A word from Glenn

Hi I'm Glenn and I want to welcome you

to Edgeside Baptist Church.


From the February Magazine


Brexit:

Seeking Peace and Prosperity

From the Febuary Magazine

The Summer of 2016, I wrote my September magazine article Is the turmoil of the post Brexit vote of 24 June early that

The prime Minister had announced his resignation; the leader of the opposition was under increasing pressure. The value of the pound had fallen against the dollar and the euro. Our credit rating had been downgraded. Scotland wanted to leave the UK and there were calls from Irish Nationalist for a referendum in Northern Irelandon them leaving the UK and joining with the republic.

On social media "remain" voters are wanting a second vote while calling the "leave" voters racists. The young are blaming the old because 75% of young people voted to remain, although it is possible only 36% of the young voted, so perhaps they should blame themselves. There had been some physical attacks on those who had already madetheir homes here from other EU states. And to top it all the English football team have been knocked out of the Euro's by the great foot balling power that is Iceland.

As I write now about two and half years later the situation is not that much different. The new prime minister holds on to her office, but only just. Parliament has rejected the government and EU plan for leaving and so what has become known as a no deal Brexit seems likely. The immediate effect of a no deal seems certain to have the pound plummeting. Undoubtedly there will be calls for resignations and a general election. Social media is likely to, again, demonstrate the great divide in our country on this issue. Who knows what will happen with the Irish boarder. And there is just two months to find an agreement or no deal will be the case for good or bad. It seems the only improvement in the situation is the English Football team.

Two and half years ago I was looking at Jeremiah 29:11 preparation for a sermon I was preparing midst the turmoil Interestingly my attention has again turned to Jeremiah 29 in prep aration for messy church this Sunday. In particular this Passage;

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: "Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peprosperity of the city to which I have carried you into Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

The context of this chapter is that many Israelites had been exiled in to a foreign land. Their real desire is to go home back to Israel but God's message to them is that that is not possible so they should get on with life make the most of what they have. They should take charge of what they can change and forget about what they can't Building homes, planting gardens, getting married and having children. I think this could be a message for us as a nation and as Christians midst the Brexit chaos. Whatever the final outcome we should get on with life and be positive. Let us not get into the business of blaming others because they thought differently, and voted accordingly. Instead let us seek the peace and prosperity of Britain in or out of the EU. As Jeremiah puts it "Pray to the LORD it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper

GLENN

From the December Magazine


God is closer than you think!

Isaiah 7:14

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

This verse was written by Isaiah around 650-700 years before Mary conceived and gave birth to the Lord Jesus Christ. This amazingly accurate prophesy of future events is overshadowed by the reality of the event prophesied. That a virgin will conceive How amazing is that! But even that amazing event is itself overshadowed by the reality of the name that is to be given to the child. Immanuel which means "God with us"! Wow! That is the great message of Christmas that the person of Jesus Christ, God is with us!

This is incredible that God the creator of the universe would come to earth and be with us and not just be with us, but be one of us. Experience life as a human and everything that means: the joys, the relationships, the limitations, the emotions, the desires, the temptations and the pain and even the death. However, as we shall see below, the idea of God being with us and relating to us is something that we find throughout the Bible both before and after that first Christmas.

Walking with God

It is believed by many from Genesis 3:8 that God would often walk with Adam in the Cool of the day. Although that certainly means, reading a little between the lines, it does present the idea of God desiring to be with his creation. In fact the idea of walking with God is a strong feature in Genesis. Enoch is said to have walked with God so closely that he never experienced death but God just took him (Gen 5:24). Noah is also said to have of walked with God (Gen 6:9). Jacob claimed Abraham and Isaac walked before God (Gen 48:15). In Leviticus God speaking to the Exodus generations says, "He will walk among them and be their God" (26:12). In Deuteronomy it is declared that he walks among the new Joshua generation to protect them (23:14).

Friendship with God

Abraham is later referred to as the friend of friend of God (Isaiah 41:8 James 2.23). Gods face to face, just as friends speak to one another (Exodus 33:11). Job claimed to have God's intimate friendship for at leas his life. Jesus calls his disciples friends (John 15:15). Proverbs 18 proverbs 18:24 implies God is a friend who stays closer than a brother

Guided by God

David famously declared the Lord is my shepherd (Psalm 23:1) A claim also made previously by Jacob (Genesis 48:15). Jesus said that he will send another advocate, who will be a guide for us (John 16:7,13). Of course he was referring to the promised person of the Holy Spirit. Closer than you think All this talk about walking with God, being a friend of God and being guided by God might have you feeling that you are not actually very close to God in comparison. You might even feel that God is actually far away. Well I want to suggest that he actually might be closer than you think. "God is closer than think" is the title of a new series we are going to being on Sunday 30 December and continue into the new year. This will include six sermons and six café church sessions with video's and discussion opportunities. So if you feel far away from God this course is for you because after all the Christmas mes reminds us that he is Immanuel, God with us.

GLENN

From the November Magazine

Welcoming the Stranger

One of the pleasures of being the minister at Edgeside for the past five years has been meeting and working with and alongside visitors to our church from around the world. These have of course been the young people who have come to us from our partners Capernwray Bible College and the Pais Project. We have hosted (in no particular order) Canadians, Americans, Germans, a Korean, an Argentinian, a Romanian, a person from Switzerland (what do you call them?) and someone from Somerset.These are of course just the ones that I have been involved with.

The church has, of course, hosted many more for many more years than five and will, I am sure, continue to host many more in the future.

However, recently the church has been challenged to welcome two more people from another part of the world. Two Iranian (Persian) asylum seekers who have been placed locally by the home office. The Bible encourages us to welcome such people into our ommunities


Levitcus 19:33-34 When a foreigner resides among you in your land. do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.


Exodus 23:9 Do not oppress a foreigner: you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

Jesus himself said (Matthew 25:35-40)... "I was a Stranger and. "when did we see you a stranger and you welcomed me"........... | "When did we see you a stranger welcome you'................... "whatever vou did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."


It has been great to see people at Edgeside Baptist obey God and welcome these new friends and help them by providing food, lifts, hospitality and other assistance in the name of Jesus

I wonder if you are aware that Christians living in Iran are among the most persecuted in the world According the to persecuted the Open Door church website (Open doors is an organisation that works with the persecutedChurch throughout world) only the Armenians and Assyrians in Iran are allowed to be Christians. They are treated as second class citizens and face imprisonment if they try and reach out to the Muslim population.

A Muslim who converts is at risk of the death penalty, Muslims are not even meant to shake hands with Christians, touch them or eat their food. Any Muslims that do convert to Christianity are forced to either practice their faith in isolation or attend underground house churches, These are often monitored and raided by police.

All this means that many Christian converts are leaving Iran and claiming asylum in countries like our own. There are churches in Manchester. Stockport, Heywood, Liverpool, and Bolton, that I know of, who have numerous Iranian Persians attending their services. Some even have Farsi (the Persian language) congregations or bilble groups. The minister from Stockport Baptist Church kindly visited us at Edgeside and brought a Farsi speaker from his congregation with him who was able to translate for us. They have been able to advise us on how we can help our friends with some legal issues, have provided us with Farsi Bibles and resources So we can use the Farsi language a little in our services. Recently I was able to accompany our new friends to a Bible Study at ockport where In was one of 3 whose first language was English among 14 whose first language was si. It was a honour to be given an opportuny toanswer some of the questions with a Farsi speaker ranslating my words and also to listen to what those from this other culture thought about the particular Bible passage we were looking at.

A few years ago we sang the carol "silent night" in German on Christmas day. More recently we had a German version of the song "Lighthouse" playing alongside some photo's monitoring Timon's time with us Not sure if they were the first foreign languages in the service, but very soon we will experiences of Edgeside using Farsi which lam sure will be a fist. Finally let's remember whatever we do for these strangerswe do for Jesus.

Glenn