chaplain's log

  • SIMON WRITES: EXPERIENCE & SHARE HOPE

    I have been in touch with Stuart McAllister (see photo, our church weekend speaker) and he writes about a seminar he would like to host during our time away….


    "I am wondering whether the Saturday afternoon could be an interactive time related to Hope and both experiencing it & sharing it in our time? As we (RZIM) are facing the constant challenge of sharing the Gospel in diverse settings around the world, dealing with the many questions raised internally by Christians & so many controversies of our time, the question we all face is how do we both live well and witness faithfully?


    ‘I have wrestled for many years personally with the desire to connect well with people around me, be aware of issues, trends, and concerns that affect us all, and try to see what God would have me both be and do in such circumstances. The spirituality, as well as the ideas that have to be engaged, is part of this whole journey. All this is to say, I would love an honest exchange and the feedback from those there which I think will help us all.’


    If you’d like to hear Stuart being interviewed on Understanding and Sharing Truth in our Culture please see https://bit.ly/2OkLHUU


  • SIMON WRITES 9 SEPT: THE WEEKEND AWAY

    The CHURCH WEEKEND AWAY is taking place very soon …… 12th – 14th October.


    We have deliberately chosen a venue that is not far to travel to, approx 20 km away, and made sure that our programme will be for all ages. We have organised people to come & work with our children & youth and have booked a special speaker. At a recent church meeting there were requests for new, inspirational speakers & we are specially flying in Stuart McAllister. A Scottish man, he lives in the USA and ministers through RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries). As a church we are funding this trip because we believe he is just the right person for our church at this time.


    James & Penny Gibbs have spent a lot of time and energy organising this weekend and I believe that God will minister to us all through our time away. If you have not yet done so, PLEASE SIGN UP….NOW!

    This is both a precious & important opportunity for us as a church family. Last week during the notices at church Nathan said that many people get cold feet about coming on such a weekend.

    We are fearful about what might be – but when we return from our time away, WE COME BACK HOME REJOICING AT WHAT HAS BEEN!

    Don’t miss out – please overcome your distractions & be part of this!

  • Simon writes... 2nd september 2018

    ‘Welcome back!’ Words that are often used at this time of year as (what I would call) post-summer life resumes! In reality, it’s about our youngsters & the staff all returning to school and the regular routine of..... sports, societies & clubs, putting this (lovely) summer weather behind us (as we head towards the autumn), and at church home groups & new courses.

    In church we have lots to look forward to! I do hope you are able to join with us for the CHURCH WEEKEND AWAY. We have Stuart McAllister coming from the USA to speak on the theme of HOPE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES. What could be a more appropriate subject given the state of the world we live in?

    THE BIBLE COURSE is also starting on Tuesday evenings from 25th September and aims to give us the ‘big picture of the Bible storyline’ and how the 66 books all fit together into God’s story.

    And this week FIRST WEDNESDAY returns. On 5th Sept please come to the Church Centre (7.40 refreshments and then Prayer from 8-9.30pm).

    Welcome also to....Kees Bos who is the new administrator-office manager ....and to Sharon Ejinkonye, our Intern. It’s really great to have you folk with us! God bless you & your ministry amongst us!

  • SIMON WRITES … AUGUST 2018

    I am enjoying reading "JESUS THROUGH MIDDLE EASTERN EYES" and the insights that Kenneth E Bailey casts on passages in the Gospels. I was particularly struck by some thoughts on this passage.....


    Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.’ Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, ‘Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.’ The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said. Matthew 15:21-25


    The woman reaches out to Jesus across two barriers: gender & religion. He is a Jewish man and she a Gentile woman; they should NEVER meet or talk! But the woman asks Jesus ‘Lord, help me!’ The mother was in pain because of what her daughter was going through. The daughter’s suffering has a terribly profound effect on the mother, her carer. The one who stands by the side of the person who suffers is also greatly afflicted.


    It reminded me of so many in our congregation at this time. So many are caring for others (often from a distance) which can be a real burden. Relatives have died recently and families are grieving. This lovely incident in the Gospel reminds us that Jesus responds to the care-giver who asks him to please ‘Lord, help me!’

    Cast your burdens onto Jesus for he cares for you, too!

  • SIMON WRITES... july 2018

    I am writing this at the end of June in which we are basking in beautiful sunshine. Being a person who loves the variety of the seasons I get great pleasure in warm weather (at this time of the year!)

    Later, autumn & winter bring a change of temperature, length of day & style of life. But at the moment I am loving the long barmy evenings & spending time outdoors.

    Like many of us, we will have the privilege of going away from Tervuren and being ‘on holiday’. It does not come to all people but it is something I value & enjoy.


    If you do get away, can I encourage you also to make sure you find time for your own spiritual life? Please try & keep a daily space for prayer & Bible reading in which the Lord can help shape & mould your life. Going on holiday should be a time to slow down, find space & peace (from the daily round)....time to discover more about ourselves & our need for God’s grace.

    The NIV uses the phrase ‘Jesus prays in a solitary place’ to introduce these words ..... Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

    On holiday we may not feel that we need to get up very early...but I would encourage you to keep your spiritual discipline...or to use it as a time to try & construct a regular pattern of meeting day by day with Almighty God.

    You might also benefit from reading a short Christian book, eg THE HIDING PLACE by Corrie Ten Boom. You are on holiday from your work & the things you have to do...whether you go away or not this summer, why not make this a time for God?!