Notices for Sunday 22nd February 2015

Change your life and believe the Message.”
Mark 1:15 (Message)

Help us Father God to stop what we are doing and do something different or do what we are doing but in a different way.
Amen

We welcome our preacher this morning who is Ms Lisa Rathbone
After service tea hosts Bob and Evelyn

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Beryl Williams in memory of her parents Thomas and Hilda Davies
Organist: Joan McGowan

Sunday 1st March
11.00am Preacher  Rev John Wiggall
Vestry Stewards – Elizabeth and Ian
Door Steward – Keith
Tea Hosts – Keith and Myra

Diary Dates
February
Mon 23rd      Every Day with Jesus Bible Study in Lounge 10.30am
Wed 25th     Midweek Communion at Regent Street 11.15am
Wed 25th     Bible Study at Avril’s home led by Lisa Rathbone 7.30pm

March
Tue 3rd        Welsh Lunch at Rhosymedre 1.00pm
Sat 7th         Heal the Last Stand Folk Concert 8.00pm £5 at Regent Street – Bob has tickets

Please pray for the following:
Richard Down
Phyllis Davies
Isobel Holroyd
Ernest Tait
Maurice Anderton
Ruth Hodson
Vanessa Woolrich
Kay Davies

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

HEAL THE LAST STAND, from Wrexham, North Wales, U.K.

Appearing at Wrexham Methodist Church, Saturday 7th March 8.00pm. Tickets £5.

Heal are three siblings and a close friend, four strong vocalists demonstrating effortless harmonic ability, accompanying themselves with piano and acoustic guitars.

A blood-harmony band, influenced by 60/70’s west coast Folk/Americana. These counter-culture aficionados echo the deep sentiments of the Summer of Love, with an ocean of harmony like Crosby, Stills & Nash meets First Aid Kit.

Challenges

Though no specific sin or sins of the past come to mind, someone may feel that he is greatly pained, that he is filled with iniquity, that the light of God does not shine upon him. There is no “willing spirit” within him; his heart is calloused; his soul’s qualities and characteristics do not go along the straight and desired way that leads to fulfillment of life . . . his conceptions are coarse and his emotions are a confusion of darkness and lust which causes him spiritual revulsion. He is ashamed of himself and he is aware that God is not within him, and this is his great anguish, his most frightful sin. He is embittered at himself and finds no escape from the snare of his pursuers, which has no specific nature, but he is at once taken completely captive. From this spiritual bitterness repentance emerges as healing by a skilful physician. The sensing of repentance and a deep knowledge of it . . . comes and streams into the soul.

Rav Kook

Lenten Transformation
Mark 1:9-15

Every religion has ways of talking about transformation: repentance, conversion, being illuminated. We all feel the stirrings within us of the need for change, but it is so hard to do.

In Mark’s simple way, we hear in a few short verses how Jesus came from obscurity, was baptized, spent time alone with God in the wilderness, and, when John’s ministry was over, emerged to start his own.

Lent is our wilderness time. If we are hoping to turn our hearts toward God this Lenten season, we must start with transformation. The need, the desire.

Honestly, I think that’s what people are after when they set out to lose 20 pounds by giving up sweets during Lent. It’s the idea of being transformed into some better version of ourselves. We want to be thinner, nicer, more humble, more spiritual.

Jesus talked about repentance, which means to turn. To stop what we’re doing and do something different, or do the same thing in a different way. It requires change.

We get into habits, even spiritual habits that become rote. Change is good for the mind, good for the soul. Doing something different during Lent can make us rethink, re-establish, who we are with God, who we are with others, who we are within ourselves.

We never stop developing. Yes, it gets harder to change old habits when they’ve been ingrained in us for decades. But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Habits like not looking for God’s presence in the world, no longer hearing the rustling of the Spirit, sleepwalking through life.

Transformation may be huge. But it may also be small, incremental. I would never be so bold as to tell you what type of change or transformation you should attempt, but here are a few thoughts: 1) One minute of silence each morning. 2) One page of reading something deep and important. 3) Opening and ending the day in the presence of God. 4) Giving thanks throughout the day. 4) Writing one sentence or a paragraph in a journal—just thoughts and hopes, or fears, or emotions—positive or negative. Honestly, God cares about all of it.

Here we are, every morning, with the opportunity to make that day a new one.

How will you be transformed?

© Melissa Bane Sevier, Pastor First Presbyterian Church, KY, USA

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