Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It’s with great joy in my heart that I write my first Pastor’s letter to you all. We certainly live in uncertain days, yet the Lord remains on His throne ruling, reigning and surveying all that He has made. Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has today, (19th Oct) announced a fire breaker lockdown, due to commence on Friday 23rd October with restrictions lifting on Monday 9th November. This is a significant day for us all, as it’s on that day I will officially commence my ministry as your Pastor at Emmanuel.
Both Viv and I are so very thankful to the Lord for leading us to serve Him and His people at Emmanuel. I remember with great fondness when I first met Mr Harrison. I had just started my ministry in Merthyr Tydfil and Sulwyn Jones, the then Pastor of Hebron, Dowlais, introduced me to him. He was so encouraging and promised to pray that the Lord would richly bless our ministry at Park. Well, the Lord graciously answered his prayer and little did we know that some eighteen years later, the Lord would call us to Emmanuel!
I’ve also had the privilege of serving alongside your former Pastor, Bernard Lewis, on the EMW Pastoral Care Team. He too has been an encouragement to me in several ways! I recall on one occasion in Aberystwyth, Bernard remarking that he thought I had lost some weight since he saw me last. I thanked him for his kind words, not daring to mention that I had only recently bought some even larger jumpers, hoping to give that very impression!
You’ve been richly blessed. God has provided you in the past with men of stature, to care for your spiritual needs. They have faithfully taught you and have been good examples to the flock. So now, in God’s kindness, He has given me the tremendous privilege of serving you as your Pastor. We leave Park with a sense of thankfulness for how the Lord worked, in prospering the work of the gospel in Merthyr Tydfil. But now a new ministry, with new opportunities, is set before us! Please join us in praying for the Lord to save precious souls and to equip His people as we serve Him and this locality. Let us never lose sight that, “unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it, labour in vain.” (Ps 127:1)
Even though the Bible says “Do not be anxious about anything” (Phil 4:6) most of us are anxious about something. One writer called worry “a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind.” Someone else said that worry is “the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.” Worry is “anxiety over the future that dominates the present.” Our Lord Jesus asked, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt 6:27) Think about it. Can you add an hour to your life by your worry? No, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matt 6:34).
There are at least seven reasons why worry is counterproductive:
● It wastes time that could be spent in better ways.
● It focuses on the problem, not the solution.
● It causes us to assume responsibility that belongs only to God.
● It paralyzes us with fear.
● It saps our joy.
● It drains our energy.
● It keeps us side-tracked when we could be doing God’s will.
As we enter another lock-down, let us not lose heart! Our God is in complete control! Let’s trust Him day by day, because He alone is our Strong, Wise, Merciful, Gracious God. Let us sing from our hearts, in our homes; ‘How good is the God we adore! Our faithful unchangeable Friend. We’ll praise Him for all that is past, and trust Him for all that’s to come!
With much love in our Saviour,