknowledge that daily God calls us to trust Him and that is not always easy, but faith demands trust.

Joshua however was not only concerned with historical events, but ultimately he was concerned “that
1. all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty,
2. that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” (v.24)

This two-sided vision is good for us to focus on as we celebrate another anniversary. At a time when our God is despised by many in the public arena, it would be good for us to remind them of how God has provided our building and has kept it open these forty years. Not only has he done that, but he has used the members of this church to spread this message to many other countries of the world, through our own missionaries, but also others that we have supported. Also we can tell people of the power of our God in saving many through the work of the church. Even though they may have moved away for work of other reasons yet they still walk with God.

The second side of this vision relates to us as God’s people. We are to live in holy reverence for God all the days of our lives. It is all too easy to emphasise the great teaching of grace, but our god is holy and we too are to be a holy people. As we move into another decade together may we do so conscious that we are to honour Him in all things.

Your grateful pastor,

Bernard Lewis November 2017

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Pastor’s Message: October

Dear Friends,

As I write we are concluding our week of prayer. It has been a special week, when there has been a real liberty as well as burden in prayer. We are about to begin a new phase in our ministry, and our church anniversary in October will mark the completion of another year. It is vital that our ministries continue to be exercised in prayer. As we pray we demonstrate the fact that we can do nothing of eternal value in our own strength.

In the wider world the news is dominated by two events – horrific hurricanes in the Atlantic and the threat of nuclear conflict in Asia. Both of these events make us reel as we consider how insignificant we are in the face of such diverse power. There is however another perspective given for us in Psalm 8:3,4
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

David is addressing the LORD, our God. The heavens and the earth are the work of His hands. We boggle at such vastness, even when science and astronomy try to explain much of it to us, but it has all been made and is maintained by the Word of God’s authority. It is too vast to take it in, particularly when we see such demonstrations of power in earthquakes and hurricanes. Many would want to argue that things are out of control, but we have the assurance that nothing is beyond the sight or control of the LORD, our Lord.

Such power and authority can give us peace, but that peace is magnified when it is applied to us in such an intimate way, God is mindful of us and cares for us. That last line in the Authorised version says that ‘you visit him’.

Let us take time to consider these great commitments by God – he is mindful of us. When children leave home, or friends and family have to move away for various reasons, we miss them terribly at first, but with time we get used to their absence and sadly they can fade out of our concerns. Our God is not like that – this world and every creature in it is part of His creation and therefore He constantly considers our situation. That care is not simply limited to thought but it is worked out in actions.

In the ESV we are told that God cares for us. Again this is not just thought, but it is a conscious commitment to maintain the order of creation: day follows night, season follows season, and the earth continues to spin on its axis. The seasons, coupled with the skills that God has given us, mean that our food and the essentials of life are regularly provided in accord with His promise to supply all of our need.

When we consider the Authorised translation in the fact that God visits us we are reminded of some of the greatest truths of Scripture. The Old Testament gives us numerous examples of where the “Angel of the Lord” (Our Lord Jesus Christ) spoke to a number of individuals as God in Trinity worked out the great work of salvation and redemption. The Gospels declare the greatest visit of God as Jesus, God the Son, added to his eternal godhead by becoming a human being. His visit took in the whole extent of human experience as He moved from the womb to mature manhood and from the cradle to the grave. He understands life here on earth, including living through the teeth of a number of storms. In many ways God’s greatest visitation is in the fact that he lives within the lives of each of His people in the person of the Holy Spirit. His visit to us is as intimate as it can possibly be. We are never alone.

As we enjoy another year of service let us be encouraged by the facts of His Power, His Care and His Presence.

Your grateful Pastor,
Bernard Lewis October 2017

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Pastor’s Message: September

Dear Friends,

September marks the beginning of the school year and we often use it to re-launch the different ministries of our church. As we have done in previous years we have also arranged a week of prayer (2-9 September). While preparing for that I read this sentence by Vaughan Roberts describing the Christian life,
“But, above all, the Christian life is about Christ: being served, known and loved by him and then in response, serving, knowing and loving him.” (Battles Christians Face p.129)

It is wonderful to know that as Christians Christ serves us. He did that primarily when, as God He became a human being and lived here on earth in order that He might die in the place of all of His people. That was not just a random event for all who might want to benefit, but it was for people that Christ knew and knows. This is stated clearly in John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Every Christian has the assurance of knowing that they are known personally by God, but Vaughan Roberts goes on to say that we are loved by Him. Not only are we loved by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God; but also by God the Father who sent His Son into the world to die for us. It is also true to say that we are loved by the Holy Spirit, because He is the One who has changed our hearts that we might believe the truth of the Gospel. This is the wonder of the Christian message and it is as relevant today as it ever has been. We, each have to respond to this love if we are to be saved by our God.

Many of us reading this know the privilege of being loved by God, but what is our response to that love? Roberts expects that we serve, know and love Him. So as we re-launch our ministries and commit ourselves to prayer let us ask ourselves how much we know, love and serve Him. I have purposely reversed the order, because in reality we cannot truly serve God unless we first know Him. We know Him most clearly in the Bible, because it is in that book that God has chosen to reveal Himself. We so often want to make a god after our own design, but we have to see and understand the picture of God that is given in the Bible.

God first shows us that He is the Creator of this world, but goes on to show that He is the Ruler of this world. He does that by telling us what He requires of us as human beings, but also showing us that there are direct consequences if we choose to live in opposition to His requirements. God however does not want to stand over and against us in judgement rather He has shown Himself most fully as The God of Love, who has paid the price of our sin and continues to make that love known.

Those of us who have experienced that love in the forgiveness of sins and a restoration to an intimate relationship with God are to demonstrate that love in our service for God. Scripture is clear that God has given many gifts to the church and each member of the church has been gifted in different ways, in order that we might support and complement one another.

I trust that as we approach this week of prayer and a new year of service that we would each be willing to ask “Lord, what will you have me to do?”

Let us each commit ourselves to know, love and serve Him more fully.

Your fellow servant,

Bernard Lewis Sept. 2017

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Women’s Bible Study July 2017

We finished this year’s studies with Proverbs 31 looking at ‘The woman who fears the LORD’.

She is described as being ‘far more precious than jewels’ v1 and supportive of her husband who held a prominent position v23 and also her children and household v27,28. She is industrious,prudent and caring-v13,14,15,16.Also she conducts her life in a dignified manner v 25 ,and is wise and kind v26.

Also she attends to the wellbeing of others and is hard working v27.Although  many in society put value on personality and physical attractiveness,these things are transient and respect for God and His laws and teachings are of enduring value and honour Him v 30-‘a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised’.

The passage reminds us of how we are to live our lives in a way which honours God,puts Him first  and cares for others bearing testimony to the LORD.

The next Women’s fellowship meeting is on Monday 4th September at 7.30pm and bible study is on Thursday 21st September at 10.30am.

 

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Article by Jo McMillen

Here is a link to an article written by Jo for Evangelical Magazine:
“Was It Worth It?”

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Pastor’s Message: July

Dear Friends,

We are again at the time of year when for many of us there will be the opportunity of holidays, because the children are off school. For others there will be the annual visit to Aberystwyth. Thinking of Aber I am reminded of Psalm 122 which begins,
I was glad when they said to me,
Let us go up to the house of the LORD!

In a later verse it talks of the tribes going up, and there is that sense of great excitement as people meet others they haven’t seen for a year or more. They are encouraged to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and I felt that that was a timely encouragement. We know that three horrible acts of terrorism have been committed in as many months, Parliament, Manchester and London Bridge. My writing was interrupted at that point and as I write we are reeling from that devastating fire in Grenfell Tower. It would seem that this is not connected to terrorism, but there are countless people in Kensington totally devastated. Some are bereaved, many homeless, others desperate to hear news of missing loved ones. The emergency services and hospital staff are again pushed to the limits as they face tragic circumstances.

The annual eisteddfod has a ritual which on three occasions asks the question, ‘Is there peace?’ The answer comes back, ‘There is peace!’ Today however there are many who know nothing of peace and are afraid to leave their homes. Possibly there are others who are regretting the professional advice “In case of fire – Stay Put.”

What tragic situations, but in many ways it has been the repeated experience of humanity. How then can we help people in these situations? We thank God for the fact that we are all made in the image of God, so we have seen outpoured expressions of love and care with mountains of flowers and Disaster Funds raising thousands of pounds. The response to the Grenfell Tower has shown other responses as people have plundered wardrobes, fridges, cupboards and homes to provide food, clothing and furniture. These responses are wonderful and commendable, but sadly are still limited. There is no real lasting peace without a genuine relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Many prophets in the Old Testament period tried to preach peace, when in fact there was no peace.

We are not to simply pray for the peace of Jerusalem, but in 1 Timothy 2 we are told to pray for those in authority, so that we might live a peaceful and quiet life. Over this summer period as we try to find peace on holidays let us make time to pray for our leaders at all levels, Westminster, Cardiff, and locally. I would also covet your prayers for myself and all the church officers, so that we might make good and right decisions as we seek to lead the Church in a God-honouring way. Pray “that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honoured,” (2 Thess 3:1).

We live in desperate days, when the exhortation and instruction of Isaiah 55 has never been more appropriate and timely:
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
The Gospel, the Good News of God has not lost its ancient power, but there is only one means of access, the double sided call to faith and repentance. We can see the failures in the world and would call them to repentance, but what about us who claim to be Christians, are our lives marked by unrivalled love for God and our fellow human beings. Let us all make it a priority to seek God, so that He might pour out His grace and mercy upon us, so that many more might find that peace which passes all understanding.

In His Love,

Bernard Lewis July 2017

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Pastor’s Message: June

Dear Friends,

I want to begin this letter by expressing my thanks for all the cards, emails, text messages, calls and flowers received when I was unwell recently. I also am grateful to all who stood in for me over what should have been a full weekend for me. I got up Saturday morning and felt fine, but within a few minutes was writhing in agony so much so that Linda called the ambulance and in a relatively short time I was in hospital. I am not in a position to prove this, but it has been said that the pain equals or surpasses that of labour pains. All I can say is that I was very glad when they diagnosed kidney stones and gave me a very specific painkiller.

The suddenness of it was a shock, but it has caused me to think of verses in I Thessalonians 5,
1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security”, then sudden destruction will come upon them as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Paul has just given a glorious description of the hope that we have as Christians, when Christ returns and the redemption of the earth and God’s people is complete (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). He then says that is going to happen suddenly and it will be shocking. It is all too easy to become complacent. We worship a faithful God, day follows night, summer follows spring … He maintains a glorious order in this world, but the day is coming when He will bring it all to a very sudden end.

Nothing prepared for the suddenness of the pain, even though I had heard that kidney stones were painful I did not expect it to happen to me, but it did! Many of us know that Christ will return and this world order as we know it will come to an end, but how many of us actually live conscious that it could happen today. In this letter Paul uses that event as a great encouragement to all believers, when he writes,
16 “… the dead in Christ will rise first” – there will be a resurrection of all believers.

He then describes how those believers still living “17 …will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,” and brings things to a glorious promise as he describes our eternal future, stating “17 … we will always be with the Lord. “

That is a glorious and certain hope for all believers, but writing of this day to the Philippians he says, “10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10,11) It is clear that we will all bow the knee before Jesus Christ and we will all acknowledge Him as Lord. For the believer we will acknowledge Him as Lord and Saviour, but for the complacent, who have not prepared for that day He will be confessed as Lord and Judge. Just as labour pains and many infections cause horrendous pain, so judgement will result in excruciating and eternal pain for those who have not prepared to meet their Maker and Lord. The Lord Jesus said, “43 … It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. … 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’” (Mark 9).

Those are solemn and tragic words, but there is a way of escape, by dealing with the cause of judgement, our personal sin and looking in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, asking Him NOW to forgive your sins, so that you might enjoy an eternity of peace with Him.

Your very grateful pastor,
Bernard Lewis June 2017

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Pastor’s Message: May

Dear Friends,

My last letter ended with this encouragement: “We are to continue to tell an unbelieving world and church that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners and that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved” – and that forms a fitting introduction to this letter.

May will be a month when mission will be very much in our minds. On 6th May Jo McMillen returns to Brazil with a clear mandate to be involved in the Creative Hands project. On 13th May Isaac and Dhushy will be travelling to Moldova to work with Dentaid. In the summer Neil Jenkins, Sue Oliver, Dan Lewis, Trevor and Pauline McMillen will be serving on various summer camps. It is good and right that we focus on these activities by supporting financially and giving the vital prayer support without which no meaningful work will ever be done in God’s kingdom.

In the same way we need to approach our work as a church consciously praying and looking for those that God might send out from us into ministry, both long and short term. What about the rest of us, of what value are our lives? When we were PNG we saw the church grow from a missionary-receiving church in to a missionary-sending church and they often used the familiar slogan ‘Pray, Give and Go’. I want to modify that slightly to emphasise the home side of mission – we are to ‘Pray, Give and Live’.

I was once told that “Prayer is first in all Christian work. It is the most important thing we can do. Men will learn to pray by praying with us.” People often say “All I can do is pray”, implying that prayer is nothing compared to other Christian work. It is a vital work in which all Christians can and must engage. If age, illness or family responsibilities prevent you attending church prayer meetings you can and should pray at home. Much work has been done for God, because isolated individuals prayed. If however you are well then our public gatherings for prayer should be a priority for you. We glorify God and serve one another as we seek Him together in prayer. It is helpful to hear ‘senior saints’ who have proven God in many and varied trials pray, because they seem to have a greater intimacy with God. At the same time it is thrilling to hear a young or nervous believer pray publicly. We need to ask why we remain silent in a meeting when we could be praying for activities in our local church or for a fellow-believer facing trials in a closed-access country. We do business with God as we pray.

The second word of the slogan is ‘Give’. We never find it easy talking about giving in Christian circles, especially when we talk about giving money, but it applies to time as well. The hymn ‘I’ve found a Friend’ contains the lines,
Naught that I have my own I call,
I hold it for the Giver;
My heart, my strength, my life, my all,
Are His, and His forever.

To what extent do we live in the light of this truth? It is often argued “It’s my life; It’s my money; It’s my time; It’s my body,” but no Christian can ever use these arguments, because we know that anything we are or have has been given to us by God. If we see our lives, money, time and body as given to us by God for us to use as those who have to give an account, then we ought to use them within the Biblical principles for giving. We are to give FREELY, no one is able to dictate to us how we use God’s gifts. We are to give SACRIFICIALLY; there are times when we have to consciously say ‘I am free to do that, but my life, time, money and effort could be much better used in God’s service if I were ready to sacrifice.’ Luke 14:26 makes it clear “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” We are also to give REGULARLY. It is all too easy to have a ‘one-off’ attitude – “I’ve done that once, that’s enough.” The Great Commission is fulfilled as we each give freely, sacrificially and regularly.

The last word in my modified slogan is ‘Live’. We serve God simply by living, if we consciously live in the light of His Word. After the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ the disciples and new believers were so full of the Lord Jesus Christ, that it was said of them “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13). If for legitimate reasons we are not able to go, then we can and must live, where God has placed us, ‘so that an unbelieving world and church knows that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners and that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

May God help all of us to Pray, Give and Live, even if we cannot Go.

Your fellow-giver,

Bernard Lewis May 2017

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Pastor’s Message: April

Dear Friends,

This month we will again observe Easter reminding us of the events that are central to the Christian Message. We will hold special services going on a spiritual journey from the praise of Palm Sunday to the darkness of Good Friday and on to the victory of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

This is our journey, but what was the first Easter like? On Palm Sunday faithful Jewish believers welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem hoping that He would declare Himself the Messiah and rise up in revolt against the occupying power. This was followed by five days of intrigue and misinformation resulting in the darkness of Good Friday when the sinless Son of God experienced the horrors of injustice and a repugnant public execution. That first ‘Easter’ Saturday must have been a period of despondency, because once the Sabbath was over, on Sunday faithful friends went to the tomb, not to witness a Resurrection, but to seal finality and mortality with a preparation of spices. The day dawned not as a day of rejoicing, but of utter confusion.

Luke 24 tells us “ but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them” (v.11). The women had been told of The Resurrection; they told the most faithful followers of Jesus, but even they were not ready for such news. Throughout history people have responded to the truth in a similar way. When Lot told his sons in law that God was about to destroy their hometown in judgement we read, “he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.” (Gen 19:14)

What are we to learn from this human response to Truth? The first big lesson is that unbelief will never destroy either the Truth or the purposes of God. It is a tragedy that our first response to God’s Truth is unbelief, but in a way the first Easter should give us hope, because Peter left the tomb marvelling, yet six weeks later he was so fully convinced of the truth of all the “Easter” events that he was able to say “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death,…. (Acts 2:23,24)

He no longer saw a ‘kangaroo court’ and manipulated justice, but he saw the purposes and power of God. He was not the only one to have such a change of mind, but “those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41)

If we are Christians reading this, then we would say that we have no problem believing in the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, but are we able to believe that God would save three thousand souls today? The honest answer is “No”, but I attended a service recently where a Korean pastor said that he serves a church of 75,000 members. God is able and He is still doing it.

We must believe the truth of Isaiah 59:1
the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
and at the same time face the searching challenge of the following verse,
but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear. (Is 59:2)

What then are the lessons of Easter for us?

1. God’s Truth is unchanged, no matter what we think.

2. God’s power to save is unrestricted, irrespective of our own observations.

3. We are to continue to tell an unbelieving world and church that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners and that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed.

Your grateful fellow believer,

Bernard Lewis April 2017

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Pastor’s Message: February

Dear Friends,

My last letter called us to prepare to meet God and concluded with these three questions,
1. Is our public worship pleasing to God?
2. Are we using our prosperity for the honour of God or simply for our own comfort?
3. Are we prepared to become uncomfortable so that others might know the real comfort of God?

Our text card builds on that, calling us to ‘supplement our faith’ and to ‘grow in grace’, while the list of questions I distributed on Jan 8 includes this question,
‘In which spiritual discipline do you want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?’
Many people see discipline as punishment. That is a misunderstanding. Discipline is essentially that determination to create order in a part or all of your life. So our question then becomes “What parts of your life will you make more ordered this year? Or put another way, what good habits can you begin?”

To help us answer that question I want to give you a glimpse at a book called “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” by Donald Whitney. He writes ten chapters on each spiritual discipline saying they are for the purposes of Godliness. They are Bible Intake (2 chapters) Prayer, Worship, Evangelism, Serving, Stewardship, Fasting, Silence and Solitude, Journaling, Learning.

Considering each of them individually he writes
Bible Intake includes hearing, studying, memorizing, meditating on and applying God’s Word, the Bible. We will never grow as Christians when we neglect the Bible.
Prayer is expected, learned with the expectation of it being answered. Private and corporate prayer is essential to effective life and ministry.
Worship focuses on and responds to God and is to be done in Spirit and Truth. It is a discipline to be cultivated both publicly and privately.
Evangelism is not optional, it is expected of every Christian, and is empowered by God. Again it does not come easily, but grows through discipline.
Serving is an expected outflow of Christian experience, motivated by gratitude and gladness, because of our experience of God. As with evangelism God gifts us to serve, even though it can be hard work.
Stewardship begins with our disciplined use of time, which if misused can never be regained. It also includes the use of money and other resources since all that we have has been first given by God.
Fasting is the Christian’s voluntary abstinence from food or other luxuries for spiritual purposes and is again expected of all Christians. It must however be done for a purpose, rather than an ongoing empty ritual.
Silence and Solitude – silence is the voluntary and temporary abstention from speaking while solitude is the spiritual discipline of voluntarily and temporarily withdrawing to privacy; both for spiritual goals and purposes.
Journaling or simply keeping a diary helps you to think more clearly and to express your thoughts and feelings before God.
Learning characterises the wise person and fulfils part of the great commandment to ‘Love the Lord your God … with all your mind.’ As we learn more of God it is inevitable that we will grow, but this is only achieved by discipline not by accident.

At first reading that may appear very demanding and bordering on legalism, but essentially each of these either develops our relationship with God or as an outflow of that our relationship with fellow human beings especially fellow Christians. In 2017 it is my desire that we all grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is best achieved in partnership with each other in the fellowship of the church. Our purpose in gathering for our services and prayer meetings is that we might build each other up in our most holy faith. These disciplines are often best approached in company with others. Is there someone that you could ask to help you or for you to help them?

Your fellow-disciple,

Bernard Lewis February 2017

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