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.


 
Encouragement 30th May 2020

Day 10 – Thy Kingdom Come is a worldwide prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost. Since its launch by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 2016, Christians from 172 countries and 65 denominations have taken part in praying for friends and family to come to faith in Jesus Christ. These days have always been full of expectation and anticipation. As the Lord Jesus ascended, He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable the disciples to be witnesses. As they waited for the promise to be fulfilled they devoted themselves constantly to prayer (Acts 1:14). So, the renewed call across the church is to set these days apart to pray, and each individual to pray for 5 people to come to know the love and peace of Jesus Christ.

SILENCE

Reading: 1 Kings 19.11-13
He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Reflection:
Silence has always been a big part of spiritual practice, but many have never tried it! Solitude and silence can help us hear from God, because we can easily lose sensitivity to that still, small voice in all the noise and activity of our lives. In silence, you realise how little you hear that voice at other times. 
Silence can be hard. Life is busy and finding a space and time for silence can be difficult. You have a thousand thoughts, like “what’s for dinner?”! But the beauty of silence is that it’s not God speaking through someone else, such as in a sermon or a Christian book, but God speaking directly to you.

Prayer:
...[be silent]…
Action:
Try silent prayer for five minutes – even if it’s difficult! Make a note afterwards of anything God seemed to say to you, through thoughts or feelings that came into your mind.

Yours in Christ,
Betsi
 
 

Encouragement Friday 29th May 2020


Day 9 – Thy Kingdom Come is a worldwide prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost. Since its launch by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 2016, Christians from 172 countries and 65 denominations have taken part in praying for friends and family to come to faith in Jesus Christ. These days have always been full of expectation and anticipation. As the Lord Jesus ascended, He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable the disciples to be witnesses. As they waited for the promise to be fulfilled they devoted themselves constantly to prayer (Acts 1:14). So, the renewed call across the church is to set these days apart to pray, and each individual to pray for 5 people to come to know the love and peace of Jesus Christ.


CELEBRATE

Reading: - Luke 15.20-24

So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.


Reflection:

How joyful God is when He welcomes us back. We can have such skewed ideas of God as if He is an angry dictator or fault-finding headteacher. But actually, God is love and His attitude towards us is compassion and grace. Even when we are far from Him, He is willing to run and meet us, the way this father did.

Look how it says, ‘But while he was still far off ’ – the father didn’t wait for the son to come all the way to him, but he went and made up the distance. 

God does that. God doesn’t just wait – He comes out to us in His love and He stretches His arms in welcome. God is stretching His arm out right now, moving down the road waiting for your friends to come home.


Prayer:

Loving God, please get my friends on the road where they see You running to meet them. 

Thank You that You welcome us with joy however far or however long we have been away.


Action:

Think of how you have been hurt by someone, or disagreed with them. How could you reach out and meet them where they are, just as Jesus does for us?


Yours in Christ,

Betsi

 
 

Encouragement 28th May 2020


Day 8 – ADORE

Reading: Romans 8.37-39

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Reflection:

We expect there must be something that can separate us from the love of God. But God is saying, ‘I don’t care where you are, what you’re doing, how far away you are: my love for you will not change.’ 

Sometimes we think that God’s love is dependent on the way we act. But God is saying, ‘Listen, not even the heights of this earth could separate me or stop me from loving you.’ 

Christianity is first a relationship with God through Jesus, not first a series of activities! The love of God is ultimately expressed in the Cross of Christ, which stands for all time as the sign and assurance of God’s unchanging love.


Prayer:

Loving God, thank You for Your love from which nothing can separate us, 

and which does not depend on our efforts. 

Please reveal this love and the peace it brings, 

in the lives of the five people I am praying for.


Action:

Think about how you can show someone that they are loved and known by God



Be safe. Keep in contact with each other

Yours in Christ

Betsi


 
 
Encouragement 27th May 2020

Thy Kingdom Come - Day 7 – HELP
Reading: 1 John 3.16-18

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.


Mosaik at Ta Pinu Church, Gozo (Photo by CD)


Reflection:
When St John says, ‘Dear children’ he’s speaking to everyone, all the children of God. 
He says we shouldn’t just say we love people if we’re not doing anything to show that love – that if we have material possessions and yet we don’t show any pity for our brother or sister – how is that love? 
Not to say that that’s the only way to love people, but that’s a very practical way to love people. How generous are we as Christians? How caring are we as Christians? How hospitable are we as Christians, especially when it is not in our self-interest?
If we don’t act, it’s almost as if we think we deserve to be in a better position because it’s only by God’s grace that we’re not in the position of the one in need. Jesus himself says: ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Everything that we do to people, we do as if we do it to Christ.

Prayer:
Loving God, thank You for Your costly love. 
Please may my five friends understand something of the strength of Your love for them. 
Help us to use our resources well.
Action:
How could you use what you already have to show others how alive and active the love of Jesus is?

- yours in Christ -
Betsi

 
 

Encouragement 25th May 2020


Day 5 - Thy Kingdom Come is a worldwide prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost. Since its launch by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 2016, Christians from 172 countries and 65 denominations have taken part in praying for friends and family to come to faith in Jesus Christ. These days have always been full of expectation and anticipation. As the Lord Jesus ascended, He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable the disciples to be witnesses. As they waited for the promise to be fulfilled they devoted themselves constantly to prayer (Acts 1:14). So, the renewed call across the church is to set these days apart to pray, and each individual to pray for 5 people to come to know the love and peace of Jesus Christ.

OFFER

Reading:Luke 15.1-6; see also Matthew 18.12-14

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’


Reflection:

The loving God pursues us. He leaves the ninety-nine to find the one. From a rational perspective, He would do better to guard his ninety-nine and forsake the one that He’s lost because that would be more profitable. But actually, God’s love doesn’t seek profit – every individual sheep is worth pursuing. Sometimes we can be exclusive about the people that we want to show love and care to. In verse 2 we read: ‘the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them”’. But the Jesus that we claim to follow had no requirement for those he ate with. The sinners and the tax collectors were people that he came to find. Jesus went to Matthew’s house – Matthew the tax collector – to have dinner with him. Jesus went out of his way to spend time to eat with a group of people whom society rejected. 

In the same way, Jesus left Heaven and came down, not only to dine with us but also to die for us. He has done everything to find us.


Prayer:

Loving God, thank You for coming to find us with Your love. 

Please reveal your love and peace to my friends.

Action:

Depending on where you are in the world, you may not be able to invite loved ones to church. But church was never a building, but the people of God. Therefore, in what ways can we leave our comfort zone and imitate Jesus by reaching out to them?


Stay in contact with each other.

Yours in Christ

Betsi


 
 

Opening hymn for today


"We are here to worship"


by Chris Tomlin


YoTube link here

 

Worship Sunday 24th May 2020


Welcome to our service. We invite you to join us when we thank and praise our Father in heaven.



YouTube link here






Gozo (Photo by CD)

 
 
Encouragement 23rd May 2020

Day 3 - Thy Kingdom Come is a worldwide prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost. Since its launch by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 2016, Christians from 172 countries and 65 denominations have taken part in praying for friends and family to come to faith in Jesus Christ. These days have always been full of expectation and anticipation. As the Lord Jesus ascended, He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable the disciples to be witnesses. As they waited for the promise to be fulfilled they devoted themselves constantly to prayer (Acts 1:14). So, the renewed call across the church is to set these days apart to pray, and each individual to pray for 5 people to come to know the love and peace of Jesus Christ.
THANKS
Reading: 1 John 4.9-10, 19
God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins... We love because he first loved us.
Reflection:
It is so powerful that even when we didn’t know God and didn’t really care about God, He loved us. He doesn’t love us because we do things right or dislike us because we do things wrong. The revolution of His love for us is that it can’t be earned. He just loves us. It is a pure gift. In the same way God loves us before we knew it, He works for all whether they know it or not. God is working in everyone’s life. Some people see it, some people don’t. God’s love acts for all – but what God wants more than anything is for us to recognise it and welcome it. The calling of Christians is to be those who point out how God is already at work in their lives; it is a calling to be channels, not creators of God’s love.
Let’s pray
Loving God, thank You that before we loved You, You loved us first. 
We recognise Your love for us today and choose to love You too. 
Thank You for my friends. 
Please open my friends’ eyes to Your love and action for them.
Action:
It is easy to take people for granted. Are there ways today that you can demonstrate to those you are praying for how grateful you are for them being in your life


Yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 
Encouragement 22nd May 2020

Thy Kingdom Come is a worldwide prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost. Since its launch by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 2016, Christians from 172 countries and 65 denominations have taken part in praying for friends and family to come to faith in Jesus Christ. These days have always been full of expectation and anticipation. 
As the Lord Jesus ascended, He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable the disciples to be witnesses. As they waited for the promise to be fulfilled they devoted themselves constantly to prayer (Acts 1:14). So, the renewed call across the church is to set these days apart to pray, and each individual to pray for 5 people to come to know the love and peace of Jesus Christ.

Day 2 - PRAISE
Reading: 1 Corinthians 13.4-7
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Reflection:
Love is lived out. Love is not just a declaration. It is commitment in action. That God feels love for us is absolutely amazing. It is humbling. He’s always seeking to shape our lives by His love and he’s patient and kind with us. One thing that God can really challenge us on is whether our Christian lives show something different which is worth living for. If there’s nothing that looks particularly necessary or attractive about being a Christian, then what’s the point? We should go out of our way to try and demonstrate God to as many people as we can, not just in our prayers but in our actions and in our praise to Him. We should be loving people and full of God’s goodness, joy and grace. They may not call it ‘God’ at the time, but there’s something special about you which is your relationship with God. The fruit of that relationship is a loving nature.

Let’s pray
Loving God, thank You for the way You love us. Please help me by the power of Your Holy Spirit to love as You love, so that my five people may come to know You.
Action:
In the next few weeks, how could you share the joy and love that we can find in Jesus with one (or all) of your 5 friends?

Yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 
Encouragement 21st May 2020

Thy Kingdom Come is a worldwide prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost. Since its launch by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 2016, Christians from 172 countries and 65 denominations have taken part in praying for friends and family to come to faith in Jesus Christ. These days have always been full of expectation and anticipation. As the Lord Jesus ascended, He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable the disciples to be witnesses. As they waited for the promise to be fulfilled they devoted themselves constantly to prayer (Acts 1:14). So, the renewed call across the church is to set these days apart to pray, and each individual to pray for 5 people to come to know the love and peace of Jesus Christ.
Day 1 – 21 May - JESUS
Reading: John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Reflection:
John 3.16 is one of the best-known verses in the Bible because it emphasises God’s love for everyone. Jesus didn’t just love those who are easy to love, He loved the people who hated Him, who despised Him; He loved the people that others looked down on. He didn’t just love some people – He loved the whole world. This speaks about the action that God took to show His love towards us – it shows us how love is an active word. God loved us so much that He chose to send His beloved child for us. Not because of anything that we did, not because we deserved it; but because He’s a loving God. God’s love is selfless and sacrificial and shows us what we are worth to Him. If God can love anyone, the least we can do is to do the same.
Let’s pray
Loving God, thank You that You gave Your Son Jesus for me, and for all people. Help me accept the love that You showed me in sending Your Son. I pray for my five friends. ….
Please open their hearts to Your love. And teach me to love more truly. Amen
Action:
Ask yourself: is there anyone that comes to mind who God may be bringing to your attention?

Yours in Christ
Betsi

 
 

Encouragement Wednesday – 20th May 2020


“ God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim 2:4)
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes 5:16-18)

The last few days we reflected on the words of Lord’s Prayer. Now we will have an opportunity to put what we have learned into action.

From the 21st May to 31stMay we can join the global wave of prayer calling all Christians to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. 
The movement is called “Thy Kingdom Come”. It is a global prayer movement which the Archbishop of Canterbury invited people around the world to join. During this 10 days we are encouraged to pray in whatever way we want and with whoever we want for others to come to know Jesus Christ.

Dear brothers and sisters, we want our church buildings to be reopen for worship. And we want these buildings, also St Andrew’s, to be filled with people seeking God’s love and forgiveness. It can happen! The pews can be full with people!!!
It is up to us!

Let us use the time given, 10 days commitment to pray for people to be saved by God’s grace. Let us pray and ask God who HE wants us to invite to our church. Ask Him to put a specific person (family member or a neigbour) on your heart and mind. Pray for that person to meet Jesus and accept His forgiveness,
To help you with continuous prayer I will post, every day for ten days, a short reading, reflection and a prayer from Thy Kingdom Come resources.

Yours in Christ
Betsi

 
 

Bethel Live (Album "For the sake of the world")


"Our Father"


YouTube link here

 

Encouragement Tuesday – 19th May 2020

How to pray
“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

The clause that has traditionally been added on the Lord’s Prayer is not in Jesus’ original prayer in Matthew’s gospel.
And it is actually not, if you look at it, a prayer as such. It is a statement of a reality, a state of affairs that simply is.
We’ve prayed at the beginning ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done’. But this way of ending the prayer completes that opening. We are saying, your kingdom will come, and your will will indeed be done. In fact, it is.
We pray that God’s kingdom will come, even though we are in no doubt that it will, because things now are not the way they are supposed to be. We are gripped in the crushing vices of human civilization – worshipping the gods of cash, success, and pleasure, gods that appear omnipotent and omniglorious. They are the power and the glory, it seems. To them belongs the kingdom, we think.
But only to God belongs the kingdom, the power and the glory. There is no other ideal to trump it.
And this is true hope for the ruler and the ruled. It invites us to work as though the kingdom of God had already come, since, as sure as Jesus walked out of the grave, it will. Indeed, when we do what God wants in the world, we are only in one sense lifting the lid on what already is the case. Challenging evil, exposing corruption, protecting the vulnerable, living a chaste and modest life, testifying to Jesus Christ – these are things that, as theologian Stanley Hauerwas puts it, run ‘with the grain of the universe’.
God’s is the future; and so to him be the present.

The Lord’s Prayer is simple and simple prayers cause big change. And It cause our access to the power of God.
Since this model of prayer is straight from God, I encourage you to incorporate it into your daily life!

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. (1 Chron 29:11)

May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—
(Ps 104:31)

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2P1:3)

Yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 

Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves


"How great is our God"


YouTube link here

 
Encourgement Monday – 18th May 2020

How to pray - PROTECTION
“And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”

Though God allows us to be tempted and tested, He is never the tempter (James 1:13-14)
The enemy may come to steal, kill, and destroy but God is our greatest defender and our fierce protector! When we surrender our lives to God, He covers and protects us from attacks of the enemy. Unfortunately, often we lead ourselves into situations where we are tempted. In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus is showing us how to pray against this and keep us from being our own worst enemy. This part of prayer is important because our flesh is weak against temptation. 
Though we can withstand and overcome through the strength of God (Philippians 4:13)it is better if we can steer clear of temptation from the beginning. We should also pray that we do not cause temptation for any other brother or sister in Christ. Pray also here for protection and safety, as we have a real enemy who lives to attack God’s people. Pray, as Jesus says, for “deliverance from evil.”
Ask yourself, “What do I need freedom from?” Maybe you need freedom from depression, or gossip, or generational curses that you’ve carried. But once you lift up your life to God, He hears you and says, “Watch what I’m about to do!”
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thes 3:3)
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
(Psalm 91:1-4)

Keep safe, keep strong
Yours in Christ - Betsi
 
 

Christian song with lyrics   (www.koinemusic.com)


"Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive" 


YouTube link here

 

Encouragement Saturday – 16th May 2020


How to pray – PARDON


“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Many times when we pray, we forget these next two steps but they are vitally important to our walk with God.

We need to regularly ask God to search our hearts and reveal our sin to us, and then we can ask to forgive our failures. We have an everyday need for God’s grace, both for ourselves and for others.

Prayer is about cultivating a relationship with Jesus and in any relationship, part of intimacy is humility and openness. Humble, open, teachable hearts apologize when they are wrong.


Forgiveness from God is predicated on your ability to forgive. This is the only part of The Lord’s Prayer where Jesus attaches an action saying, “You can pray for forgiveness, but make sure you’re forgiving others.”


God is a big God who has a big future for you, but you need to let go of the small grudges and hurts to walk into that future. When you release someone else, you release God to bring release in you!


Do not leave any sin unconfessed; unrepented sin erodes relationship with God and hinders intimacy with Him.

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” 

(Mk 11:25)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephe4:32)



Keep safe, keep strong


yours in Christ


Betsi

 
 

The Lord's Prayer


YouTube link here

 
Encouragement Friday – 15th May 2020

In the link above you'll find the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, the language That Jesus had spoken


We do not complain of what God does not give us; rather we thank
God for what he does give us daily.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–45)

How to pray - PROVISION

“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Have you ever prayed to find your lost car keys? Or prayed for a parking spot?
Sometimes, we feel funny praying about the small things, but God cares about the little things! In fact, He wants to hear about every aspect of your life. That’s why Jesus instructs us to pray for the provision of our needs, no matter how seemingly insignificant or mundane. We need daily bread in the sense that we need God to daily dwell with us and guide us, but also that we need literal daily bread to stay alive.
You are never a bother to God. God created us with bodies and souls that both need daily substance to sustain it. Therefore pray for both, the physical and spiritual provision in your life and the lives of those you love. Pray for the things that you need and thank Him for all that He has already blessed you with.
God wants to be involved in your family life, work life, your big and small decisions. God doesn’t only care about your future, He loves you and cares about “your today."

Let us pray
Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we give you thanks for all your goodness and loving kindness but most of all we thank you for Jesus, Your Son, who died for our sins.
We pray Lord that you help us to recognise your daily provision. Help us to be thankful and satisfied with what we already have.
In your mercy help us to grow in your love and to give ourselves to your service.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, 
be all honour and glory, now and for ever. 
Amen

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
(Matt 7:7-11)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philip. 4:6)

Yours in Christ
Betsi


 
 
Encouragement Thursday – 14th May 2020

How to pray -
PURPOSE

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.”
Oftentimes, we approach God and tell Him our needs and desires. We pray for our “kingdom” and plans to come to pass. 
However, Jesus teaches us to pray God’s will over our own because the ultimate goal of prayer is not to convince God of our heart but to align it with His. He’s a good Father who wants to give you an abundant life, therefore praying God’s will to be done in our situation puts His agenda before our own.

We can certainly pray specifically for our hearts desires, He knows them anyway. But ultimately our main desire should be for God’s will to prevail. Even if His will is the opposite of our desire.
Even more specifically, Jesus instructs us to pray God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. What does this mean?
It means that we desire His will to be done freely, without disobedience or obstacle or hindrance of human sin. Jesus tells us to pray this way not because God needs us to do HIS will, but because He chooses to use us to do the work of His Kingdom.

To do His good work, we have to trust Him and obey Him while striving to deny our sinful human nature. In Heaven, these issues are not present. But on earth, they are.
However, God will bring His kingdom through us, not because of us. We must first have a desire to see God’s Kingdom come, and then partner in seeing it happen.

Are you willing to lay down your will for the perfect will of God?
Your kingdom come, Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.”

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.(Matt 6:33)

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.(Proverbs 19:21)

Be safe, be in touch with each other.
Yours in Christ, Betsi
 
 

The Hymns Project


"Holy, holy, holy! Lord Almighty"


YouTube link here






                                           Mosaik at Ta' Pinu, Gozo (Photo by CD)

 
Encouragement 13th May 2020

How to pray - PRAISE
In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus gives us specific direction on how to pray.
Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed (holy) be Your name.”

Max Lucado said, “Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference."

Prayer is not about you; prayer is all about God!
The word “hallowed” here means “honored as holy.” The first step to any prayer is to give God glory and honor and praise. This positions our hearts to be aware of God’s presence as we pray.
Here, Jesus also directs us to acknowledge God as our Father in heaven.
God is the creator of the universe, the alpha and omega, the King of Kings, the Almighty. But, He is also our good, good Father who loves us and wants an intimate relationship with us.

I encourage you today (and every time you pray) to begin your prayer by calling God “Father”. Praising His name will bring you into His presence the right way; with reverence and awe, but also with intimacy and relationship.
You aren’t just praying to a distant, powerful King. You are praying to the loving, tender God of your heart, who knows you fully and loves you deeply.
Praise
“I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.” (Psalm 63:4)
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalms 100:4)
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.” (1 Chron. 16:8-9)

Let’s pray
My Father in heaven I come before your throne. 
I recognise that You are my Father, and I’m your child. 
You’re my Creator, and I’m the creation. 
I’m the sinner, and you’re my Savior. You are holy!
Thank you that you love me and accept me for who I am…

Now, breathe in the Holy Spirit and praise God for He is HOLY

Take care , keep safe
Yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 
Encouragement Tuesday 12th May 2020

Simple prayers from faithful servants are answered by a big God and used to cause big change.
How to pray
Jesus came in flesh to earth and during His ministry He stayed in a closed relationship with His Father.
And Jesus came to show us His Heavenly Father and what to do to have an access to God.
Jesus taught us how to communicate with God

In Matthew 6:9-13 He said: “This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, [the Greek for temptation can also mean testing].
but deliver us from the evil one. [Or from evil];
[some late manuscripts one - for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. ]’

Prayer is not a presentation; Prayer is our access to God. The power of prayer is the most powerful tool that Christians have. But, whether it’s because we don’t know how or because we’re intimidated, we don’t use prayer often enough.
Lucky for us, Jesus gave us the greatest example of how to pray in our daily lives. Though powerful in and of itself, the Lord’s Prayer is not just a prayer, it’s a model on how to pray.
This week , we’ll look at the Lord’s Prayer and break it down as our model for engaging with heaven.
Let’s pray

Almighty God, we come to you this morning to worship you.
Thank you that you gave us your son so we can have a loving relationship with you.
Help us to really know you,
to bless, worship and praise you for all your works and for all that shines forth from them:
Your almighty power, wisdom, kindness, justice, mercy and truth.
Help us Lord to direct all our living 
- what we think, say and do - 
so that your name will never be blasphemed because of us but always honored and praised.
In Jesus name we pray.
Amen


Keep safe
Yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 

Encouragement Monday, 11th May 2020


Our lives can get overwhelming, daunting, and hard. We can easily get discouraged, frustrated, and burned out by circumstances or relationships that are beyond our control. 

In those seasons where we are feeling hopeless and helpless, the best thing we can do is turn away from the challenges and turn toward Christ. When we remember that God is in control and our lives are not our own, we remember we have a Savior who gives us strength when we are weak and who comforts us in all our times of need.

We love and serve a good, gracious Father, and we are undeserving of the love, grace, and mercy He so freely lavishes on us. What else could we do but give him endless thanks and praise in return?


- Borrowed from a dear friend:

I am thankful:

For the wife who says it's hot dogs tonight,
because she is home with me, and not out with someone else.

For the husband who is on the sofa being a couch potato, because he is home with me and not out at the bars.

For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes because it means she is at home, not on the streets.

For the taxes I pay because it means I am employed

For the mess to clean after a party
because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

For the clothes that fit a little too snug
because it means I have enough to eat.

For my shadow that watches me work
because it means I am out in the sunshine

For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

For all the complaining I hear about the government
because it means we have freedom of speech.

For the parking space I find at the far end of the parking park because it means I am capable of walking and I have been blessed with transportation.

For my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.

For the person behind me in church who sings off key because it means I can hear.

For the pile of washing and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.

For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day
because it means I have been capable of working hard.

For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours
because it means I am alive.

And finally, for too many e-mails
because it means I have friends who are thinking of me.

Be joyful, be thankful, pray continually

Yours in Christ

Betsi

 
 
 

Matt Redman


"I will offer up my life in spirit and truth"


YouTube link here







For our "Church family and friends" in Malta, Gozo and abroad 


"This little light of mine"


 

by Lisa, Sharon and Christa

A wonderful and encouraging song by


Rend Collective


"More Than Conquerors"


YouTube link here



 


Worship Service


Sunday, 10th of May 2020



YouTube link here







(Dingli Cliffs, Malta. Photo by CD)

 
 
Encouragement – Saturday 9.05.20
God Provides For Us
One of the biggest concerns that many people have in common is worrying over their finances. Whether we spend too much or earn too little, at some point in our lives most of us will fret over this. We may worry about clothes, food, a place to live, or all of them. With money, we can meet those needs, and when we don’t have enough, we wonder if God will provide for us.

Wouldn’t it be great to get to a place where we truly trust God to be our Provider and not worry about money? Is that even possible? Let’s check out what Jesus said about this subject.
“Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26)

One way to truly trust God as our Provider is remembering how much he cares for birds and flowers. 
Simple, right? God provides for them, and yet, He values us far more! He didn’t send Jesus to die on the cross for the birds and flowers—He did that for us!  So, why wouldn’t He meet our needs? It can be very difficult to remember this in the middle of our worry. But, let every bird in the sky or flower that you see remind you that God is our Provider!

Another way to trust God as our Provider is by choosing to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first.  When we seek Him first “all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33 NIV). The Greek word for seek in Matthew 6:33 is zētēo, and it means to “seek after, seek for, aim, strive after.” So, when we seek after God, aim for God, and strive after God first, all “these things” such as food, clothing, and other basic needs will be given to us. 
Seeking God first frees us from the worries and pressures of earth because our eyes are fixed on Him instead of the temporary things that weigh us down.

Think about it this way. When we worry, we tend to sit in it. We could even say we feel paralysed by it. So, don’t worry, but do something instead. And by something, that means seeking God. Read the Bible. Write out your prayers. Worship through song. Practice seeking God not because you’re trying to earn His love because you already have that. Seek Him, for when you do, your mind won’t sit in worry about His provision over your life.
God is very capable of meeting our needs of basic provision. He met our greatest need by sending Jesus to save us. Why would we think He wouldn’t provide for our lesser needs?
Matthew 6: 19-34
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, 6:22 
The Greek for healthy implies generous, your whole body will be full of light.                            

23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, 6:23 The Greek for unhealthy here implies stingy. your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life 6:27 Or single cubit to your height?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Place your trust, hope, and joy in GOD. The Greek for healthy implies generous, your whole body will be full of light.                            
Yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 

"Do not be afraid" 


YouTube link here

Josh Groban


"You raise me up"


YouTube link here

 
Encouragement – Friday 8th May 2020

God Is Near Us
Samuel Johnson, an 18th century writer said, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.”  And we, God’s children, have been instructed through God’s word. Reading in the Bible and talking to God in prayer help us improve ourselves.
The reminder is - There’s never a place we can go where His presence won’t be there first. He’s in our yesterday, He’s in our today, and He’s in our tomorrow all at the same time. He rejoices over us, rewards us, blesses us, and smothers us with His forgiveness and grace every day, throughout the day. 
In addition to the good, there is no tragedy we’ll face, no hardship we’ll endure, and no adversity we’ll encounter where God is not with us, steadily holding us up with His mighty, righteous, and perfect right hand.

When you feel lonely and wonder where God is, know that He is about you, above you, after you, amidst you, around you, among you, before you, behind you, beneath you, beside you, beyond you, by you, for you, inside you, near you, and over you. He is everywhere, all the time. Always and forever, He is near us.
When you experience fear and wonder why God won’t remove it from you, know that He hasn’t given you a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. That nothing can separate us from His love and presence. Always and forever, He is near us.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”(Joshua 1:9)

“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.”(Isaiah 43:2)

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35)

When you go through devastating situations, like Corona virus pandemic - He is with you.
When your life seems to be spinning out of control, and you exercise social distancing - He is with you.
When you can’t see the path or even the next step, He is with you.


Place your trust, hope, and joy in GOD.
yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 

Sovereign Grace Music


"Behold our God"


YouTube link here

 

Encouragement – Thursday 7th May 2020


God Has Good Plans
In the past, we’ve seen catastrophic diseases, disasters, and wars. All those had an impact of various countries, but this time, the COVID-19 pandemic is different. At this time, the whole world has something in common: we’re trying to survive a deadly virus.

So, as followers of Jesus, how do we make sense of this? What do we do with our questions to God and our questions of God? How do we find good news in a continual stream of bad news? And how do we grasp how this fits into the all-familiar passage of Jeremiah 29:11?
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
This verse gives hope and is our spiritual security blanket in hard times.
God’s plan often doesn’t match our own plans and ideas. We tend to be short-sighted and earthly-minded. But God’s ways are so much higher than what our minds can grasp. His plan is better! And it will include forever with Him in heaven, not just a short portion of our lives on earth.

If our hope is laced with doubt, fear and anxiety, we can change that today. We need to eliminate our“hope-so” attitude and replace it with a “know-so” mindset. Our hope should never be tethered to the conveniences and pleasures the world offers or the ease of a situation. Instead, we fasten our minds to the promises and truths in the Word of God and fix our sights on the day when our bright, glorious, and eternal future is made a reality. Instead of wishing away our days in the predicament we’re in, let’s have confidence that God will deposit hope into us no matter what we’re facing.

Let us come to God in prayer
Be still and know that HE is God
Breathe in the Holy Spirit..
.
Heavenly Father, Your word is trustworthy and worthy of all praise. 
Your word is true and Your promises are faithful. 
When difficulties strike fear in my heart, I know I can come to You for help. 
I entrust my life to you. 
I need not be afraid for there is nothing any mere human can do to me. 
When troubles come, please remind me to always trust You. 
When difficulties arise, teach me to continually depend on You. 
When the challenges ahead seem overwhelming, 
carry me through by Your grace for I pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen.

Keep safe, Keep strong, Hold to Jesus
yours in Christ
Betsi

 
 
 

Michael W. Smith


"His love endures forever"


YouTube link here

Photos by CD      Above: Prayer wall in Edinburg        

Below: The Hub (former Assembly Hall), Edinburg

Lyrics

Give thanks to the Lord, 
Our God and King
 His love endures forever 
For He is good, 
He is above all things 
His love endures forever 
Sing praise, sing praise 
 With a mighty hand 
and outstretched arm 
His love endures forever 
For the life that's been reborn 
His love endures forever 
Sing praise, sing praise Sing praise, sing praise

 [CHORUS:] 
Forever God is faithful 
Forever God is strong 
Forever God is with us 
Forever and ever, forever 
[2X] 
 
From the rising to the setting sun 
His love endures forever 
By the grace of God we will carry on 
His love endures forever 
Sing praise, sing praise Sing praise, sing praise [CHORUS] 
 His love endures forever 
[8X] 
Sing praise, sing praise Sing praise, sing praise [CHORUS]
 
Encouragement – Wednesday 6th May 2020

In Psalm‬ ‭46:1 we read‬
“God isour refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble”

Jesus is your very present help in times of trouble. He stands by you and He stands with you. His name is Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” (Matthew‬ ‭1:23‬)
God is with you and He is for you. He is with you in the midst of the storm. He is with you in the time of social distancing. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He, the King, the Strong Tower protects you and stands by your side.

Who is like our Lord? Who is like our King? ‭‭Who is like our God? Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:6 declares:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Therefore fear not, Christ is your Protection and He will go with you.
Draw close to Him. Lean upon God. His Love is everlasting. There is no one like Him. Choose to follow His Voice. Follow His Command. Keep His Word in your Heart.
Choose to have faith in God. A major barrier or roadblock to your breakthrough is fear. Overcome fear with faith. Choose to let go of fear and trust God. Obey God. Choose to declare and proclaim His great and mighty works. Choose to give thanks unto the Lord in every area of your life. Choose to surrender to Christ.
“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalms‬ ‭107:1)

The Lord is good. Choose to meditate on His Word day and night. Choose to focus on Him. Choose to surrender your cares, weight and worry to Christ the King. 
Don’t worry about the waves and winds of life — fix your focus on Him. Fix your heart on Him. Fix your heart on Christ. “For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalms‬ ‭100:5‬ ‭KJV‬

Let us come to God in prayer
Faithful Father, you have never left my side. 
Although I have often wandered from you, you have always remained beside me. 
With you at my side, I will not be shaken, whatever life throws at me. 
Help me to always place you at the center, guiding my path and protecting me from evil. 
As I experience the brokenness of this world would you refresh my soul to continue praising you. 
There is no God like you, you are worthy of all my praise. 
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 
Amen.

Keep safe, Keep strong, Hold to Jesus
yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 

Casting Crowns


"Great are you Lord"


YouTube link here








(Tower Road, Sliema

Photo by CD)

Encouragement – Tuesday 5/05/20

This morning, again, I’ve come across the promise that God is our strong tower. I posted last week some thoughts about the Lord being our refuge and strong tower. But I read it again this morning, and I decided that it is important to be reminded who to run to in the time of need and despair.

Here we are...
In Proverbs‬ ‭18:10‬ ‭(KJV) we read: ‬‬
The name of the Lord is a strong (fortified- NIV) tower:
the righteous run in to it,
and is safe.

The Name of the Lord, HIS Authority, a mighty Strong Tower. His Authority is stronger than your problem. His Power is stronger than your circumstance. His Name is stronger than Corona virus.

Matthew (28:10) recorded Jesus saying : “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
All power and authority belongs to Jesus Christ. 
His Name and Authority triumphs over all sickness and disease. 
His Name and Authority is greater than any infirmity. 
His Name and Authority is greater than depression. 
His Name and Authority outranks and conquers every plot of the enemy and thwarts every tactic of Satan. Christ is greater than your sin. Christ is greater than your problem. Choose to focus on Christ — even in the midst of the storm.
Let Christ lead you. When turmoil rises — choose to run to Christ. He is the Answer. He is the Solution. Surrender to Him and He will Protect you. (inspired by Vance K. Jackson)

Let us come to God in prayer
Lord, my rock and redeemer, you know everything about me. 
You have rescued me from my sin, you have called me by name. 
I belong to you. 
As I pass through the storms of life, you are with me. 
You say that I will not be overwhelmed in the flood or consumed by the fire. 
You are my Savior in every part of my life. 
You give me everything I need. 
The breath I use to pray this prayer is a gift from you. 
Help me rely on you. 
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 
Amen.

Keep safe, Keep strong, Hold to Jesus
yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 

Jeremy Camp


"Mighty to safe"


YouTube link here

 

Encouragement – Monday, 4th May 2020



In Nahum 1:7 we read:

The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,


And according to the NKJV translation: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble;...”



(Photo by CD: Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta)

The Hebrew word for “Stronghold” is, ‘ma`owz’ which means, “A fortified place, a fort, a fortress, a rock, a place of safety, protection and refuge.”

Personally, I like to think about the Lord as my place of safety. Christ is our Refuge. He is our Fortress.

In the day of trouble, in the day of Corona virus, in the day of loneliness He is our Strength.

In the midst of the storm, in the midst of unknown outcome He is your Strong Tower. Run to Him. Run to Christ in every season of life. He is your Protection and Shield.


The Old Testament prophet Nahum‬‬‬ declares, “The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.He is close to those who choose to trust Him. Choose to trust in Christ in the midst of turmoil. In the midst of defeat, choose to trust Him. In the midst of failure, choose to trust Him. In the midst of the desert, choose to trust Him. In the midst of the wilderness, choose to trust the resurrected Christ.


Who is like our God? Who is like our King? No one can defeat Him. No one can overthrow Him.

Jesus Christ is our Savior. He is our Lord. He is our Ruler. He is our Strength. He is our Way in the wilderness.

When things around you are chaotic — choose to trust Christ. Don’t focus on the instability of the world. Choose to shift your focus on Christ the King. (inspired by Vance K. Jackson)


Let us come to God in prayer

Eternal Father, you know my past, present and future, nothing is unknown to you. 

When I worry about what is ahead of me, please calm my fears with the knowledge 

that you go before me. 

I will never be alone because you will always be with me. 

You have promised that you will not fail me or forsake me 

and you are faithful to keep all your promises. 

Take away my fear and replace it with faith in your unending love. 

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

Amen.



Keep safe, Keep strong, Hold to Jesus

yours in Christ

Betsi


 
 

Ingrid DuMosch


"The Lord is my Shepherd"


YouTube link here


(Hymnbook CH4 no. 17)


Upper Clyde Parish Church


"Jesus calls us here to meet him"


YouTube link here


(Hymnbook CH4 no 510)

 

Worship Service


Sunday, 3rd of May 2020


YouTube link here








Comino, Malta

 
 

Maranatha Music


Shout to the north


YouTube link here


Encouragement – Saturday 2nd May 2020

He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
Psalm 18:34

As Christians we are warriors.Our battles are spiritual. From David, who sang about the way God helped him to make war and gave him strength, helped him to run swiftly and on a secure path, we can learn a lot.
God gave David what he needed, the physical strength and skill. God will also give us what we need to fight fear and temptations.
David declares “He trains (teaches) my hands to war….”  Let God’s Word teach and train you. Let His Word develop you. Let His Word build you. Let the Word of God sharpen you. Study His Word daily — so that when the enemy comes to attack, you can break his plan with the Word that’s in you. Bow to God. Bow to His Word. Let His Word saturate and penetrate your heart. Treasure and value His Word. Get His Word in you.
Reflect on: Who are you bowing to?

Are you bowing and bending to fear? Or are you bowing to The True and Living God? Let His Love guide your footsteps. Let His Power lead your feet. Let His Peace cover your lips. Choose to speak Peace over fear. Choose to speak faith over fear. Choose to speak His Word over your fear. Don’t let your fears drown you. Don’t let fear grip you. Don’t let fear cause you to sink.
God is with you. Don’t let dread overtake you. Let His Word guide you through the pit. Let His Word guide you through the valley.

Let us come to God in prayer

Lord Jesus, the stresses in my life often reach a dangerous proportion — or so it seems. 
My body, mind, and spirit struggle to keep up physically, mentally, and yes, spiritually. 
Some days anxiety stalks me like a deceitful predator, and the temptation to worry draws me in. 
I know better, but some days the challenges outweigh the truths buried inside. 
My trust in You fades into the background, giving fear and concerns permission to discourage me.
Thank you that you never give up on me. 
Lord guide me through the pit of Corona virus.
Strengthen me through Your Word. 
Walk with me through the valley for I pray in your Holy name. 
Amen

Keep safe, Keep strong, Hold to Jesus
yours in Christ
Betsi

 
 
Malcolm Gordon  

"Christ before me, 
Christ behind me" 

YouTube link here










(Photo by CD: 

Cittadella in Rabbat, Gozo)














Casting Crowns 

"Great are you Lord" 

YouTube link here
 
Encouragement Friday 1st May 2020.

Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind

In Matthew 4:1-11 we read about Jesus going into the wilderness for 40 days. He was suffering, famished and tried by the devil. Many of us are staying at home and have been doing so for many days. Some may reach a total of 40 days inside soon.

Our social life feels like a desert too. Yet we have what we need to keep our physical being well and healthy. We are privileged to have food, electricity, fresh water, a clean bed and clean clothes.


These days we are on test. It is up to us what will be the result for us in a spiritual way once we can return to a more normal path again.

Rev. Besti is bringing us our “daily bread ”, we are not starving in this way. We are connected with other congregations and can take part in their online activities too.

We deal with a very different trial compared to what any one of us has experienced ever before. Sure there was suffering and problems in our lives before. This is not the first and not the last time. However, it is very diverse in so many ways.


Luke 4:13 states: 13 "When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.”

The change in our daily routine goes deep. The lesson we may learn from all this is we must go very deep too. When we pray and worship, let us not take the first idea or inspiration that comes to our mind. Rather use it as a starting point from where we can mature in our faith like never before.

We see from the disciples how much it takes to be a true follower of Christ. The reaction of Peter on the evening before the crucifixion, the disciples on the way to Emmeaus, the doubts when Jesus spoke about his resurrection.

Let us find out where we fall short and how we can improve to walk truly with our Lord Jesus. This time we are in this all together. Still we will all take different lessons out of it.

Job 23:10

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.


Blessing for the way based on Luke 1:78-79 (inspired by “Prayer matters)  

A new day is dawning!

Despite what we see and hear in the world around us,

the sunrise is coming.

When it comes, it will break through the darkness of our world —

darkness caused by the present situation we are in and which causes more violence and death and hunger and despair.

And all those who now sit huddled in the shadows

will be able to rise and walk with confidence in the light.

So go from here with courage and hope,

to love and serve the Lord. Amen.

Be safe

Yours in Christ,

Christa

 
 

Rich Gomez


"Blessed be the name of the Lord" 

(The name of the Lord is a strong tower)


YouTube link here















Gozo,

Watch tower near 

mushroom island

Encouragement – Thursday 30th April 2020


David wrote these words when the Philistines captured him in Gath. The man who killed the lion and the bear, who killed Goliath, and was a successful young captain in Israel’s army, did not deny the presence of fear. There were times when he was afraid. Yet he knew what to do with that fear, to boldly proclaim his trust in God despite the fear. “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You”.

It looks like David experienced fear, but that fear did not fill the whole area of his mind, for he adds, ‘I will trust in You.’ Spurgeon once said: “It is possible for fear and faith to occupy the mind at the same moment.”
We know and face all sorts of fear.

We fear the virus, and are afraid to get sick. We are afraid because we could lose the job we love. We are afraid the the old age will make us weak, and dependant. Many don’t serve God or speak a word in His name to others out of fear, and they wait for a time when they are no longer afraid to do so. David would counsel them, “I am sometimes afraid – but I trust in God and do what is right to do.” 
Don’t wait for the fear to stop. Pray. Trust. Give your worry to our Lord.

At a moment when David was afraid, he chose to put his trust in God. David, although skilled, strong, mighty, and courageous — he chose to put his trust in God.
Don’t rely on your resources. Don’t rely on your intellect. Those things are temporal. Choose to trust in God. Choose to trust in a Savior who holds eternity in His Hands. When you are afraid, put your reliance on the One who saves, delivers, and sets free. He is your Comforter. He is your Redeemer. He is your Provider. He is your Counselor. He is your Strong Tower — run to Him.

Don’t let fear overtake you. Don’t let fear become your lord. Don’t let fear become your god. Choosing to put your trust in God is a deliberate decision. You have the choice to either bow to fear or bow to God.

Let us come to God in prayer
Heavenly Father, You know that we live in a crazy and chaotic world. 
You also know my struggles in my daily life. 
When life gets to be too much, please help me come to you. 
Calm my thoughts and emotions and open my heart to your peace, comfort, and wisdom. 
Help me not to live in fear. 
Please reduce the feelings of fear and anxiety that plague me. 
Help me rest in You and trust You as I navigate through this broken world. 
In Your name I pray, Jesus. 
Amen

Keep safe
yours in Christ Betsi
 
 
Encouragement – Wednesday 29th April 2020

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Collosians 3:2)
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)


Dear all,
Day after day, week after week social media feed us with bad news. It tries to convinced us that what the world has to offer will satisfy and we look for anything that will fulfill us, no matter how short term.
And often we believe these lies...

But now is not the time to entertain the lies of the enemy or the world.
You’ve heard the saying, “Be in the world but not of it” (John 15:19 or Romans 12:2)
But what does that really mean?
It means that we trust in our Father above, before we trust the world below.
When we look at God’s everlasting word we see that although Jesus walked among the world, He focused on things of eternity (Colossians 3:2).
He loved others as the Father loves His children.
He spent time with sinners as the Father spends time with us.
He healed and cared for people as the Father cares for His creation.
He didn’t look at the example of the world to learn how to love, He simply looked to the Father.
So now is the time to let God be your authority, and your guide because with Him all things of the world will seem insignificant.
Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and not your worries (Hebrews 12:2).
Keep your mind focused on God's promises, and not your problems.
God is good and faithful. (Inspired by Without Walls Ministries)

Keep safe
yours in Christ Betsi
 
 
Encouragement – Tuesday 28th April 2020

Dear all,
Probably you have heard me saying that even in the darkest valley, God is with you. It is not my wisdom, I only quote God's word written in Psalm 23
"Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me."

God is timeless and He is the only eternal truth. His duration knows no end. His promises are eternal; they are not here today and gone tomorrow. God is unchanging in all His ways, and what He says is anchored in who He is. That is why we must place our trust in Him alone.
Trust in the valley is just as valuable as trust on the mountain tops.
You may have a crystal clear path to the top, but what about when things get hard?
When, you experience hardship.
When you experience social isolation
You lose things. You lose people…..
You may even lose faith at some point
What have you lost that’s causing you to lose your trust? What has been taken from you? Who has walked out on you?
Have you lost.....
Your dream job?
Your house?
Your car?
Your close friend?
Your boyfriend or girlfriend?
Your spouse?
That amazing opportunity that you've been waiting for?

I'm here to tell you with great joy and confidence, God has much better for you!
Jesus said in John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Also Paul encourages us in Romans 8:28 (NLT) - “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”
YOU are called according to God’s purpose for your life and what you’ve lost pales in comparison to what you will gain.
Other people may have given up on you, but God never will. His mercy is never failing. (Bible App)

Let’s pray
Thank You, Lord, that You are my refuge and my strength in hard times and an ever present helper in times of trouble. Help me to cling to You and this truth from the Bible that You keep bringing to my mind. 

I know that You are the only all-powerful God, and that there is nothing that is too difficult in my life for You to deal with, nor is there any obstacle in my path that is so insurmountable that I cannot cross, knowing that You are by my side. 

Please give me Your strength to face today’s hard and troubled times, with the confidence of knowing that Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. Thank You that my strength comes from You, and that Your grace is sufficient for all the tasks and duties that will cross my daily path, not only for today but for the rest of my journey through life. 

Thank You, Father, that Your grace is sufficient. Help me to meditate on this truth every day, for I pray in the Holy Name of your Son and my Saviour Jesus Christ. 
Amen

So I challenge you to trust God today, tomorrow, and the next day.
Keep stafe
yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 
Fernando Ortega

"How deep the Fathers Love"

YouTube link here
Encouragement – Monday 27th April2020

Dear all,
this is your most precious time; time you can spend with your Creator God….
He sent His Son because He loves us so much, and He wants us to have a loving relationship with Him

Stop for a moment…

Breathe in the Holy Spirit...

In Jeremiah 29:11 The Lord declares:

“I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”


(Glass painting, Cliff College, Calver, UK)

Is it not a wonderful promise? Moreover, God doesn’t operate by time He’s timeless meaning he already knows your future before you do. We don’t have to worry about tomorrow. Trust him, obey Him and don’t worry about the consequence of your obedience. A timeless truth: His plans are good even when things aren’t looking good. HE knows that we stuck in this Corona virus crisis. He sees the bigger picture. Nevertheless He has an amazing plan for you.
So how can we hold onto this future and hope that is promised to us?
We can focus on the promises from above.
What hurts us most is when we think about our earthly possessions more than our heavenly position; when we think about what the world says, rather than what God says. But one day we will all realise that we can’t take our reputation, our home, nor our trophies to the grave with us. The reality is we’re all one breath closer to meeting our Creator as each day passes.
So how do you trust that God is ALL that you need?
You do this when you stop putting your hope in false security that comes from possessions, status, or the corporate ladder. But instead, you put your security and trust in the promises of Heaven.

Paul says it this way in 2 Corinthians 6:10 NLT, “Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”
In other words, you’ll never regret losing it all to gain Him.
So I challenge you, follow the example of Paul and trust God no matter what comes your way. Because if you trust who God is, you can rest assured knowing that He is the rock on which you will always be able to stand and that the opinion of others pale in comparison to His plan and will for your life.

So now let us be still before our God….
close your eyes, breathe in the Spirit of Holy God…
Focus on Jesus
breathe out your anxiety…
The Lord has an amazing plan for you, He knows what you need, what is good, best, for you...

Heavenly Father thank you that your know me. Thank you for loving me with an everlasting love
Thank you that you know my future, you watch over me
Help me Lord God, when I am afraid, feel all alone, frustrated, fearful or just far away from you, to see 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 my prayers for I pray in the precious name of 
Jesus Christ. 
Amen

Keep safe
Keep in touch with each other
yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 
Worship Sunday 26th April

YouTube link here

Walkers to heaven


"Blessed assurance" 


YouTube link here

 
Lyrics 
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! 
O what a foretaste of glory divine! 
Heir of salvation, purchase of God, 
Born of his Spirit, washed in his blood. 

This is my story, this is my song, 
Praising my Savior all the day long; 
This is my story, this is my song, 
Praising my Savior all the day long. 
 

"My Jesus, my saviour" (Shout to the Lord)

Lisa, Sharon and Christa


Perfect submission, perfect delight, 
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; 
Angels descending bring from above 
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. 

This is my story, this is my song, 
Praising my Savior all the day long; 
This is my story, this is my song, 
Praising my Savior all the day long

 

Lyrics

My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort, my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord all the Earth, let us sing 
Power and majesty, praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name
I sing for joy at the work of Your hands
Forever I'll love You, forever I'll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have In You


My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort My shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You
Shout to the Lord all the Earth, let us sing…
 
 
 
Refugee Week 25/04 -02/05 2020

During this week we think and pray about refugees and migrants who have had to leave their homes, livelihoods and countries. An unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 25.9 million refugees, over half of whom are children under the age of 18.* These are not just numbers, they are people, made in God’s image, like you and me. They are our neighbours.
In recent weeks the sign of the rainbow has been widely used to signify hope and encouragement during the Corona virus pandemic. 

Our Call to Worship comes from Genesis 9.13 – 15a.
I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.’
Let us pray together
Lord God, you sent the rainbow after the great flood to show Noah and your people that you will never forget them; you will always love and care for each one of us, and for that we praise you.
Against black storm clouds the rainbow is a shining arc of hope and encouragement, a beautiful sign of your faithful presence among us. For the beautiful hope you gift to us, we praise you Lord.
Creator God, in our troubles we look to you, our rock and our refuge,
For we know that you have especial care for the poor and dispossessed.
You fed the hungry and provided shelter for those without a home;
You helped widows and children when they were neglected and marginalised.
For your compassionate and generous love we offer you all our thanks and praise.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Reading: Luke 10. 30 – 37 The Parable of the Good Samaritan
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Reflections
In 2016 at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis, the Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei exhibited 22 orange rescue dinghies on the Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze. The idea came from the artist’s involvement with the issue of migration and refugees, particularly those risking their lives to cross the sea in overcrowded and unsafe boats. Our consciences are challenged to confront the tragedy of those who set out on gruelling journeys towards Europe, fleeing destruction and wars. If refugees survived the rough seas and dangerous passage, did they meet with a welcome on the beaches and rocky shores? Was there a rainbow of hope and peace to greet them?
“Who is my neighbour?”
“And who is my neighbour?” asked the teacher of the law. (v29). In response to this question, Jesus tells the story of the traveller, robbed and beaten on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho. The man was left injured and bleeding on the side of the road. Who stopped to help him? Not the priest, or the Levite, passers-by who might have been expected to assist someone in need, but a Samaritan. He was the last person a Jew would have thought might help him. Jews and Samaritans harboured a deeply held hatred of each other.
Yet the Samaritan picked up the injured Jew, bathed his wounds, took him to a place of shelter and organised his care.
After he had told this parable, Jesus asked the teacher of the law which of the three was a neighbour to the assaulted man? The teacher answered correctly but could not bring himself to say the hated name “The Samaritan”, instead saying “the one who had mercy on him”. (v37)
“Who is my neighbour?” is a question we need to ask ourselves when confronted by the increasing numbers of migrants and refugees, people so threatened by war, hunger, persecution or discrimination that they have no choice but to leave their homes, livelihoods and countries behind and seek refuge in another country.
Our neighbours are global; it is a small world, brought together by technology that allows us to see and hear situations and people in faraway places. So refugees from Syria are just as much our neighbours as the family who live next door. The Rohingyas forced out of their villages in Myanmar and living in cramped and unhygienic conditions in Cox’s Bazaar are just as much our concern as the homeless man in a sleeping bag on our street.
Refugees run great risks and suffer enormous hardship to reach what is sometimes a fragile safety. They are on a journey to the rainbow’s end with hope in their hearts for a better future. Here are the stories of two such resilient refugees whom I met on a refugee training course for electricians** in Marka, in 2017.
Mohammed Shada Ayash is a 52 year old from Da’ra in Syria. He had been in Jordan four and a half years, forced to seek refuge in Jordan by the war and threat of terrorism. He was a car mechanic who owned his own garage in Da’ra so in the beginning it was difficult as a refugee, to have nothing. Mohammed suffers from cancer and is unable to do the heavy manual work which is the only (illegal) work available. So he took the chance to retrain as an electrician and hopes to find employment to enable him to support his family. His dream is to return to Syria one day when the war is over.
Mohammed Nazal is also from Da’ra. He is 16 years old. His father was killed in Syria. As the oldest child of the family he is the breadwinner for his five younger siblings and his mother who is unwell. He has some (illegal) work at a gas station. Most of his earnings goes on rent. His dream is to leave the Middle East and go to the USA.
During the Coronavirus epidemic, refugees in Jordan have been caring for each other. In Za’atari Camp, Jordan home to 80,000 refugees, they are trying to ensure social distancing by marking out spots on the ground outside the camp supermarket and by making and distributing soap to ensure hygiene. (pic.twitter.com/vxrtWrJHwg(UNHCR @refugees March 29 2020). In Azraq Camp, Jordan, a drawing by Zeinab a 12 year old Syrian refugee, shows how the Taekwondo enthusiast plans on fighting the Covid 19 virus. pic.twitter.com/Gtlaswr8W5(UNHCR Ireland @UNHCRireland 7 April 2020)
Our neighbours are next door, on the street, across the sea and worldwide. Jesus calls us to love them all, as we love ourselves.

Let’s pray
Compassionate God,
We look to you to give hope and refuge to those who have been forced to leave their homes.
Help us to acknowledge the desperate danger they have been in, their fear and their pain; their uncertainty about what the future holds and their sorrow for families, friends and lives left behind.
Lord, hear our prayers for a genuine welcome for those risking their lives to cross rough seas in small boats, for a better understanding of the situations of war, famine and persecution from which refugees have fled, for a more constructive approach by nations and governments to resettlement and above all, for more sensitivity and sympathy towards those in need.
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer
Lord, send your Holy Spirit to soften the hard hearts of those who use war to gain power, that they might turn away from violence and instead seek reconciliation, negotiation and peace.
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer
Powerful God, creator of all, we pray for a fairer sharing of resources across the world so that no one is hungry, or thirsty or without a home. Where there are barriers to equality of choice in education, or opportunity to work, lift restrictions so that everyone might gain the dignity of independence.
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer
Lord you protected your son Jesus, Mary and Joseph in exile. We pray for protection for all migrants and refugees, for provision of food and shelter and for generosity from host communities.
Above all Lord, help us to see beyond statistics to the courageous individuals who are refugees, all with stories of tragedy to tell yet who are still determined to chase the rainbow of hope and life.
Help us to change so that refugees are not seen as problems but as valued people with rich experiences to contribute and treasure as our neighbours, to be loved as we love ourselves.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Keep safe,
Blessings
Betsi
 
23 April 2020 – Thursday

Philippians 2:15
“...so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.”

The last few days we reflected on Paul’s words written in the letter to Philippians. There, he explains how Christians ought to live. Paul gives the command to ''work out'' salvation as a directive to let the new birth in Christ translate into actions. As a part of this, believers should serve God without griping or complaining, which will enable believers to “shine among them like stars in the sky.”
All true believers are children of God (John 1:12–14). Believers, like anybody else, live in the world, but are not of the world. Paul reminds us that our life style ought to be different from the depraved world we find ourselves in. However, to live without blemish as God's children requires diligent effort. Part of the reason this is difficult is because of the sin inherent to the world around us. Yet believers are called to stand out as unique and powerful examples: "lights in the world." Paul's words closely resemble Jesus who taught, "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

What does it mean “to shine” in that crooked world?
What is the light used for?
- Lights are used to make things evident. - Lights are used to guide. - Lights are used as a warning. - Lights are used to bring cheer. - Lights are used to make things safe.
Christians are lights in the world; the only question is, "How brightly do they shine?"

Let’s pray

Dear Lord, We thank You for this Thursday. Father, with a world so full of despair, we long for true joy. We know that true joy comes from You. 
You have set within our hearts the craving for intimacy with You, and so today we ask for more of the Holy Spirit within us and surrounding us to fill us with jubilant exultation.
Lead us into a place of peace in being in Your presence, oh Lord. 
Reveal to us the hidden truth of Your heart and Your intent for us. Delight our own hearts and eyes with the wonder of Your splendor and the treasure of Your adoration for us. 
True happiness comes from knowing You, oh God.
Teach us how to be more like Your Son. Set within us the yearning to lean and press into You when things are calm or tumultuous.
Help us to shine in this world. Guide us and show us where Your LIGHT is most needed….
Deeply and sincerely it is our hope to belong to the kingdom, and to know the Spirit of the one true God.
Fill us with You, oh Lord. Holy Spirit come...
In Jesus name we pray, 
Amen.


Shine. Rest. Keep safe. Stay healthy
yours in Christ - Betsi
 
 
Encouragement 22 April 2020 – Wednesday

Philippians 2:14
Do everything without grumbling (complaining NLT) or arguing,(disputing KJV)"

In the letter to Philippians Paul explains how Christians ought to live, considering all that Christ was willing to do for them.
On Monday we reflected on Paul’s command to ''work out'' salvation, which is a directive to let the new birth in Christ translate into actions. As a part of this, believers should serve God without griping or complaining. In other words, just be thankful.
Moreover a believer should refrain from complaining about serving Christ and serve in "fear and trembling".

The idea of "disputing" includes arguments and quarrels. We live in a world that encourages us to “have rights to”, “to be entitle to” and thus we are always discontent. Paul reminds us that those who serve the Lord should not be known for arguing, but for humble service. 
A biblical example of the results of complaining can be found in Numbers 13—14. The Israelites complained repeatedly in the wilderness despite God's generous provisions. The result was judgement rather than reward for obedience.
Paul knows that his service to God has been hard, but this is simply another form of offering. All Christians are invited to serve in the same selfless way.

Let’s say thank you to God for what we have for who we are.
Homework for today :
Whenever a complain thought comes into your mind find something to be thankful for.

Let’s pray
Heavenly Father God,
Thank You for this Wednesday, for the new day
Lord, we are all guilty of looking so far ahead into the future that we forget to slow down and just be still in Your presence.
Lord, help us to not merely try and rush through this Wednesday; rather, help us to linger in You.
Lord, teach us the beauty of resting in You. Teach us what holy rest truly looks like. Beyond just sleep or lounging, we know that resting securely in You forms a peace that goes beyond understanding and provides a true refreshment, and so we pray this day for Your holy rest upon us.
Knowing that each season in our lives holds significant meaning and perfect timing, we can rest assured that You use all things. As easy as it can be to fall into routines and ruts, we ask that You heighten our senses to embrace and appreciate these days.
Help us Lord to serve You and Your people without complaining and disputing, help us to learn to say more often “Your will, not mine, be done”
We praise Your holy name, oh Lord. 
Amen

Keep safe. Stay healthy. Rest. Smile. Be thankful.
yours in Christ - Betsi
 
 



Tatjana Cameron

"Allelujah! Christ is risen"

YouTube link here
 
Encouragement 21 April 2020 – Tuesday

Philippians 2:13
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

In verse 12, Paul commands the Philippian Christians to "work out [their] own salvation," meaning they are to put the truth of their belief into practice. What they are in Christ needs to be "worked out" through their actions and attitudes. The reason for this command is given here in verse 13: God is acting through the lives of these believers. This understanding should lead believers to a deep sense of awe and appreciation. 

Paul then adds two areas in which God operates in the life of the believer. First, God works in us to "will" His good pleasure. This includes the idea of placing desires or leading a believer to serve the Lord. 

Second, God works in us "to work" for His good pleasure. God's Spirit in the believer gives both the desire and the strength to live for the Lord. "Work" appears as a common theme in this letter (Phil. 1:6, 2:12, 25, 30; 4:3)
The idea of "his good pleasure" involves obedience (Philippians 2:12) according to God's Spirit. 
This is not the legalistic obedience of the law that Paul speaks against in the false teachings of the circumcision group, but rather obedience based on a love for God based on the Spirit living within the believer.

Now, let’s stop and breathe in the Holy Spirit….
Take a deep breath and focus on the Holy Spirit filling you

Allow God to speak to your heart. It will not only refine your heart but will also allow you to grow in your journey.

Let’s spend some time in prayer and through prayer, we have the opportunity to not only speak but also hear the Father. The Father speaks often through His word, a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12), or through His Spirit at work within us.

We can rest assured that no matter what we are facing, He is right there with us. His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.
Take some time today to be still in the Lord and allow Him to speak to you through His word, through your circumstances, or through His gentle Spirit. Resting in the promise of His love will not only provide tranquillity, but assurance of the truth that we are never forgotten by the Almighty.

Let’s pray

Holy Spirit, we thank You for this Tuesday. Lord, we know that despite all of the stresses and chaos of the world, You indeed see us and care for us.
Lord, we ask today for more of Your Holy Spirit in our lives. Lord, it can be easy for us to become consumed with the fears that surround us in life, but we know that just as Your eye is indeed on the sparrow, so also do You care for and see us.
Lord, thank You for the truth given through Your holy word. 
Lord, today we present at Your holy throne all of our cares, worries, and fears. We thank You in advance that You will not only provide peace from these stress, but that indeed You are working all things out for good.
Teach us today to become more reliant on You. 
Bring us into a greater discernment of how You operate, so that we may come into a deeper understanding that all we see with natural eyes is not all that is. 
Today we ask for eyes to see Your hand in all matters, and hearts open to Your work.
Amen


Keep safe and positive thinking
Smile
yours in Christ - Betsi
 
 

20 April 2020 – Monday


Philippians 2:12

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (NIV)



Just a few verses before, in Phil 2:8, Paul writes: “And being found in fashion as a man, [Jesus] humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 


In verse 12 Paul reminds his beloved brothers and sisters that they should not miss the connection between the obedience that Jesus showed and the obedience expected of Christians as followers of Jesus. Paul notes the Philippians have faithfully followed his teachings whether he was with them, or not. Following a teacher's instruction when they are not present is the ultimate test of loyalty, and the Philippian Christians have done exactly that.


In this time of Corona virus we cannot meet physically, we can't gather together for Sunday worship and Bible teaching. We miss our weekly fellowship and all the other church activities. But it should not stop us to “continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling”


Paul is not telling them (those who are already saved) to work for their salvation. This statement implies a need to live out—to practice, demonstrate, and exhibit—the salvation which believers have in Christ.

The concept of "fear and trembling" was Paul’s idea not that we should live our Christian lives with a constant sense of fear and terror, but that we should live with a fear of failing to work out our own salvation.


It does not meant that as Christian we constantly should fear hell or damnation because those who trust the Lord and gave their lives to Jesus are saved. Instead it should be the joyful trembling of an encounter with the glory of God.

Jesus sent us to love, to be the salt and light in this dark world.

What can you do, despite the social isolation, to show Jesus’ love for this dark world?



Let’s pray


“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”(Isaiah 40:28-29)


Almighty God, I want to believe that you’re with me and that I am known and loved by you… but some days, it’s hard.


You see my situation, you see the world that struggles with Corona virus. ….

The world needs you, and the world starts with me..


Help me to speak the truth from your Word back to myself. Take it from my head to my heart. …

Give me peace and wisdom, courage to live like a conqueror—because you’ve already given me victory over every challenge and obstacle.

Hear my prayer oh Lord for I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. 

Amen.



Keep safe and positive thinking

Smile


yours in Christ - Betsi

 
 



Worship Sunday 19th April 

YouTube link here
(We apologise for the sound.)

 
 


Chris Bray


"I the Lord of sea and sky"


YouTube link here

 
Encouragement 18 April 2020 - Saturday

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. Philippians 2:12–18

Dear Friends, next week we are going to look into these verses form chapter two, from the letter that Paul wrote to Philippians while in prison.

Here Paul explains how Christians ought to live. He reminds his brothers and sisters of all that Christ was willing to do for them. The command to ''work out'' salvation is a directive to let the new birth in Christ translate into actions. As a part of this, believers should serve God without griping or complaining. Paul knows that his service to God has been hard, but this is simply another form of offering. All Christians are invited to serve in the same selfless way.

Do you wonder at this moment how are you supposed to serve now, during Corona virus crisis, now, when you spent most of your time, if not entire time, indoors? What about asking God to show you the way of serving? Phone calls? Emails? Prayer? Financial support?
I cannot answer your question but I am sure that if you ask God honestly and if you are ready to accept His answer, you will know what you have to do.

At the moment, we all are restricted in our freedom of movement. We could complain to our friends and neigbours about it. But we can choose to be thankful for what we have and can do instead of focus on what we can't do.

Stop for a moment, breathe in the Hole Spirit; the Spirit of life…
breath out the fear from unknown…
Breathe in….take a deep breath...Spirit of LIFE fill me….
Breathe out….let the fear go out…
Holy Spirit fill me…
Jesus Christ we thank you for the new day, for your love and care
You gave us a new life in You
Thank you for my home, family and friends
for the food on my table
for medical care
for….tell God what are you thankful for…..
Almighty God, show me the way I could serve you and your people
You know my state, you know what am I capable of, use me according to your will
…...
(spend some time in silence listening to God’s whisper)
…...
Help me to focus on you Lord,
Hear my prayer for I pray in your precious name Jesus Christ. 
Amen


Keep strong, stay healthy
yours in Christ - Betsi
 
 



Rend Collective


"Never walk alone" 

with guitar cords


YouTube link here

Encouragement 17 April 2020 - Friday


In your relationships with one another,

have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Philippians 2: 5-8

From prison Paul addresses his beloved brothers and sisters in Philippi and reminds them that as saved believers they experience comfort, encouragement, love, and unity in Christ. As a result, they ought to express comfort, encouragement, love, and unity to their fellow believers. Here again, Paul emphasizes that how a Christian thinks—how they frame their attitude—is crucial to living a Christian life. This sets up a classic description of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on our behalf, starting in verse 6.

Paul wants us to focus of Christ's life, which is humility. He clearly feels this is something the Philippian believers have, or at least have access to, as Christians. The attitude of a believer is to resemble the attitude of Christ.

Paul highlights the fact that Christ, though God, took the form of a servant, was born human, lived obediently, and died innocently on a cross. In a similar way, believers are to live humbly after the example of Jesus. Doing so we will please God.

Tonight, God’s willing, I shall be inducted to St Andrew’s Church in Malta. I pray that God will grant me His blessings and mercies and in my service to you I will bring you comfort and love, encouragement and unity through and in Jesus Christ


Stay healthy, keep safe

Be encouraged to keep going through Jesus’ love and care

May God Almighty bless you today and ever

yours in Christ - Betsi

 
 

Joslin Grove Choral Society


"Christ the Lord is risen today"


YouTube link here




"Blessed be the name 

of the Lord"   (Medley) 


YouTube link here

Encouragement 16 April 2020 - Thursday


Life Worthy of the Gospel
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.
Philippians 1: 27-28
In prior verses, Paul explained how his suffering (being imprisoned) was for the sake of Christ, and encouraged Phillipians with a hope of reunion. In verse 27, Paul gives them one assignment, in advance of his hoped-for visit: live a life worthy of the gospel. This is very similar to the teaching Paul gave in Ephesians 4:1: "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called." He says something similar in Colossians 1:10, encouraging others to live out the truth they proclaim. 

Paul desires these Christians to show unity to the world. This echoes the teachings of Christ (John 17:11, 22), who emphasised the importance of love in living out the gospel (John 13:34–35). Paul is calling on his readers to live out unity, in one spirit and mind, working together "for the faith of the gospel." His goal continually remained on the gospel and its spread.
How can I show my love (Jesus’ love) to people today?

Let’s pray
Gracious God, in the busy-ness of my day, I sometimes forget to stop to thank you for all that is good in my life.
My blessings are many and my heart is filled with gratefulness for the gift of living, for the ability to love and be loved, for the opportunity to see the everyday wonders of creation, for sleep and water, for a mind that thinks and a body that feels.
I thank you, too, for those things in my life that are less than I would hope them to be. Things that seem challenging, unfair, or difficult. When my heart feels stretched and empty, and pools of tears form in my weary eyes, still I rejoice that you are as near to me as my next breath and that in the midst of turbulence, I am growing and learning.
In the silence of my soul, I thank you most of all for your unconditional and eternal love….
Help me to love people around me. Help me to see them as you see them, help me to see beyond their religion, race, social background
Help me Lord to forgive those who hurt me, help me to forgive myself...(tell Jesus your burden…)
Jesus, through your sacrifice, through the Cross we are forgiven. Thank you Jesus…
Lord Jesus we pray to you for the unity of Christians,
according to your will, according to your means.
May your Spirit enable us to grow in better understanding of the need of reconciliation
Teach us to encourage each other along the road to unity.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. 
Amen

Keep safe, keep healthy
yours in Christ - Betsi

 
 

Lauren Daigle


"I am not enough"


YouTube link here


Encouragement 15 April 2020 - Wednesday

In his letter to Philippians Paul writes:
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
Philippians 1: 9-11

Philippians 1:3–11 is Paul's expression of thanks and gratitude for the believers of Philippi. Not only have they been generous in their support of Paul, they have been faithful even when he was imprisoned. Paul claims to thank God for these Christians in all of his prayers. He encourages these Christians by explaining that all of his suffering has been for a good cause. Even better, these attempts to persecute Paul have actually caused the gospel to spread. For this, Paul is grateful. Moreover, Paul has high hopes that the church of Philippi will continue to mature and strengthen their relationship with Christ. And he shares his expectation to be released, and to see the believers of Philippi again.

I am not imprisoned but, like you all, I found myself in a very strange situation. The church building is closed and most activities are put on hold.
I cannot do a lot but I can pray, and I do. And I want to pray like Paul “ that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight”. And like Paul I am looking forward to see all of you again, soon. Meanwhile I want to encourage you to grow in God’s Love. We cannot do a lot (especially those, who are in lock-down) but we all can pray, and strengthen our relationship with HIM through HIS word. This time we cannot complain that we are too busy, we have no time. We have time!

In the epistle to Philipians Paul mentions love again. (several times – Philip. 1:16; 2:1, 2; 4:1). The "love" credited to the Philippian church is not simply a feeling of affection. It is an active, lived-out love. Paul uses the Greek word agape, meaning a selfless, sacrificial concern for the benefit of others. Based on their reputation, the love of the Philippian church was already strong. Paul prays for it to grow even more. 

However, Paul is not merely concerned with love. Even though it's a critical characteristic, it's not the only important aspect of the Christian life. He specifically prays for two other qualities: knowledge and discernment. True, biblical love requires knowledge. We grow in love when we learn more about God's love for us, and about how to love others. In addition, love includes discernment. Discernment helps us love better by allowing us to focus on God's kind of love. His love is unconditional, rather than human love, which typically focuses on ourselves.

Let’s pray
I come before you, O Lord.
As the sun rises may your Hope rise up in me.
As the birds sing may your love flow out of me.
As the light floods into this new day,
May your joy shine through me
I come before you, O Lord.
And drink in this moment of peace
Than I may carry something of your love, hope, and joy
today in my heart. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. 
Amen
Keep safe, keep healthy
yours in Christ - Betsi
 
 

Fernando Ortega


"How deep the Father's love" 


YouTube link here

 

Spring Harvest


"Thine be the glory"


YouTube link here

 
Encouragement 14 April 2020 - Tuesday


In his letter to Christians in Philippi Paul assures the Philippians that his imprisonment is actually helping to spread the Christian message, rather than hindering it.
It is a very interesting statement because one could think that being restricted in freedom of movement one would be restricted in everything. But not Paul, he sees rather an opportunity to spread the good news, he realises that being in lock-down brings more rather than less regarding the proclamation of Jesus and His kingdom.
He writes:
DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT GRUMBLING
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. (Philippians 2:12-15 (NIV)

Paul tells us to “do everything without grumbling or arguing”. What does it mean? It means to be thankful. He tell us that our thankfulness will cause us to “shine like stars” amidst “the dark”.
Whatever we have, whatever we face, whatever we do let us be thankful for God’s love and provision.
Our world is caught up in entitlement however it looks like we are always discontent. We are like Adam and Eve in the garden. We think that we deserve to be gods. We are never satisfy with what we have, we want more, we want something else. 
Stop for a moment and breathe the breath of life. Breathe in the holy Spirit. Ask God to help you to be thankful.
Many of you have stayed indoors for a few weeks by now. You wish you could go out. We all want to go back to the world before Corona virus.
But at the moment we cannot. So let’s exercise thankfulness.
Thanksgiving is a lifestyle!
Don’t focus on what you don't have or cannot do, focus on Jesus and worship Him. He died instead of us, He rose again, He wants us to have a relationship with us.

Let’s pray
Holy Spirit come, fill me with your love…
Heavenly Father I thank you for this morning, I opened my eyes and you gave me a new day...
thank you for my bed and roof above my head
thank you for food on my table...(please tell Jesus what are you thankful for)
thank you for all people who deal with Corona virus so those who are sick will get better
(tell Jesus your worries but find at least one reason to be thankful for the social separation)
Pray with your own words...
Psalm 28
To you, Lord, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me.
Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help,
[…
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Amen

Have a wonderful day
yours in Christ - Betsi
 
 

West Coast Choir


"Because He lives (Amen)"


YouTube link here


Lind, Nilsen, Fuentes & Holm

"Hallelujah"

YouTube link here

Monday 13 April 2020

Apostle Paul reminds us:
“If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.”

1 Corinthians 15:16-18 (The Message translation(MSG)
The greatest among Feasts – Easter is the central truth of our faith in Jesus Christ. Easter is the most important day of the Christian calendar, more important than even Christmas. It is the day of the Resurrection and Christ’s triumphant victory over sin and death.
And we are called to unite ourselves to the Resurrection of Jesus during Easter, for if 
“we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him” (2 Timothy 2:11). 
This greatest of gifts, given to us lovingly and freely by our Redeemer, has purchased for us eternal life.

The joy of our faith and hope rests in the words of Jesus to Martha before He raised Lazarus from the dead: 
I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).

If you answer is YES, I do believe! Then let’s join in faithful proclamation, “Yes, rejoice and be glad for Christ is truly risen! Alleluia!”

Blessed Easter Monday
yours in Christ - Betsi


 

He is risen! He is risen indeed!  Hallelujah

 

May you find the renewal of hope, health, love and the spirit of God.
May your life be filled with 
blessings
and your family prosper in His light.

For our Lord Jesus has risen.
Amen

"He is Lord, He is Lord"

Lisa, Sharon and Christa


 

Praise Jesus Christ for He has defeated death and saved us all!

He is risen!

Open your heart and you will see God’s gift for you.
Clear your mind and you will understand the message of this special celebration.
Choose your deed so that you will see Christ in every person.

At this Easter Sunday I wish you a very blessed day.
May it fill your life with new hope, new goals, and new aspirations.

I wish this Easter will bring your home peace, love and happiness.
Despite our circumstances Easter is the time to rejoice and be thankful for the gift of life, love and joy
May you always find peace and forgiveness in your heart.
Shine brightly and shed light to others.
Happy Easter!
Yours in Christ - Betsi


Please find the Easter video message of Rev. Betsi on the YouTube link here

 
 



Matt Redman


"10.000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)


YouTube link here



Graham King


"The Servant King"


YouTube link here

 
Encouragement- Holy Week – Saturday 11.04.2020

“How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.” (Psalm 133)

THE LIVING STONE AND A CHOSEN PEOPLE
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:4-6)

The temple in Jerusalem was a powerful metaphor for Peter to use. We are the living stones in the new temple he says, from a physical building to a new spiritual reality.
Tomorrow, across the world, church buildings, great and small will remain dark and quiet and empty.
For several weeks already, in most of the church buildings, there was no worship...
But in this emergency situation, in this crisis we face, we are more aware of our role as living stones.
We experience a new Church working in new ways, ways that many never explored before; in a sense, working but released from our buildings …
Personally I never worked using Facebook account or YouTube. I prefer a personal contact with my parishioners but shall the new situation stop me from keeping in touch, to ask people how they are, to say a word of comfort and to pray for all of you?
The question to all of us is - Shall we be faithless? Shall our hearts fail?
Shall we refuse our mission?
Not so. In God’s deep counsels some better thing is stored. We will maintain unflinching One church, one faith, one Lord. (Inspired by Rev A.Shuttleworth)

Let’s pray
Lord, lighten our darkness, and in all you mercy defend us from all perils and dangers.
Give us your love and protection,
Bring us from this weary state to a freshness in your spirit…
Lord God, On the Sabbath, Jesus rested.
He was in the grave. He had finished His work.
To most people’s eyes, it looked as if it were all over.
He was dead and buried.
But only as a seed dies when it is planted in the earth,
Not to decay, but to spring to new life.
Teach us to take refuge in you when we are afraid
Teach us that death is not our end...
Teach us to hope always in you
And in the resurrection, the making of all things New.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray . 
Amen
 
 

Stuart Townend


"The power of the cross"


YouTube link here

Ramsey Abbey Choir


"When I needed a neighbour"


YouTube link here

Encouragement – HOLY WEEK – Good Friday 10th April 2020

“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”
Colossians 1:21-22 (NIV)

Dear Friends,
This note has been inspired by Billy Graham
TODAY WE REMEMBER THE LOVE OF GOD FOR US. OUR GOD GAVE US HIS SON, THE PERFECT SACRIFICE. HE DIED, THE ONE WHO WAS WITHOUT SIN GAVE HIS LIFE FOR SINFUL PEOPLE.
As Jesus emptied out His life’s blood, He heard the thieves on either side of Him debating what they had heard about the Christ. One rejected salvation with sarcasm. But the other received Him.
Jesus knew the hearts of these convicted criminals, but only one became convicted of his sin. The Bible says conviction leads to repentance.
The thief understood that more than being bound to the cross of death, he was at the crossroads of decision. He chose the only path to salvation, for salvation comes only through the cross of Christ. Christ is the way, His word is the truth, and His death and resurrection bring life.
Repentance is by faith, believing that God will forgive. Repentance is acknowledging your sin and, by faith, accepting Christ’s forgiveness, changing your mind about who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for you, then turning from sin and going the way of the cross. When you do this, He empowers you to believe that He will cleanse you from sin and give you a new heart, a renewed mind, and the will to follow Him into His kingdom.
When we read the account of the crucifixion, it is easy to miss the glory of the cross because of its shame—shame for human sin that nailed Jesus to the tree. The cross represents the suffering love of God, which bears the guilt of humanity’s sin, which alone is able to melt the sinner’s heart and bring him to repentance for salvation. This is the glory of the cross.
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior please pray for those you know and who don’t know Jesus yet that their heart will be open to receive God’s grace and love

Let’s pray

Lord God, Jesus cried out to you on the cross, “Why have you forsaken me?” You seemed so far from his cry and from his distress. Those who stood at the foot of the cross wondered where you were, as they saw Jesus mocked and shamed and killed. Where were you then?
Lord God, we, too, ask where you are, when there is trouble and suffering and death, and we cry out to you for help. Be near to us, and save us so that we may praise you for your deliverance.
Heavenly Father I don’t know how to thank you for what you have done for us. Help me to understand your sacrifice…
Thank you Lord for your salvation, than you that your blood cleansed me from my sin.
Teach us to call your name as Jesus did. Make us to trust in you like little children.
Lord God, I bring to you those know and love …..
touch their hearts, touch their minds, open their eyes and ears so they may see that you are God
Thank you that we can come to you every day, every time we need you
Bless us from the cross, give us loving heart
Hear our prayers Lord, for we pray in the precious name 
of your Son Jesus Christ. 
Amen

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

Maundy Thursday Evening


Celebration of Holy Communion


YouTube link here
 
Stuart Townend

"Behold the lamb"

YouTube link here
Encouragement – HOLY WEEK – Maundy Thursday 9th April 2020


“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Matthew 26:26-28 (NIV)

Dear Friends,

MANY OF YOU KNOW THIS VERSE BY HEART. WE SAY IT WHEN WE CELEBRATE THE HOLY COMMUNION, THE LORD’S (OR LAST) SUPPER, EUCHARIST.JESUS SAID THESE WORDS SHORT BEFORE HE WAS BETRAYED BY THOSE HE LOVED, JUST A FEW HOURS BEFORE HE PRAYED IN GETHSEMANE.HE SAID THAT HE IS GIVING HIS BODY FOR US; THAT HE WILL SACRIFICE HIMSELF SO WE MAY LIVE AND ETERNAL LIFE.

In the Gospels we read that “Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me”. 
Almost all Bible scholars agree that Jesus’ instruction to “do this” provides believers a way to remember, honor and celebrate His death and resurrection. But some believe that Jesus’ “do this” also refers to how we are to live
What if Jesus wasn’t just talking about a ritual that we do occasionally at church? What if He was also inviting us to be broken and poured out daily? What if we had the courage, the audacity, the faith to pray, “God, break me”?
We don’t just remember Jesus during Holy Communion at church. We remember Him in how we live our lives daily. Because Jesus’ body was broken, because His blood was poured out for us, we too should live daily for Him, broken and poured out.
This may not sound appealing at first glance. Who wants to be “broken” and “poured out”? 
That sounds painful at best, and miserable at worst. But it’s in the giving of our lives that we find true joy. Rather than pursuing our will, we surrender to His. Instead of trying to fill our lives with all that we want, we empty our lives to make a difference in the lives of others.

True brokenness before God isn’t a one-time event; it’s a daily decision. Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Cor. 15:31). What does that mean? 
Every day, he chose to crucify his own desires so he could live fully for God’s. If you have the courage to pray this prayer, get ready. Get ready to know God, and be known by God, in a way you’ve not experienced before.
Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matt. 16:25)
Jesus isn’t inviting us to a life of comfort and ease, but one of surrender and sacrifice. Our highest desire shouldn’t be for our will to be done, but for His will to be done. And Jesus is inviting us to die to our own lives, so we can live moment by moment, day by day—for Him. To leave our cozy living rooms and safe prayers in order to know what it means to be broken for the sake of others.

Let’s pray
Jesus Christ thank you for loving us so much that you took the form of a servant 
and served to the point of death.
Thank you Lord for your sacrifice.
Thank you that you want more for us, you want us to be in relationship with you.
We thank you for your transforming love. 
Thank you that you left the glory of heaven to reach out in love to us. 
Thank you that you have given us the privilege of sharing that love with others.
Help us Lord, to be bold, to pray “Break me for your Kingdom”.
Help us to dare more for you. 
Help us through the power of your Spirit to bring more people into the knowledge of your love. 
In the name of Jesus we pray. 
Amen


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

It was 1869 after the Irish famine, 
when Kathleen O'Mara wrote this poem, 
which was reprinted in the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1919:



And people stayed home.

     And read books, 
         and listened, 
and rested, and exercised, 
and made art, 
and played, 
and learned new ways of being, 
and stopped.

And listened deeper

Someone meditated, 
someone prayed, 
someone danced.

Someone met their shadow.

And people began to think differently.

And people healed.

And, in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways, 
dangerous, 
meaningless, 
and heartless, 
even the earth began to heal.

And when the danger ended, people found each other, 
grieved for the dead people, 
and made new choices, 
and dreamed of new visions, 
and created new ways to life and 
healed the earth completely, 
just as they had been healed themselves.
                                                                                                                                                  Thanks J.P.

 
 

Soew Rose


"Because He lives I can face tomorrow"


YouTube link here

Michael W. Smith


"Above all"


YouTube link here

Rend Collective

"Counting every blessing"

YouTube link here


Encouragement – HOLY WEEK – Wednesday 8th April 2020

“He said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will”
Matt 26:36-39

Dear Friends,

AFTER THE LAST SUPPER, THAT WE WILL REFLECT ON TOMORROW, JESUS WENT TO GETHSEMANE TO PRAY.
And we read - That night Jesus was sorrowful and troubled."

What is it that makes you sorrowful? Anxious? Unsettled? Afraid?
I’m not talking about normal external fears like snakes, spiders, or the fear of flying. I’m wondering what keeps you up at night, those things that occupy your mind and refuse to be quieted. Things like Corona virus, loneliness, not getting married or being stuck in a bad marriage. 
Are you anxious about your health?

It is not just you. In the Old Testament we can read that David was also troubled. We don’t know what exact fears were running through his mind, but it’s clear that he was troubled about his safety and perhaps his future. Because after asking God to search his heart, David prayed, “know my anxious thoughts” (Ps. 139:23). 
He wanted to share his worst fears with God. To face them and give them a name. To trust that God was bigger than any fear David could dream up.
In Gethsemane Jesus expressed His fear to His Father, too:
“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me;”

Are you willing to pray such a prayer? 
“Lord, reveal what holds my mind hostage. Show me what I fear the most. Go ahead, help me face what terrifies me.”
Often the things that keep us awake at night are the things that we don’t trust God to handle.
We try to find a way to gain control over them, to solve all problems, to plan for every contingency.
What about you? What are the areas that you’re clinging to even while allowing them to terrify you? What fears are you withholding from God?

Don’t let fear consume you.
Trust God to be your provider. Give Him your burden and worries. When you give your fears to God He will also build your faith. You need him. You need his presence. You need his power. You need his Spirit guiding you. You need his Word strengthening you.
Where do you need to grow in faith?
Trust him.

Let’s pray
Heavenly Father you created me, you know me and you love me.
You know my fears…(name them here)….
Take away all of them. Help me to trust you, help me to say “Your will be done”
You are a faithful God, your love endures for ever…
God of love, as we prepare to remember the events of this poignant night, open our eyes to see the beauty of Jesus’ self-giving love, and by your Spirit work in our community a desire and commitment to serve each other and our hurting world. 
In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen.

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

 
Stuart Townend

"How can it be" 

YouTube link here

Fernando Ortega


"I need the every hour"


YouTube link here

Encouragement – HOLY WEEK – 
Tuesday 7th April 2020

“He [Jesus]will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:4

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6(NIV)
Dear Friends,
This note has been inspired by Billy Graham
The coming Easter and all the Easter after, the suffering of Jesus and His death will be a very painful reminder for thousands of people worldwide of their own suffering or the suffering and perhaps death of their loved ones. In the last few months thousands of people worldwide have shared grief of losing their loved ones to Corona virus. God have mercy upon them…

Locally, some of us had been bereaved (not related to Covid-19) lately or some time ago and Easter, like any other celebrations and anniversary, will be a painful reminder of their circumstances, the changes in their lives. The tears in your eyes are almost guaranteed on such days…

Jesus Himself suffered and He knows your suffering
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
He does is today, He wipes your tears away. 
We have the promise that one day, when He returns He not only will wipe the tears but also “There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” What a wonderful promise we received.

One day Jesus will come out of Heaven on the clouds of glory. He will bring victorious change to this weary and wicked world. The God of hope will speak the word, sending His Son once more from Heaven to earth; for this is the fulfilment of His whole word to the whole world. He is the only Change Agent who transforms man’s nature by changing his source of hope
But only those who have acknowledged this truth and accepted it will recognise Him on the great day that He comes again.
Who is this Man of HOPE? His name is Jesus Christ. Hope rests in God’s Son alone, not in the affairs or the change agents of this world.
True hope and real change is coming to this world. No government can prevent it, no individual can escape it, and those who refuse to embrace its reality will never change its certainty. The end of the world as we know it will take place when Christ returns to earth. It is a doomsday prediction for scoffers who refuse to believe, but it is a glorious prospect for those who know He is coming again.
Jesus Christ will one day come back in great glory—as King. Are you looking for Him?

I want you to close your eyes in a moment. Picture yourself walking…
along the street or the beach, it does not matter. Stop for a moment and look around…
Can you see Jesus? Where is He? Far away or near by? In front of you or behind?
Where is He?
So close your eyes and breathing in the Holy Spirit spent some time picturing that….

Let’s pray
Heavenly Father you are the Creator God Almighty and yet you care for us, and you love us.
You want us to have a relationship with you
Lord Jesus you walked the way of the cross, standing up for what you knew to be right despite the cost.
Jesus you refused to take the easy way, instead you offered your life for the life of the world.
Thank you that you know our sorrow, thank you that you wipe our tears away...
We praise you for your faithfulness and compassion and we bring to you all those who are bereaved these days. 
We ask your mercy upon all those who suffered because of the loss of their loved ones. 
May they feel your loving arms embracing them, may they feel your comfort and love, may they know your presence and love.
So Heavenly Father, help us to recognise more clearly all we owe you. 
We commit ourselves more fully to your service
Abba Father hear our prayers 
for we pray all these things in the precious name of your Son Jesus
Christ. 
Amen

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

"Trust in you -  live"

YouTube link here
Encouragement – HOLY WEEK - Monday 6th April 2020

Ride on, Ride on in Majesty!
This year we enter, probably the most unusual Holy Week any of us have ever experienced – or, I pray, ever will experience. Perhaps this year we will understand something of the isolation Jesus experienced in ways we might never have experienced before. But we remember too, that Holy Week, is not only the gateway to the cross, but also to resurrection and Easter Day.
May God continue to hold you and those dear to you in love. And may we continue to remember just how much God so loved the world, and does so still.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Corinthians 5:17

Dear Friends,
(This note has been inspired by Billy Graham )
Over thirty years ago I gave my life to Jesus. I confessed at my baptism that Jesus is my Lord and my Saviour, that I believe that He died on the cross and on the third day He rose again
Before that event I thought that I was a Christian but I did not know Jesus. I didn't have a personal relationship with Him, instead I was only religious.
True Christianity is not religion. True Christianity is faith in Christ alone.
Just because people claim to be Christian does not necessarily mean that they are Christian. Christianity is not something you add to your life. Becoming a Christian means that Jesus Christ comes into your life and takes over. It is a totally new outlook that is not satisfied with anything less than penetration into the furthest corners of the soul and the understanding.
Christianity is not a spectator sport—buying a ticket and sitting on the sidelines. Becoming a Christian means no longer living for yourself but for God in obedience to Him. You must leave the old life behind and step into a new way of living, where Christ makes possible what you think impossible. To say you believe in Him and then continue living as though nothing has changed is to deny the power of God in your new life.
. . . The Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
How does this happen? Christ indwells His followers by giving the gift of His Holy Spirit. He will not muscle His way in; you must invite Him in, accept His gift, knowing that He will never leave. The Holy Spirit then becomes your constant companion, a lifetime resident, One who will “never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
God is good and patiently waiting for you to accept His invitation.
He forgave your sin, He loves you unconditionally
While waiting for Easter to come, let us meditate on this LOVE, let’s reflect our relationship with Jesus Christ
Let us be still before the throne of our Lord
Let’s pray
Heavenly Father you are the Creator God Almighty and yet you care for us.
You want us to have a relationship with you
Thank you Lord for your Love to us.
I give you my life…
We love you and we worship you. Fill us with your hope for a better future
Abba Father hear our prayers for we pray in the precious name of your Son Jesus
Christ. 
Amen

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

Sunday, 5th April


Join our sister congregation 


in Belgium for worship.


Rev. Eric Foggitt is leading the service at 


Saint Andrew's Scots Church in Brussels 



Website link here

 
Encouragement – Saturday 4th April 2020

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”
(Psalm 46:1)

Dear friends,
Times of pain and illness, times of difficulties and full of stress show us how vulnerable we are. Often even the most caring friends or loved ones can’t help. Our dependency is bigger than us—but not bigger than God.
The Bible says many things about this heavenly Father, but trouble reveals that He is the very present help we desperately need. He is more than enough to compensate for our inadequacy, and His faithfulness provides new mercies every morning.
God meets us where we are, welcomes us into His arms and helps us with our needs. When we call on Him, He is with us, and we are never alone. He walks the path of pain with us.

“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” (ROMANS 15:13).

This God of hope is present—even now. May His strength comfort you and those you love in challenging times. (resource:Our daily Bread)

Dear friends, I will continue with my reflections throughout The Holy Week.

I will celebrate with you, (virtually) Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday at 7:30pm  
(at the moment unfortunately only via facebook, Hope to manage to have it on webs soon)

Please feel free to join in or abstain from it. I am not going to discuss a theology of virtual Holy Communion with you. We are one body of Christ and we are in a time of challenge and change, we are in a crisis and taking part in Last Supper can be comforting for many.

So let us join our hearts and minds together, let us pray
Loving God, we come before you this morning in our desperation but also with hope
Lord for walking beside us
You are faithful and wonderful to us
Loving and forgiving
Heavenly Father, please forgive my sins (tell Jesus your sin) …
You gave us your Son, in Him, in His sacrifice on the cross, we find forgiveness
Thank you
Dear Jesus, You deserve the best of my time, energy, and affection. I crown You King of my heart and Lord over everything I do.
Protect those I love, bless all who suffer because of the coronavirus and give strength to those who care for the ill
Almighty God we pray for those who are bereaved
We think of ………. strengthen them and surround them with your loving and comforting arms
Heal this world, Lord Jesus
Fill us with your Power
Fill us with your Spirit
and we pray all this things in the Holy name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen

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

Hymn   Featuring Loyisa Bala, Neville D. , Ivan Siegelaar


"Turn your eyes on Jesus"


YouTube link click here

Sit back and contemplate. 

"Hallelujah" 

performed by Celtic Thunder, Pipers, & Celtic Angels

YouTube link here
 

Encouragement – 

Friday 03rd April 2020



“The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked,
“What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Matthew 8:25-27 (NIV)


Dear friends,
Praise the Lord, the Almighty King.

Just a few more hours and our forced quarantine will be over. Yesterday, after another spot-check, we were told that we can leave the flat on Saturday.
Our plan is to go for a walk. (Once I heard a saying “if you want to make God laugh tell him about your plans :)” So, God’s willing we will go out tomorrow.

Can you imagine, two weeks ago my daughter arrived in Malta. It was her first time. She never been here before. What she saw of Malta was the bit of land while driving back from the airport!
But it does not matter, because listening to the news from the UK I am very grateful that she is with me.

During our quarantine we had some good days and better days and not that good days. Together we worked and prayed. We danced one night (I felt the dance it in my knees the next day. haha). Played board games. Went for “a walk” along the long corridor.
And I was very blessed because she loves cooking (took after her daddy), so we had every day a cooked meal!
We reminded each other, especially on those days when we felt a bit down, that it could be worst.
We are thankful for we have enough space to move, enough food to eat. We have hold to the hope that we will go out soon, and most importantly - we have hope in Jesus, the resurrected King.
Some of you still need to stay indoors and we don’t know for how long. But this crisis will pass one day. We don’t know when but it will. And I want you to focus on that. It will pass. Jesus knows your situation.
Accept your days being good and not that good.
Work out a daily routine and try to follow it. Change it if it does not work for you.
Move around your house, you need some exercise for the blood to circulate well in your body.
Call a friend. Sing a song.
Rest. Knit the fish or read a book.
Smile. Pray. Get fed on God’s Word.
He loves you and cares for you
As I mentioned already, we are in the same boat. Our boat, like the boat with Jesus and His disciples before, has been caught in a life-threatening storm and it is shaken by strong wind and huge waves.
The disciples then were unprepared and panicked, they realised that they might die. And Jesus? Jesus was peacefully sleeping. And this is very interesting. The disciples, instead of looking at Jesus’ reaction to this situation, allowed the situation to control their fear.
In fear, panicking in seemingly helpless situation they begged Jesus to do something. And what did Jesus do? He calmed the storm but not before asking them WHY ARE YOU AFRAID?
As always, Jesus surprises us with His actions and reactions.
What do you think, did Jesus ask the question “WHY ARE YOU AFRAID?” because the disciples didn’t believe that Jesus could save them from the storm, or rather because, in that particular situation, they didn’t believe that Jesus will see them through it?
We are shaken in our boat, we are fearful of coronavirus, we find ourselves in storm(s) that we have no control over.
What is your response to the storm?
….
Remember our Heavenly Father HAS POWER over every storm. Often you will not be able to change your circumstances, but you can choose to trust God in the middle of every storm.
Don’t focus at the size of the storm, rather look upon the ONE who can calm it. He will see you through it.
Jesus is always with you in your boat.

Let us pray together

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love
Thank you that we can come before your throne just as we are…
Thank you that you accept us, that you know our fears and weaknesses and yet you love us.
You answer our prayers
Lord God help us to focus on you and not on our circumstances, help us to focus on your Son, who died for us on the cross…
Help me to understand that the storms around me are not as powerful as You, my Saviour
Thank you for being with me in my boat
I give to you my day, my life, my joys and worries
Fill me with our Spirit God and help me to hear your voice…
I pray for my family and friends, especially for …….
touch their hearts. Protect them and keep them safe
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
 
 
 

Arrangement Keith Getty & Stuart Townend's
(A Cappella)

"In Christ Alone" 

YouTube link here


BYU Vocal Point (A Cappella)

"It is well with my soul"

You Tube link here


Song

"A new commandment I give unto you"

YouTube link here

Warning.  This is a very very sad story but a powerful one at the same time.

"It is well with my soul" Historical Origins of the hymn and the tune
YouTube link here
 
Encouragement – Thursday 2nd April 2020

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
1 John 4:7 ((NIV)


Dear friends,
There are some things we have control over and some things that are out of our control.
However we can always choose our reaction, response and choose LOVE in difficult times.
You can focus on the bad, discouraging news, news of death and devastation, and respond to it with fear and hopelessness. 
You might choose to focus on the good news, and be thankful for all those who recovered from Corona virus, to be grateful for all those who keep working and are taking care of the sick and vulnerable.
And most important, especially now, in the midst of Covid 19 crisis we can choose how to treat others.

Back in Scotland I learned how to treat other drivers, irresponsible drivers who made me mad when they took over in a very dangerous manner, ...I am sure you know what I am talking about without further explanation. I reflected on my reaction and started to bless them while driving. 
On the road, when I found myself once again in a situation that “made my blood boil” (I hope you know this expression) I took a deep breath and first of all said: “thank you God for keeping me safe and bless this driver.”

Why am I telling you that? Because, I think we are driving on a road that brings danger.
Yesterday my friend shared with me her observation from being among people, like shopping. 
Are we afraid of each other? Are we afraid to get the virus? I know, I do understand, the virus is contagious! And two weeks ago while shopping for the last time before my daughter’s arrival that’s what I felt - sadness and fear.

Do you remember the story when Jesus’ disciples were afraid their boat might sink, but then Jesus calmed the storm? Just like Jesus’ disciples we are all in the same boat (or on the road)! 
But we have Jesus in it! You can choose to focus on the storm, on the bad driver etc, but you also can choose Jesus.
When you go shopping or for a walk, first of all take a deep breath, breath in the Holy Spirit and His peace. Thank God for today; for you health and protection. Bless those who are around you. Bless them and pray for them, that they keep safe and that they may see Jesus in the storm.
We are in the same boat, let’s encourage each other, support each other, love each other and point each other back to Jesus who said

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”John 13:34-35 (NIV)

What can you do?
- pray
- keep in touch via call, text, emails, social media, attend church online
- keeping the recommended distance, ASK you neighbours how they’re doing
- taking your stroll pray for the neighbourhood, ask God to cleanse it and bless all around you, Holy Spirit is still at work!

Although it’s Jesus who calms our storms, it is up to us to remind each other of God’s promises. And to pray for one another.
We are in the same boat, we breathe the same air, we live on the same planet.
Jesus said that we will have trouble in this earthly life. But He left with us His Spirit, and gave us each other.

And now let us be still before our God

Breathe in the breath of life…..
Breathe out the fear….
…….
Holy Spirit come….
Come oh God and fill me with your love, peace and joy….
Take away my fear….
Help me to bless those around me instead of seeing a danger in them
Almighty God we turn to you in prayer in this difficult time 
Cleanse the world and turn all hearts to you.
Help me to be bold and to share your love with others
Thank you Lord for…...(tell God what are you grateful for)
….
we remember those who are ill at this time, especially we ask for healing for ...(name the person)
...
Almighty God hear our prayers for we pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen

Yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 

Inspiration Wednesday 1st April 2020



IN THE STILLNESS

by Irene Bom

(Prayer matters - International Presbytery of the Church of Scotland)


With the corona virus circling the globe, causing such havoc and loss of life, here’s a prayer in song form that I hope will minister to you.

For audio player click link here

VERSE 1
In the stillness, search my heart, O God
Help me turn and mend my ways
In the stillness, come, Lord, come
set my heart ablaze

VERSE 2
In the stillness, help me hear your voice
                        Tend my faith, so it may grow                          (revised)
In the stillness, come, Lord, come
feed my hungry soul

VERSE 3
In the stillness, shape my heart for love
Give me hope when things go wrong
In the stillness, come, Lord, come
be my strength, my song.

A Blessing


Known



First
we will need grace.
Then
we will need courage.
Also
we will need
some strength.
We will need
to die a little
to what we have
always thought,
what we have allowed
ourselves to see
of ourselves,
what we have built
our beliefs upon.
We will need this
and more.

Then
we will need
to let it all go
to leave room enough
for the astonishment
that will come
should we be given
a glimpse
of what the Holy One sees
in seeing us,
knows
in knowing us,
intricate
and unhidden
no part of us
foreign
no piece of us
fashioned from other
than love
desired
discerned
beheld entirely
all our days.



written by Jan Richardson


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

Hillsong


"What a wonderful name it is"


YouTube link here


"Here I am to worship"


YouTube link here



 
Lyrics: 
Verse 1 
Light of the World You stepped down into darkness 
Opened my eyes let me see 
Beauty that made this heart adore You 
Hope of a life spent with You 

Chorus 
Here I am to worship 
Here I am to bow down 
Here I am to say that You're my God 
You're altogether lovely 
Altogether worthy 
Altogether wonderful to me 

Verse 2 
King of all days 
Oh so highly exalted 
Glorious in heaven above 
Humbly You came to the Earth You created 
All for love's sake became poor 

Bridge 
And I'll never know how much it cost 
To see my sin upon that cross

 

Encouragement – Tuesday 31st  March 2020


“ If my people, who are called by my name, 
will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, 
then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
2 Chron 7:14 ((NIV)

Dear friends,
this morning I don’t feel like writing a lot. This verse from 2 Chronicles speaks for itself.
Read it first and see what the Holy Spirit is showing you
Read it for the second time …
The only thing I want to highlight is
humble yourself – pray – seek HIS face
We have time to do that. Stop for a moment and reflect on your relationship with your Creator.
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, renew and refresh me
Breath out- worries... go away...

Let us pray together
Heavenly Father thank you the new day
Thank you for your love and forgiveness. 
Thank you that every day I can learn how to get closer to you.
Help me Lord to share your love with others
Show me ways to inspire others to seek You and Your face, so they will grow in their relationship with You. Keep me on the path that is guided by you
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

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