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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.’
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.
Loving God, thank You for coming to find us with Your love.
Please reveal your love and peace to my friends.
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
Encouragement Wednesday – 20th May 2020
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.”
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
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 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 a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.
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.
Be joyful, be thankful, pray continually
Yours in Christ
For our "Church family and friends" in Malta, Gozo and abroad
"This little light of mine"
by Lisa, Sharon and Christa
Encouragement – Thursday 7th May 2020
Photos by CD Above: Prayer wall in Edinburg
Below: The Hub (former Assembly Hall), Edinburg
(Tower Road, Sliema
Photo by CD)
Encouragement – Monday, 4th May 2020
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.
Keep safe, Keep strong, Hold to Jesus
yours in Christ
(Photo by CD:
Cittadella in Rabbat, Gozo)
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.
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.
Yours in Christ,
Watch tower near
20 April 2020 – Monday
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”
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?
“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.
Keep safe and positive thinking
yours in Christ - Betsi
Encouragement 17 April 2020 - Friday
In your relationships with one another,
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
"Blessed be the name
of the Lord" (Medley)
YouTube link here
Encouragement 16 April 2020 - Thursday
"He is Lord, He is Lord"
Lisa, Sharon and Christa
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 deeperSomeone 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 andhealed the earth completely,just as they had been healed themselves.Thanks J.P.
Friday 03rd April 2020
Inspiration Wednesday 1st April 2020
by Irene Bom
Encouragement – Tuesday 31st March 2020
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
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.
Keep safe and look after each other. Keep in touch per emails and phone calls
yours in Christ
Your pansies for Mothering Sunday ;-)