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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

We all have people in our lives who seemed to have had a “joy bypass”;  those who seem to be faultfinding and dream-squashing;  those who want to suck the joy out of your life.  And we are called to love them.  The thing is, we need to guard our hearts against them too, because they want to drag us down into the basement of life where they feel we should reside, alongside them.  

The reality is that all of us have the potential to be “basement people” for others, yet we are called to BE ENCOURAGING.   Encouragement is the language of the New Testament: 

Encourage one another

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up …

Hebrews 3:13 Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness…

Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another …

The exhortation “to encourage” is used more than 50 times in the New Testament, probably because one of the great things about encouragement is, that it always spirals up, never down.  So, who can you encourage today? Who can you lift out of the basement of life?

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During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2010, Christians throughout the world will be listening together to the promise and commission that are part of Christ’s final words before his ascension: “You are witnesses of these things.”  And today our theme is “Witness through hope and trust”.

Here’s some of what I said this morning:

I want to begin with a question:  Why do we come together today?

Well maybe I can only answer for myself.   

Old Parish Church Baillieston

Having been brought up in Lanarkshire, where former mining villages once thrived with immigrants from all over Scotland and Ireland, we were left a legacy of distrust over the differences we had when it came to religion. Yet in the particular village where I grew up I was also aware that we had a legacy of support for one another.

I want to share with you a short extract from a book written about the village that I grew up in, where 25 pages were given over to the impact of the various churches in that area.

 

St John's Episcopal Church Baillieston

St John’s Episcopal Church Baillieston was opened on the 23rd December 1850, but by 1908, St John’s was in dire financial straits.

 

 

“A Diocesan Committee was set up to decide whether St John’s was fit to continue as a charge. (more…)

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