St. Andrew's Malta

        An International Church for all Christian Denominations 
        A union of the Church of Scotland & the Methodist Church

At home with Jesus 


We all face a difficult time with new challenges every day. 

Feelings of isolation, sadness and worries are part of our daily life.

We want to bring inclusiveness, hope and healing to your home.

The encouragement we are looking for is found in our Lord Jesus.


Rev. Betsi Thane is posting daily encouragement and prayers at our Facebook group.

But you can follow us on this page too.


Many blessings and be safe.


Rend Collective


"Never walk alone"


YouTube link here

BYU Vocal Point 

(Josh Groban A Capella Cover)

"You raise me up"

YouTube link here
Encouragement – Monday 30th March 2020

Even if you don't feel like
“Give thanks to the Lord. For HE is good; HIS love endures forever.”
1 Chron16:34((NIV)
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burden.”
Psalm 68:19((NIV)


Dear friends,
It is not always easy to give our burdens to the Lord.
Yesterday I spent half a day in frustration! I did not even think about giving the burden to the Lord, I was desperate and wanted to do what I planned to do.

I have prepared and recorded Sunday Service for yesterday. I am your minister and I wanted to worship our God with you. 
I got up early in the morning to get ready for 10:30, our usual church service time. I tried to upload the recording to our church’s Facebook. But it didn't let me! At 2pm it was still loading! 
Can you imagine my frustration? Late in the afternoon I gave up, upset and discouraged. 
Once, one of my colleagues said (while observing our tutor’s struggle with his power point presentation) “the technology is new but not the operator” (the tutor, my friend and I belong to the same generation, we grew up without technology ;-)

The evil thoughts came to my mind, “what kind of minister am I? How am I going to serve in Malta? I am useless”

BUT...and yes, there is a BUT
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burden.”
Today is a new day, a new chance, a new opportunity. I choose to cast away the evil thoughts; in the name of Jesus Christ to cast them far far away.. God is near, He knows my burdens, He knows my weaknesses and frustration. And He is not far away, somewhere above the clouds. He is with me. He is with you.

From the New Living Translation verse 19 in Psalm 68 says: 
“Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.” 

Doesn’t matter how small or large our burden is, HE, the Risen King carries us in HIS arm!

God the Creator of all things gave us His Son to show us His love for us. Jesus upon the cross removed our sin so we can have a relationship with our Almighty Father. He fills us with His Spirit and surrounds us with His love. When we feel defeated or lonely, when the laptop and the mobile phone don’t do what they were expected to do, when you have to stay indoors and feel like you “cannot breath” He picks us up and carries us. Remember this HE is a loving Father and He always hears you when you speak to Him. He is the one that makes provision for you.

So now let us be still before our God, close your eyes, breath in the Spirit of Holy God, breath out frustration and fear and all your burden

breath in – Holy Spirit come, fill me…
breath out- frustration go away...
breath in – Holy Spirit come, fill me…
breath out- frustration go away...
Heavenly Father thank you that your hear me. 
Thank you for loving me with an everlasting love
Your word tells us that you are LOVE. 
So when I am afraid, feel all alone, frustrated, fearful 
or just far away from you 
please remind me through your Spirit how close you really are, 
help me feel your presence, 
remind me that I am your child, 
and that you hear and love me even when if I don’t feel like.
Almighty God hear our prayers for we pray in the precious name of Jesus
Christ. 
Amen

Keep safe and look after each other. Keep in touch per emails and phone calls
yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 

Rev. Betsi's video message 

Saturday 28th March 20





The London Fox Singers

"Jesus be may centre"
 
YouTube link here

Turn to the light 
by Irene Bom


Here is a prayer inspired by Phos Hilaron — the earliest Christian hymn (outside of the Bible), dating from the 3rd or 4th century. Known as the “Lamp-lighting hymn,” it was traditionally sung as the evening lamps were lit.

May this prayer, inspired by those ancient words, give us words and inspiration as we to turn to God, our Gladsome Light, especially “in times of stress, fear, and grief, in times of blindness, temptation, danger, and perdition”.


Twenty-first Century Phos Hilaron

O God, who is light in the darkness,
      we pray for those among us who in the night hours work their shifts,
            or those who labor in places where light is dim.
Be for them and for us protection in the dark.

O God, who is the bright morning star,
      we pray for those among us who grieve the loss of loved ones,
            the tarnishing of innocence,
            the failing of health,
            the flight of security.
Be for them and for us a sure defense and the promise of a new day.

O God, who is sight to the blind,
      we pray for those among us whose eyes are clouded,
      who are blind in soul, mind, or body.
Be for them and for us both courage and sight.

O God, who is strength to the besieged,
      we pray for those among us who are beset by temptation,
            those who are in danger,
            those whose enemies are close and whose help seems far away.
Be for them and for us a present fortress against our foes.

O God, who is salvation to the lost,
      we pray for those among us who have never found your way,
            or who, having found it, have strayed from your path.
Be for them and for us the beacon that guides safely home.

O God who is comfort to the fearful,
      we pray for those among us who live in fear of threats real or imagined,
            whose lives are torn by war,
            whose thoughts are confused by mental illness,
            whose souls and bodies are ravaged by abuse.
Be for them and for us consolation and surety against anxiety.

Give us wisdom, O God, to turn to you in times of stress, fear, and grief,
      in times of blindness, temptation, danger, and perdition.
Grant us patience to wait for you,
      and courage to be strong in your might,
            through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 
Amen.



From the website of Irene Bom  "Prayer matters"
click link here


 
 
 

C.S.Lewis in 1952


Satan: "I will cause anxiety, fear and panic. 

I will shut down business, schools, places of worship and sports events. I will cause economic turmoil."


Jesus: "I will bring together neighbours, restore family unit, I will bring dinner back to the kitchen table. I will help people slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters. I will teach my children to rely on me and not the world. I will teach my children to trust me and not their money and material resources." 


......  and still true today


 


Stuart Townend


"Behold the lamb"


YouTube link here

Rend Collective

Counting every blessing

YouTube link here

Casting Crowns


"God Of All My Days"   


YouTube link here

 
Encouragement – Friday 27th March 2020

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Matthew 6:6 (NIV)
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Philip 4:19 (NIV)


Dear friends,
A week ago I asked many to pray for safe arrival of my daughter. She arrived, we are together and reassured that God knows our needs and answers prayers.
Today I want to encourage you to pray, to pray more often. Because of the circumstances we do not have a “social life” as we used to have but we have time, a lot of time.
Some people argue that they cannot pray, they don’t know the beautiful words their minister use or that their pastors or priests pray. But can you imagine to build a relationship with someone but all the talking to that person is done by someone else?
We want to build a strong and loving relationship with our Heavenly Father. He loves you. He doesn’t want to hear big words, He wants you to talk to Him and to be listen to.

So take some time, be still …
Breath in the Holy Spirit…
And talk to HIM as you talk to your best friend

Let us pray together

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love
Thank you that we can come to you as we are
Thank you that you love us and accept us
You answer prayers
I give to you my day, my life, my joys and worries
Fill me with our Spirit and help me to hear your voice...
Hear our prayers Almighty God for we pray in the Holy and precious name of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. 
Amen

Keep safe and look after each other. Keep in touch per emails and phone calls
yours in Christ
Betsi


 
Paul Baloche
What a friend we have in Jesus

YouTube link here

Vangelis  "Hymne"

Meditation


YouTube link here



Encouragement – Thursday 26th March 2020

“ And He will be calledWonderful Counselor, Mighty God.”
Isaiah9:6 (NIV)
“ Trust in the Lordwith all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)


Dear friends,
what a day we had have yesterday. I would never think that one can experience so much excitement while under quarantine.
As I mentioned yesterday, there was a thunderstorm in the morning, nothing special you would think? Well, the day was rather grey and rainy and the thunders and lightnings return in the afternoon. One of those lightnings must have caused a power cut. It took me back some 40 years back to Poland during the cold war time. What a good opportunity to share a bit of Polish history with my daughter. :)
The power came back after a while, with it the internet and I could connect with my sister in Poland. I was so glad we spoke. She seemed to be terrified over the Corona virus situation. I hope our conversation gave her some peace.

Dear friends, it is so so important to keep in touch with our families and friends. Many have no hope in Jesus and they have nothing to hold to!
Please, please, especially now in the time of need, share the HOPE you have in our Savior.

In the late evening the door bell rang! Should we be expecting any visitors at this time?
At the door was the Health Department and the police doing their job. Three “masked” men came to check if we were staying indoors.

During our prayer later on Sara and I, thanked God for them and all people risking their health while caring for others. 
God thank you for all doctors, nurses, carers and all who put a lot of effort in making sure that the ill are being looked after, and those who are bringing a potential risk are doing what they were asked to do.
And while talking about the happenings of the last few hours I got an invitation to join the prayer group that met via ZOOM (something online for those who don't know ZOOM; I didn’t hear of it till yesterday) from West Kilbride Parish Church, the church I spent 15 months of my training. I got tears in my eyes! We prayed together, not being physically in one place but we joined our minds and hearts in prayer as we used to do all the previous months. It was a strange experience, strange because I never experienced anything like that before, however it was as powerful and beneficial as always. It felt like a special gift given to me, at the end of the day, to pray together with my brothers and sisters. God is good!

Today I want to encourage you to pray, together and alone. Our God is called Wonderful Counsellor and Mighty God.

From the New Testament we learn that Jesus offered hope and healing during His ministry. As His disciples we are expected to do the same. Listening to the broken, lonely and hurt will bring hope and healing. Jesus knows our struggles and is willing to walk besides us always. Give your burdens to Jesus, give Him your anxiety and fear.
Be honest and humble yourself before God, and when you do that you will experience growth, healing and victory that can only be found in Jesus.
Easter is approaching fast, during this Lent let’s remember that we don’t have to face life alone. Spend time connecting and getting honest with Jesus, our wonderful Counsellor. Seek Him in God’s Word and rest assured that He is faithful and will draw near to you.
In Him you will find wisdom, hope, joy, and peace.
The song came into my mind this morning
What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer (A Jackson)

And now let’s be still for a few moments, let’s put away our worries and uncertainty, let’s focus on Jesus

Let us pray together

Heavenly Father, thank you for this new day, for the sunny morning.
Thank you that I can come to you with anything
You alone are worthy of honour, glory and praise. 
With You, Lord, I can overcome every storm – including COVID-19
Help me to lay down everything before you, all my burdens, worries, doubts and fear.
Help me to trust you as YOU walk with me through any situation. 
Thank you for being my Wonderful Counsellor. You are our God and friend.
And now we come together to pray for those who are sick in houses and in hospitals,
heal them Lord with your healing power,
Bless those who look after them Lord, give them strength and surround all of them with your loving arms
Protect those who are not sick,
and Lord God refresh our minds, touch our hearts that we will seek your healing power in our lives
We pray for those in authority, give our leaders wisdom as they navigate this pandemic and economic uncertainty
Strengthen Your Church worldwide Lord Jesus, Fill us with your Spirit of hope, joy, and peace,
calm our fears, help us to continue to trust in YOU
We pray for those who are in quarantine and help us all to endure the time of social isolation
Help us to remember that you are God and in control
Almighty God, use this pandemic to pave the way for spiritual renewal. We want your glory, power, and healing to be on display
Hear our prayers Almighty God for we pray in the Holy and precious name of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. 
Amen

Keep safe and look after each other. Keep in touch per emails and phone calls
yours in Christ
Betsi


 
Rend Collective:  

"My Lighthouse"

YouTube link here
Chris Rice

"How great thou art"

YouTube link here
 
Encouragement – Wednesday 25th March 2020

“ Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta.
The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.”
Acts 28:2 (NIV)

Story of Paul’s shipwreck in Malta was read at my ordination. 

I remember all laughing out loud at the last words “it was raining and cold”. Back in Scotland we all thought I am leaving the rain, and cold and wind of Scotland for sunny Malta. :)
This morning I woke up to a mighty thunder and the noise of rain drops splashing on my terrace. I looked out of the window and reminded myself that after every storm the sun comes out and shines. Today we are “standing in the rain”, the Corona virus is making our days miserable but this will pass and the sun will shine; not tomorrow, and perhaps not in a few days, but it will!
And listening to the thunder a tune came up into my mind, a tune of a hymn most of you are familiar with - “I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder Thy power throughout the universe displayed”

O God how wonderful you are. “How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!” (PS 92:5)and “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?” (Ps 8:3)Is that not a wonderful promise?

Humming the tune I wondered what caused the author to write the beautiful hymn “How great Thou art”? And that’s what I discovered.
In 1885 Carl Boberg, a member of the Swedish Parliament and the author of that hymn, was on the way back from an afternoon service. The walk was beautiful, the birds were singing in the trees but suddenly “a thunderstorm began to appear on the horizon.” Carl and his friend hurried for shelter. “There were loud claps of thunder, and the lightning flashed across the sky. Strong winds swept over the meadows and billowing fields of grain. However, the storm was soon over and the clear sky appeared with a beautiful rainbow.”
If you can close your eyes for a moment… try to picture this scene. Can you smell the rain and feel the wind blowing through your hair? (I promise, it will not mess up your hairdo :)
And then it stops, the rain disappear, the sun comes out and you feel the warm rays of sun on your face.
The corona-virus thing will disappear! And the new day will come full of light and joy. God is good!
“How great Thou Art”
O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
And when I think of God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin”

And now let’s be still for a few moments, let’s put away our worries and uncertainty, let’s focus on Jesus.


Let us pray together

Heavenly Father, thank you for this new day. Thank you for the rain and thunderstorm, thank you for the hope we have in you, the hope in brighter days to come.
Thank you for your son Jesus Christ who died instead of us. Thank you for your mercy and love. You care for us, you provide for us.
Help us to endure the days of isolation and uncertainty. Help us to focus not on the storm but on Jesus.
Fill us God with your Holy Spirit, fill us with peace, hope and joy, because we need it.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour we pray. 
Amen

Keep safe and look after each other. Keep in touch per emails and phone calls
yours in Christ
Betsi
 

Song: 
"Days of Elijah" 
on  YouTube.  
Please click here


 

Encouragement – Tuesday 24th March 2020


“ For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)


Dear members and friends of St Andrew’s Church,

Being alone is hard. We are created for community, not confinement.

But we are not alone! Let us be grateful that no matter how alone we may feel (feelings!), we KNOW that God never leaves or forsakes us.

While we all have different experiences with our earthly fathers, we know that no relationship is perfect. Maybe the name “father” brings in you joyful memories, but perhaps it weights heavily on your heart…

However, what a gift we have in God, our perfect, Everlasting, loving Father whom we may know through our relationship with Jesus. Through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we are blessed with direct access to God. When/If you gave your heart to Jesus, you are adopted into God’s family.

And if you don't know Jesus as your Saviour be reassured that you never can be too far for God’s mercy, forgiveness and love. HE never gives up on us, regardless of how far we wander!

Regardless of our experiences and faults you are invited into a relationship with and unchanging, good, loving Father.

In HIM we have hope, healing, and the promise of His care forever.

And now let’s be still for a few moments, let’s put away our worries and uncertainty, let’s focus on Jesus


Let us pray together


Heavenly Father, thank you for this new day. 

Thank you that in Jesus we see the perfect example of what a Father, a loving and caring Parent should be. Open my eyes and mind so I can learn from you, 

help me to be more like Jesus.

Lord God we are thankful today, in the time of social isolation, because of the corona-virus, for technology that helps us stay in touch with each other. 

Please, remind us that this time of social distancing and isolation will not last forever. Give us the strength to endure this difficult season, and deepen our connection with you and your people. 

Empower us Lord with an extra dose of your love, peace, hope and joy, because we need it. Remind us of Your promises, and please heal our world

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour we pray. 

Amen


Keep safe and look after each other. Keep in touch per emails and phone calls

yours in Christ

Betsi


 
Encouragement – Monday 23rd March 2020

“The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:19-24(NRSV)
Dear members and friends of St Andrew’s Church,
When your world is falling apart, it’s so easy to focus on the pain, the problems, the difficulties, the “coronavirus thing”. It’s the natural, the human response. But the biblical response is to turn your focus to God’s love. If you are upset and don’t understand what’s going on, I encourage you to focus on HIS unconditional love. Remember that you can’t make God stop loving you and care for you.
You can see this biblical approach in Jeremiah’s life in Lamentations 3:19-26. Jeremiah starts out focused on his pain: “The thought of my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison. I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed” (v. 19-20 TEV). He was consumed by the devastation around him. It filled his thoughts and made him bitter and depressed.
We are not homeless but the situation we are in seems to be as devastating as it was for Jeremiah. We are ask to stay in our homes, to stay indoors and we wonder what the future will bring. We could give in into the dark upsetting thoughts but we don't have to. “If you want to change your life, you have to change your thoughts.” So that’s what Jeremiah did. We see the mental switch in the next few verses: “Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.”
You don’t know God is all you need until God is all you’ve got. But that’s all you need, because God will take care of you.
We make dumb mistakes when we start doubting God’s love. We start to think, “I know better than God, and I’m going to start choosing to do things my way rather than following God’s way.”
We need to change our thinking. We need to remember, “The Lord is merciful and will not reject us forever. He may bring us sorrow, but his love for us is sure and strong. He takes no pleasure in causing us grief or pain” (Lamentations 3:31-33).
God loves you. He is not the strict parent that you couldn’t please. He is not the imperfect parent with weaknesses and faults who messed up. He is God — the eternal, all-knowing, infallible God who created you to love you and will never leave you.
So when you feel like you’ve lost everything, stop focusing on what’s lost and start focusing on what’s left: God and HIS love for you.
Homework :)
Think about this questions or even better, speak with your friend about them:
  • What are some of the promises and truths you can claim about God’s feelings for you?
  • Why do you think God allows us to experience loss and pain?
  • Does our experience change anything about God?
And now let’s be still for a few moments, let’s put away our worries and uncertainty, let’s focus on Jesus

Let us pray together

Heavenly Father, thank yo for this day, thank you for your love and care for us
Help us to focus on you, take our worries away
Help us to see the bigger picture
Thank you that we can trust you and we know that yo are in control of the situation.
Lord God we pray for your people today, in this land and around the globe at this time.
You know what lies ahead, help us to take one day at the time
Remind us that you are a living and loving God
Open our eyes so we may see you never-ending love and mercy
Fill us with your Holy Spirit, refresh us and renew us
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour we pray. 
Amen

Keep safe and look after each other. Keep in touch per emails and phone calls
yours in Christ
Betsi

 

Your pansies for Mothering Sunday ;-) 

Encouragement – Sunday 22nd March 2020

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Rom 15:13

Dear members and friends of St Andrew’s Church,
As you minister I should have been on my way to church this Sunday morning, but I am not.
I am under quarantine thinking about you and praying that all will be well, according to God’s plan.
After just one day in isolation I received different understanding of thousands of Jews that were hiding during WW2. (and who knows how many today are in similar situation)
Yes, Sara and I need to stay indoors for two weeks, not for years (let’s hope for that), we have space to move, we can talk, laugh, go to the bathroom when we want and need, we have food and water to drink, we are not afraid that the next person who will knock on the door is the Gestapo…
How privileged we are.
We are surrounded with friends and partners in prayer, we hold to the HOPE we have in Christ.
We are living in days that bring uncertainty and fear. The media bombard us with new about new cases of Covid-19 spreading. We face the travel restrictions, social isolation and panicked climate of fear.
But I want you to put aside all the worries and fears, even just for a moment or two.
Stop. Breath. Close your eyes and feel the presence of God.
We have a message of hope, joy and peace as we read in the letter to Romans. This message is for everyone and need to be heard and proclaimed.
We trust in God’s promise, we know that Jesus is with us, both now in this lifetime and in eternity to come. This is truly GOOD NEWS especially now when so many are desperately searching for assurance.
So let’s spread HOPE!
And now let’s be still for a few moments, let’s put away our worries and uncertainty, let’s focus on Jesus
Let us pray together
Heavenly Father God, we come before you this morning
You are our God and Savior.
We thank you for the good news we have in Jesus
Lord God we pray for an effective vaccine to be produced
We pray for your comforting grace to be pour out on those who are ill, their families, those who are isolated and fearful.
We ask for the medical staff, God give them strength, protect them and give wisdom so they will know how to how to deal with the sick, and keep the situation in hospitals under control.
Almighty God we pray for spiritual awakening. Touch harts and minds of people, may they see and understand that You are GOD and only you bring HOPE and JOY and SALVATION
And we pray for your church worldwide. Help us to look to your WORD for guidance and hope, refresh our spirit, and fill us with your joy
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Friend we pray. 
Amen

Keep safe and look after each other. Keep in touch per emails and phone calls
yours in Christ
Betsi