Pastor's Page

July 2018

From the Pastor

As I write we are finalising practical arrangements for our forthcoming departure from Teesside. Over recent months many have asked whether we are looking forward to going.  The answer is a clear YES - but not because we take any pleasure in leaving Middlesbrough. We have known much kindness and many blessings during our six years here, but following God is always a dynamic process where change is seldom far away. Margaret and I have sought God’s voice, and when He spoke clearly - both to us and to our new church fellowship in Leicestershire - the only option was to assent to God’s plans and start the necessary preparations for all that He has designed. Upheaval can be irritating - but obedience to God matters far more. God rarely tells us to go anywhere - rather, He may well call us into new seasons and settings, and all Christians do well to recognise this basic tenet of faithful God-centred living.

Psalm 111: Praise the Lord! I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our LordHe gives food to those who fear him; he always remembers his covenant. He has shown his great power to his people by giving them the lands of other nations. All he does is just and good, and all his commandments are trustworthy. They are forever true, to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity. He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has! 10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!

 

We must commit to praising God and following Him in all situations and stages of life. God’s strategies are best, and I am quite certain that in God we shall discover exciting possibilities for His church(es) in Middlesbrough. The collective task is to pray simply and constantly for God’s plans, and then commit to helping those visions become reality. May God’s peace and protecting hand guide you now and always.

 

Nigel


June 2018

From the Pastor

We were greatly blessed on June 3rd to welcome to Cambridge Rd Sergiy Tymchenko, a pastor and theology lecturer from Kiev. Sergiy’s background has brought him a close and personal understanding of hardship and persecution - and much of his work now involves the training and commissioning of chaplains, who will minister in testing times to those who find their faith under attack.

Sergiy’s text on Jun 3rd was from Mark’s Gospel: chapter 4 ends with Jesus challenging the disciples to venture over the lake with him “to cross to the other side”. This eventful trip includes a violent storm, which Jesus quells, and Jesus’ immediate berating of the disciples, “Why have you no faith?” They need that faith, for in chapter 5, immediately on reaching “the other side” (a deliberately ambiguous and symbolic phrase), they face evil spirits and see at first hand the havoc that such forces often exert. Yet Jesus not only heals the demon-possessed man, but turns this episode into an evangelistic opportunity, sending the man away to testify to Jesus’ power and greatness.

Sergiy’s preaching speaks into our own current situation: many in our midst are living through challenging times which require courage and peace as we seek to remain close to Jesus, strong in the faith He provides. When we cry to Jesus in our hours of need, Jesus will sometimes decide to calm our storms, but sometimes the storm will rage on. We can however weather these storms, safe in the knowledge that Jesus is beside us, experiencing the wind and waves too, yet supremely capable of accompanying us to safety.

 

Whatever uncertainties we sense around us, may we too know the peace that only Jesus can bring - and then, like the man healed in chapter 5, commit to sharing the Good News with others.

 

Nigel





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