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  Wednesday – 8 July 2020


It is important that we pray, keep close to God, pray for each other, pray for ourselves.
Do we want to grow as a church? 
Do we want to reach out? 
Invite people to join our service? 
We need to pray and ask Holy Spirit to guide us.
Let’s start to pray for a closer relationships in the church

Heavenly Father, we come before you…
Thank you for the rest of the night and for the new morning
Thank You for the many gifts and graces You give to Your children 
and for the people that come into our lives who mean so much to us. 
Thank You for the sweet fellowship we enjoy with brothers and sisters in Christ, 
and Lord, how good it is to walk when members of Your body live together in love and unity.
Deepen we pray, the bonds of fellowship within the body of Christ 
and may our hearts be knit together in love in Christ Jesus. 
Forgive us for the times when our fleshly natures have broken or damaged the precious relationships we have with each other in Christ, 
and keep us we pray, walking in love, 
knowing that we are a spiritual house joined together as one in Him.

Thank You, Lord, for those special people and relationships you have placed in my life with whom I enjoy a close bond of unity. 
May we encourage and edify each other as we wait for the any day return of the Lord Jesus in the air to claim His church for Himself. 
May we all draw ever closer to each other and to You 
as we see the day of Your return approaching. 
We ask this in Jesus' name,
Amen.

Yours in Christ,
Betsi






Encouragement Tuesday 7th  July

Psalm 55:22
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Today it’s another Tuesday. …
Slowly but surely Malta gets busier than the last few months. The airport has been opened and the long awaiting tourists are coming. The buses are crowded again, the streets, coffee places and restaurants filled with people. We country hopes that the economy will pick up again . Many trust that with more jobs being offered again the demand for help from the Foodbank will be less. During the Corona virus crisis the Foodbank did an excellent job feeding hundreds of people in need.

For us, Christians, today, this Tuesday, is another opportunity to pray.
We can tell our Lord how grateful we are – what are you thankful for? …
we can ask God for favor and supernatural blessings – tell Him your requests....
We can ask the Almighty to take away sadness, anger, unhappiness, and pain from our lives. - Tell God about your feelings...
And most importantly, to protect us and bless all that we will do today.
You can pray for a friend or loved ones too.
Or, send them a Tuesday prayer message as they wake up.
In all, God is willing to answer all our prayers.
In Matthew 6:25-26 Jesus reassures His disciples:
“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?
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?”

Gracious Father, The king of kings and Lord of lords
I thank you for protecting me each day despite my iniquities
I thank you that you forgive my sins. Guide me this day and all days of my life
I commit my day into your able hands trusting that you will never disappoint me
Heavenly Father, take absolute control of today
Make this Tuesday the best day of my life
Fill my paths with happiness and joy
Remove all troubles and unhappiness from my face and replaced them with laughter
In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen

Your in Christ,
Betsi



Encouragement Monday 6th July 2020 

A Prayer for Monday Morning - (crosswalk.com)
By Amy Green
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

It’s another Monday.
By now, you’ve successfully pried open your eyes (no matter how many times you hit “snooze”), and even that probably feels like an accomplishment. If you’re like me, the first whispers of coherent thought in your waking mind weren’t that great. Worry about your job. Dread of the unending loop of weekly tasks. Frustration with a family member. Or just plain weariness.

On some Mondays, it can be hard to believe that you matter, that God is listening, and that it was really worth getting out of bed.
It’s time to replace those lies with the truth—truth about who God is, who you are, and what you’re doing here on this earth. These verses aren’t some kind of cosmic pep talk… they’re reminders from a God who loves you that he made you for a purpose. That means no day is wasted, not even a terrible Monday.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Cor 15:58

Promise: Even when we don’t see the results of what we’re doing, God is always at work. He can give us the strength for the mundane tasks of life.
Remember that this day is a gift from God.
This week, don’t look first at your crowded calendar or messy house or burdens or the list of ways you’ve failed and fallen. Look first at Jesus and at his Word.
Read these verses, and read all of Romans 8. It’s the summary of everything God has promised to believers. It reminds us that it’s okay to grieve the brokenness of the world, reassures us that the Spirit prays for us when we don’t even know what to ask, and restores the hope we have as victorious and beloved children of God.
And that’s the truth that makes it worth getting up in the morning, no matter what day it is.

Please pray with me:
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. 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. 
In the name of Jesus.Amen.

Yours in Christ
Betsi
 

Welcome to our


Divine Service  


Sunday, 


5th of July 2020


YouTube link here

Olso Choir


"Come, now is the time for worship"


YouTube link here



Sanctuary Choir


"To God be the glory"


YouTube link here

 






Encouragement 4th July 2020

Christian Prayer
And he said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Our Father, who .……

Over the last few months, I have found the daily morning encouragements of St Andrew’s to be of great help. It is encouraging to know, particularly during this difficult period, that we are not alone, that we have Christian brothers and sisters from whom we can find guidance and encouragement.
In the same way, we can find encouragement in prayer from the saints of the past and from Mary, Jesus’s mother. Pray and pray well, that is what matters. When we pray together doctrinal differences can only be secondary.
Prayer in no way separates us from others, rather it unites us all. It is prayer that brings us into a relationship with God and allows us to be his fellow-workers. Prayer means turning to God, asking him to give us what we lack – strength, power, courage, serenity, peace. Prayer is a grace, a gift from God.
And when we pray well, it is the Spirit of God working in us. It is the Spirit of God that moves us and makes us capable of praying correctly. Our firm foundation is that God hears our prayers because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Christ to whom we pray, himself lived a life of prayer, and it is he who draws us into his life of prayer, putting his word “Father” onto our lips.

Many blessings,
Norrie Alexander






Encouragement Friday 3rd June 2020


Matthew 11:25-30 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

Jesus Thanks His Father

25 At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank[a] you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.[b]

Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30 NRSVA - - Bible Gatewa

27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’


Dear friends I take great comfort from these verses as we come out of restrictions, knowing that I can lay down my burden and find rest in Jesus. I also think that it is important that we give thanks for coming through this crisis and can get out and worship together again in church as the body of Christ as we feel able.


Let us Pray

Lord Jesus Christ, you are our comfort and saviour, our strength and redeemer. 

We give thanks that You came to earth died and rose again so that we might be saved. 

Accept our thanks for being with us though this trying time 

and having the opportunity to reflect on Your Word daily, 

for we know that we often fall short of being worthy but we know You came to save us. 

Bless all who are struggling at this time of change and reassure them that You are with them. 

Amen


Blessings

Stay safe

Diana





 

Encouragement Thursday – 2 July 2020


John 9:25
The blind man who was healed by Jesus replied:
“One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

Only Jesus- Friend of Sinners
Jesus was a friend to everyone most of all to those whom society had labelled, sidelined and blacklisted. It’s almost like He sought them out singularly to get to know them. He did this most often by inviting Himself to their homes or to the places they frequented and having a meal with them or just spending time speaking with them. Jesus didn’t mingle with only the like-minded or those who were safe to be seen with Him. He constantly colored outside the lines in terms of who he connected with. He was there for the quintessential Friend of Sinners.
In John 9, Jesus heals a man born blind and after the healing the Jews decided to interrogate the man and his parents because they believed that the man’s blindness was because of sin in his or his parents’ lives. 
They didn’t believe that a “sinner” would be heard by God. 
Jesus corrects the wrong idea even held by His own followers by saying that this was not as a result of sin but so that God’s glory would be revealed in his life. 

What a perspective shift the disciples must have had that day. It should be a perspective change for us too in how we view others’ struggles and failures. In not knowing a person’s story or background we must avoid harsh judgements. Jesus showed the blind man generous compassion in spite of knowing what the after effects would be.
Today, think of how you can better love someone without judgement, show genuine compassion and take time to get to know someone who you just met. You just may be the face of JESUS to them.

Prayer: 
Dear Lord, we pray that You will help us to be a friend of sinners, sinners just like us. 
I pray that You will help us to be the face of Jesus to who ever crosses our path. 
We love you and we thank you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Yours in Christ,
Betsi








Encouragement Wednesday – 1 July 2020

Lamentation 3:22
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassion never fail.
Only Jesus - Faithful One

Have you ever had the experience of having a promise made to you only to find that it was not kept? Maybe you made a promise to someone and although you tried to keep it to the best of your ability circumstances didn’t cooperate and you ended up disappointing people. Either way promises are meant to be kept and as Humans, try as we might, we tend to fail in our commitments. On the other hand, God, the maker of heaven and earth, our Heavenly father, keeps His word come what may.
God is faithful. (The Hebrew word for faithful is “emunah” - steadfast, unchanging, firm.)
He is faithful to His word. He is faithful to His people. He is faithful to those who choose to follow Him. That’s who our God is.
If you doubt God’s faithfulness- look around you and at yourself. It’s his faithfulness that keeps us from perishing.

In the Bible we often find a repetitive cycle. A cycle of - A Faithful God giving his people commandments to live by, unfaithful people who rebel against God, self inflicted repercussions, suffering, crying out in repentance, God responding in mercy and causing restoration of His people. In the midst of man’s inconsistency and sinfulness God stayed faithful.
The Bible through the old testament has close to 55 prophecies about Jesus. About his life, his birth, his youth, his work, his kingdom and so on. The astonishing thing is that in Jesus not one or two of these but all of these were fulfilled. Our father God is a promise keeper in every sense of the word. He promised to send the Messiah and he didn’t fail us. 
What’s more is that he sent us His own son to save us and to restore us to Him. Only God could care so deeply about us that he would keep His promise even if it meant sacrificing His one Son in exchange for all of humanity to be adopted into His family.

Let us be still for a moment or two….
… Holy Spirit come….
Heavenly Father, thank you for this new day. 
Thank you for your love and care
You Lord are our God and Friend, you are the Creator of this beautiful world…
(Tell Jesus what are you thankful for this morning…..)
And as I stand in your presence Lord, I pray that I will remember your faithfulness in every situation. 
May I not forget all you have done for me and those I love. 
Help me to put my trust in you, always
I love you Father, for your faithfulness which endures to all generations. 
In the name of your Son Jesus I pray name. 
Amen.

Your in Christ,
Betsi





 
Encouragement Tuesday – 30th June 2020

1 Peter 5:7
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”

We live in uncertain times. For months now we live in fear of Corona Virus and with the border open from tomorrow we face the new uncertainty; is the second wave of the virus coming?

There are no end to this problem and many other issues humanity faces and yet we as followers of Christ are repeatedly asked to “Fear not”. It gives us reason to believe then, stress and hardships are inevitable but that fear is a choice. Anxiety is a choice. Doubt is a choice.
Moreover, as James points out in his letter that we reflect on during Sunday Worship, “ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)

I encourage you dear friends to fix your eyes on Jesus. Only He can take our fears away, calm our troubled hearts, give us peace that is beyond comprehension and re-hydrate hope in the dry landscapes of our world. I urge you to consciously choose to focus on Only Jesus today and for the next few days during every situation you encounter. It will eventually become a habit to fix your eyes on Him and to view your whole world through the lens of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Prayer:
Be still for a few moments…
Breathe in the Holy Spirit…
Let Him fill you with peace…
Dear Lord, I pray that You will still the storm in me ...(tell HIM what troubles you…)
help me Lord Jesus to experience your goodness and love in a new way today. …
I love You and pray that you will reveal yourself to me. 
In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Yours in Christ, Betsi

Poster United Reformed Church, Buxton. Derbyshire (Photo by CD)












Encouragement Monday – 29th June 2020


The other day someone told me that I often speak (write) about the importance of having a relationship with God. Why?

Why? Because that is what Jesus came for. Jesus does not want religious people keeping religious rules but He wants us to be His children who believe that He is the Son of God, who died for our sins on the cross and rose again…

He wants us to have a loving relationship with the living God.


Yesterday I went for a walk and an elderly Maltese man approached me and started to ask questions who I am, where do I come from and what do I do in Malta. After he learned that I am the minister of St Andrew’s he shared with me his faith testimony.

To cut the longer story short he told me that the Holy Spirit freed him from gambling addiction. That he is free, and it would never been possible if he would have trust in his own strength. No, he said, it wasn’t me, it was the Holy Spirit!.

God is still working on this earth! Holy Spirit is among us. We just need to open our hearts and minds and receive His grace.


If you are God’s child keep praying for those you know and who need God’s salvation.

But if you do not know God as your Saviour search your heart and ask our Heavenly Father to show your the way. If you have any doubts or questions please do not hesitate to contact me.


May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you in all you do

yours

Betsi












We invite you to join our Sunday Service with Rev. Betsi Thane


Sunday, 28th June 2020



Favouritism forbidden James 2:1-13





YouTube Link here











Encouragement Saturday – 27th June 2020

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Psalm 37:23
The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
Trust In The Lord.

Choose to place your trust in Christ. 
Choose to seek Him. 
Choose to surrender your life to Him. He saw your mistake before you made it. 
Choose to completely trust in the Lord with every aspect of your heart. 
Give the hardened places over to Him. 
Give the bruised places over to Him. 
Give the prideful places over to Him. 
Let God navigate and steer every aspect of your life.

You may be smart, remember that your intellect comes from Him. 
You may be witty, remember that your strength, talent and ability comes from Him. 
You may be wealthy, remember that it is God who gives you the power to get wealth. 
Choose to give God every aspect of your life. Surrender to Him and He’ll direct your path.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or if you have fallen away from Him, simply say this prayer:
(If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior pray for those you know who need Salvation)

Dear Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus, I repent of my sin. 
I turn to You. 
Father, I receive Your Son, Jesus Christ, as my Lord and Savior. 
I believe that Jesus Christ died and rose just for me.
I believe that His Blood washes me and cleanses me from all unrighteousness. 
Father, in You, I am set free. 
Father, through the Blood of your Son, Jesus Christ my past is history and my future is bright.
Father, In You, I am made new. ...
Father, in You, I am complete. ...
Father, in You, I am made whole...
Father, in You, I am restored. ...
Father, I surrender every area of my life to You now and forever….
In Jesus Name. Amen.

Many blessings. Yours in Christ
Betsi
 

Encouragement Friday, 25th June 2020


Isaiah 40:31 New International Version (NIV)

31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

In the past weeks we have been through a lot. We have thought about more things than we used to before. We have maybe prayed more than before. We have learned compassion in another form and a wider scale than before. We had the front-liners in mind, all who kept on working to make our daily life possible. We were remembered not to take everything for granted.

Today I would like to bring our thoughts to the people that minister in communities of faith. About how their ministry has changed and challenged them. The tireless daily work that brought us encouragement and prayers we received.

I was attending a webinar this week from the Church of Scotland were we talked about ministering and pastoral care in Corona times. How to comfort a congregation the best way and nourish them.

But it made me think also about the people behind it. The huge impact it has one each one of our Ministers. Wisdom, guidance and strength which is needed on a daily basis to be here for us in such different ways.

Let us pray especially for the leaders and Ministers of our churches today who have to deal with the challenges and differences in their ministry. That the Lord be with them and grant them the strength needed.

Let us pray:

My prayers are for those who are hurting and scared, those who rely on services that are having to close, and those who will find themselves quickly in need.

My prayers are also for you, those who minister in the midst of this crisis – that you will remain healthy, that you will care for yourself, even as you care for those with whom you have been called to minister. We pray for the healing and mending of the world.

May we find tangible ways of supporting each other – and all of God’s world - in this time, and in the days to come, and may we know that, no matter what, as we “love and serve others,” as we “seek justice and resist evil,” as we “proclaim Jesus,” with our words and our actions, we will find a way through this, together.

Amen


Richard Bott (The Right Reverend)
Moderator The United Church of Canada



I’m wishing you all a blessed day.

Christa




 





Encouragement Thursday – 25th June 2020

Jesus answered,
“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
(Matthew 5:6)
Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
(Isaiah 55:1-2)
Christ is the void filler. You cannot live by bread alone. You cannot live or be satisfied by the natural things of this world. Natural bread is temporary. Natural things will only satisfy you for a season. God’s Word is eternal. God’s Word is everlasting.
When you seek after His Righteousness you will be satisfied. When you’re seeking after what God seeks after, you will be filled. His Word declares and outlines His Way of doing things. Matthew‬ ‭5:6‬ ‭AMPC‬‬ expands upon this thought by stating, “Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied! [Isa. 55:1- 2]”
Your satisfaction comes from God. Your security comes from God. Your peace comes from Him. Your prosperity, wholeness, and well-being comes from God.
Choose to seek and submit to God in every area of your life, career, and business.
Surrender to God and He will lead and direct your path.
Let God lead you.
Let His Word lead you.
Spend some moments in the presence of God….Holy Spirit come...
….
Yours in Christ
Betsi







 
Encouragement Wednesday – 24th June 2020


John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.


Today’s verses from John chapter 3 reminds of my conversation between myself and a my friend that I had have 30 years ago. These verses are a part of a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. (If you want to know the whole story please read John chapter 3. )

Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a religious man and a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus with some questions. He observed Jesus and knew about His teaching. And Nicodemus wondered if Jesus is who He says He is, If Jesus is the Son of God? If Jesus is the One who saves? If Jesus is the One who gives an eternal life. These were my questions exactly. 30 years ago I was a very religions person. I went to church and tried to follow all the rules but I did not know if Jesus is the Saviour.


What about you? Do you believe? Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins? Do you believe that He rose from the grave? 

Do you believe that Jesus Christ loves you with all of His Heart? You are never too far away from His Reach. No matter the sin that you’ve committed, His Blood can wash away the stains of the past.

Choose to receive Christ. Let His Love dwell in every area of your life. 

Let His Power wash away every hurt. 

Let His Blood cover you. 

Let the Blood of Jesus Christ restore you.

In Christ, you are made new. Let His Blood soften your heart. 

Let His Blood heal you. 

There is nothing that God cannot rescue you from. There is no addiction that He cannot break. There is no disease that He cannot cure. He is the answer. He is the solution. He is the way.

The void that you’re facing can only be filled by God. There is no void that He cannot fill. He is the answer. You cannot fill that heart void with temporary things. You cannot fill that heart void with man made things. The void that you’re experiencing can only be filled by God. Another job, relationship, promotion or car will not fill the void in your heart. Only Jesus Christ can occupy your heart and fill it until it is satisfied. Only He can satisfy your heart. Only He can fill the void.


Please, do not rush back to do what you have to do. Stop and be still…

Think just for a moment about what you believe. Are you religious or do you have a relationship with the living God?


May the Lord bless you

- yours in Christ

Betsi



                                                                                                                             Above: Gozo (Photo by CD)

 
 
Encouragement TUESDAY – 23rd JUNE 2020

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
2 Thes. 3:16

GOD IS PEACE
The peace, which a true Christian enjoys with God and his conscience, has a solid ground-word to rest upon. It is not built upon a pleasing fiction of his imagination, a delusive dream of his ignorance; it is founded upon a rock, and though the rains descend, and the winds blow, and the floods beat upon that house, it shall not fall.

When a man hath faith in the blood of Christ there is but little wonder that he hath peace, for indeed he is fully warranted in enjoying the most profound calm which mortal heart can know. 
God hath said, "He that believeth is justified from all things." and, moreover, that "he that believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved." The necessary consequence of that is, that he possesses peace of mind. If God has punished Christ in my stead, he will not punish me again. How, I ask, can the man tremble who believes himself forgiven? It were strange indeed if his faith did not breathe a holy calm into his bosom. (from a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon, "Spiritual Peace")

yours in Christ- Betsi
 
 
Encouragement MONDAY – 22nd JUNE 2020


ISAIAH 40:28-29“HE DOES NOT FAINT OR GROW WEARY; HIS UNDERSTANDING IS UNSEARCHABLE.HE GIVES POWER TO THE FAINT, AND TO HIM WHO HAS NO MIGHT HE INCREASES STRENGTH.”

When you’re feeling tired and weary, when you have a heavy heart, when you’re too tired to find the words, are you tempted to skip prayer? In these times, prayer can feel hard, yet these are the times we need prayer the most.
But how can you pray when you’re tired and weary?
Have you ever had one of these days…
You try to get the morning started well for the family, but instead of calm supportive words, all you manage to speak are words of frustration. You’re yelling at the kids, your husband – and just hoping you can get everyone on their way soon so you can tackle the massive to-do list waiting for you.
Or maybe you live on your own and all the tasks are up to you to be done, and you wish someone would take away or at least share some of your burdens.
And we all are under the pandemic crisis, tired and weary with not knowing what tomorrow will bring. We are tired of waiting to visit family and friends...
You’re exhausted – but more than just physically tired, you’re soul-weary. The burdens are heavy on your shoulders and there’s more work to do than hours in the day.
In these times, it’s tempting to keep pressing on. You’d love a break – a nap – anything – but you feel compelled to push forward.
So, instead of pressing on through the weariness, instead of getting frustrated and hopeless I ask you to push pause and stop to pray….
It does not matter if the laundry need to be done. Just stop…
well, if you have a nice loaf in the oven you better wait till it’s done and take it out to cool it down :)
Stop...breathe in…
Take three deep breaths….
Breathe in the peace of Holy Spirit ….
out the frustration….
Spend some time in the presence of God. If you have no words, it is ok...Just be still and know that HE is GOD


Your's in Christ
Betsie
 
 
 
 

The London Fox Singers


"Jesus be the center"


Link here





Divine Service 

Sunday 21st June 2020


We welcome you to worship with us.


Link here



Main Door St. George Basilica, Victoria, Gozo (Photo by CD)

 
 
 
Encouragement Saturday 20th June 2020

Psalm 28:7-8
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.



"The LORD is my strength and my shield," - In the midst of his deep distress David took his fearful thoughts captive and remembered Who his God truly is...
He cries out, jubilantly - "My heart trusts in Him”
We believe in the all-powerful God. Why should we be fearful when we have the almighty strength of the eternal God as our shield and buckler... for He is our God, and those who reverently fear Him have no need to be anxious or fearful.
"My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped", the psalmist continued. God has promised to be with us in every situation of life.. and all God wants from us is to trust His word; believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and hold fast to His many precious promises. Without faith it is impossible to please Him, but those who put their trust in Him will never be disappointed.

Let us pray
Jesus, my Savior, You came down to earth to save me and told me to have faith in You. 
You said that with faith I can even say to the mountain, 
“Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and it will be done. 
My mind knows that if I believe, trust and have faith in You, 
I will receive whatever I ask for in Your holy name. 
I believe in You, Jesus. 
I believe that You are Lord. 
You are the God Most High. 
You are the Creator of Heaven and Earth. 
Erase my doubt, Jesus. 
Take it all away. 
Help my unbelief. 
I deliver myself into Your righteous hands. 
Amen.

Be safe. 
Your's in Chrit,
Betsie

Walk of faith, Cliff College (Photo by CD)
 
 

Encouragement Friday 19th June 2020


Ephesians 3:14-21 New International Version (NIV)

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


What a wonderful prayer written by Paul when he was imprisoned in Rome in his letter to the Ephesians and is as relevant today for us in the 21st century.


Let us pray

Dear Father as we take this time to worship and praise your name, 

we know that we are not worthy but that you came to earth, died, and rose again so that we might have life. We give thanks for waking up this morning, 

for (please add two more of your own thanks) and we ask you to be with us through out the day 

(please add two more things to pray for) 

All these things we take to you in Jesus name. 

Amen


Stay safe

Blessings

Diana

 
 
 
Encouragement Thursday 18th June 2020

Psalm 27:1-4 - Of David.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

Psalm 63:3
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

Last year in June I have traveled to the USA to hike in mountains and canyons of Colorado and Utah. I don’t know how often I was speechless ( if you know me you would know not many things make me speechless) by the beauty of God’s creation. One could say that the canyons are just very large “holes” in the ground, however, God’s handiwork took my breath away and I could not help but to think about God, about heaven.
I remember, when I was young, sometimes I wondered if heaven will be boring. You know, singing God Holy, Holy, Holy. I thought that maybe we will get tired of praising Him all the time….
But if a “hole in the ground” can be so overwhelmingly beautiful that we cannot stop looking at it, we can only imagine the joy of one day seeing the very Source of beauty – our loving Creator- in all the pristine wonder of the new creation.
David expressed this longing when he wrote, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord” (Ps 27:4)
There is nothing more beautiful than the presence of God, which draws near to us on this earth as we seek Him by faith, looking forward to seeing Him face to face.
On that day we’ll never tired of praising our amazing Lord because we will never come to an end of fresh,new discoveries of His goodness and the wonders of the works of His hands. Every moment in His presence will bring a breath-taking revelation of His beauty and His LOVE.

Let’s pray
Lord God, you are my God and my beautiful Saviour.
Help me to seek you every day
Help me to live in your presence and love
Help me to be salt and light in this dark and needy world
Fill me with your Holy Spirit
for we pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen


Yous in Christ,
Betsie
 
 
Encouragement Wednesday 17th June 2020

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
GOD IS REAL
The great Natural Bible, since its first pages, the sun, moon, and stars, supply light to the rest of the volume, and are thus the keys, without which the writing that follows would be dark and undiscerned.
In the expanse above us God flies, as it were, his starry flag to show that the King is at home. The wisest of men are those who with pious eagerness trace the goings forth of Jehovah as well in creation as in grace.
Science has a foundation, and so has religion; let them unite their foundations, and the basis will be broader, and they will be two compartments of one great fabric reared to the glory of God. Let the one be the sanctuary where human learning may present its richest incense as an offering to God, and the other the holiest of all, separated from it by a veil now rent in twain, and in which, on a blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, we pour out the love of a reconciled heart, and hear the oracles of the living God."
                                                      
                                                          (From The Treasury of David by C.H Spurgeon, Church of Scotland)


I wish you all a good day,
Yours in Christ,
Betsie
 
Encouragement Wednesday 17th June 2020

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
GOD IS REAL
The great Natural Bible, since its first pages, the sun, moon, and stars, supply light to the rest of the volume, and are thus the keys, without which the writing that follows would be dark and undiscerned.
In the expanse above us God flies, as it were, his starry flag to show that the King is at home. The wisest of men are those who with pious eagerness trace the goings forth of Jehovah as well in creation as in grace.
Science has a foundation, and so has religion; let them unite their foundations, and the basis will be broader, and they will be two compartments of one great fabric reared to the glory of God. 
Let the one be the sanctuary where human learning may present its richest incense as an offering to God, and the other the holiest of all, separated from it by a veil now rent in twain, and in which, on a blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, we pour out the love of a reconciled heart, and hear the oracles of the living God."

(From The Treasury of David by C.H Spurgeon)
 
 

Encouragement Tuesday 16th June 2020

In Psalm 9:9-10 we read:
The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You

I want to start by asking a simple question: would you trust someone you don’t know; someone you have no relationship with, with the password to your multi-billion dollar bank account and your various investments? I certainly would not, and I don’t think you would either. Generally speaking, no one would trust someone they don’t know with anything that is valuable to them.
Before you will ever truly take refuge in God, you must first come to know Him. To know Him is the same as putting your faith in Him for salvation, referred to in the New Testament as "saving faith". It is in knowing God that you will be able to trust and take refuge in Him. Psalm 9:10 says “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You”.
The Bible teaches that humanity was separated from God because of one man’s sin (Romans 5:12); this separation resulted in the loss of intimate relationship between man and God. This loss created an eternal void that can only be filled by regaining what was lost; and because God desires intimate relationship with mankind, He sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ into the world (John 3:16) to be the pathway back to intimate relationship with Him (John 14:6). Therefore, no one can truly know God without acceptance through Jesus Christ.

God had already initiated such relationship with you by sending His son Jesus Christ to you; in turn, one must make a decision to be in relationship with Him by accepting Jesus Christ. Once that happens and you are growing in Him, you are able to learn of Him from scriptures, from others around you and even from your day to day experiences with Him.

Beloved, God wants you to know Him and trust Him to be your all in all, so as you go through life experiences, allow God to reveal His unrivaled power and strength in your life. Make Him your firm foundation, your strong God, your refuge, your strength and strong tower. This God can never fail, He is the undefeated God, no circumstance, no situation, no difficulty that you may be facing today is bigger than your God, He is the All-Powerful God Almighty!
Believe in Him, trust Him, depend on Him, and know that you are not alone; He’s with you, giving you safe passage through whatever valley situation you’re facing; He promises to never forsake those who seek Him. Will you seek Him today? (my.bible)

Your in Christ,
Betsi

 
 
Monday -15th June 2020

This is deep…, take your time….
The Black Prayer by RuNett Nia Ebo

Lord, Lord,
Why did You make me Black?
Why did You make me someone
the world wants to hold back?
Black is the color of dirty clothes;
The color of grimy hands and feet.
Black is the color of darkness;
The color of tire-beaten streets.
Why did you give me thick lips,
a broad nose and kinky hair?
Why did You make me someone
who receives the hatred stare?
Black is the color of a bruised eye
when somebody gets hurt.
Black is the color of darkness.
Black is the color of dirt.
How come my bone structure’s so thick;
my hips and cheeks are high?
How come my eyes are brown
and not the color of the daylight sky?
Why do people think I’m useless?
How come I feel so used?
Why do some people see my skin
and think I should be abused?
Lord, I just don’t understand;
what is it about my skin?
Why do some people want to hate me
and not know the person within?
Black is what people are “listed”,
when others want to keep them away.
Black is the color of shadows cast.
Black is the end of the day.
Lord, You know, my own people mistreat me;
and I know this just isn’t right.
They don’t like my hair or the way I look
They say I’m too dark or too light.
Lord, Don’t You think it’s time
for You to make a change?
Why don’t You re-do creation
And make everyone the same?
(God answered
Why did I make you black?
Why did I make you black?
Get off your knees and look around.
Tell Me, what do you see?
I didn’t make you in the image of darkness.
I made you in the Likeness of ME!
I made you the color of coal
from which beautiful diamonds are formed.
I made you the color of oil,
the black-gold that keeps people warm.
I made you from the rich, dark earth
that can grow the food you need.
Your color’s the same as the panther’s
known for (HER) beauty and speed.
Your color’s the same as the Black stallion,
a majestic animal is he.
I didn’t make you in the Image of darkness
I made you in the Likeness of Me!
All the colors of a Heavenly Rainbow
can be found throughout every nation;
And when all those colors were blended well,
YOU BECAME MY GREATEST CREATION.
Your hair is the texture of lamb’s wool
such a humble, little creature is he.
I am the Shepherd who watches them.
I am the One who will watch over thee.
You are the color of midnight-sky,
I put the stars’ glitter in your eyes.
There’s a smile hidden behind your pain
that’s the reason your cheeks are high.
You are the color of dark clouds formed
when I send My strongest weather.
I made your lips full so when you kiss
the one you love they will remember.
Your stature is strong; your bone structure, thick
to withstand the burdens of time.
The reflection you see in the mirror…
the Image looking back at you is MINE!
So get of your knees,
look in the mirror and tell me what you see?
I didn’t make you in the image of darkness…
I made you in the image of ME!

This poem was inspired by Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Your's in Christ
Betsi
 
 


Sunday 14th June 2020


Welcome everybody to today's 

Worship Service


Join us in praising and prayer

with Diana J. Nye


Follow this link here








Part of mosaik at Ta Pinu, Goz. (Photo by CD)

 
 
Encouragement – Saturday – 13th June 2020

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
John 13:35
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Love Is Unconditional
Often I think and then preach what we, as Christians, should or should not do. But the more I reflect on all commands the more I see the deep sense in Jesus commandments to LOVE one another.

I used to work in children’s home for kids and young people with behavioural difficulties.
They were in trouble often. They fought in school, ran from home etc. Some were physically and emotionally abused.
When I learned about their life stories I realised that all of them have something in common. They felt rejected, alone and NOT loved.

On the other hand, I heard many testimonies from people who learned about God’s unconditional love through Christians who displayed God’s Love and Care. Those people gave their lives to Jesus because of some ambassadors and representatives of the Kingdom, who extended God’s love and grace to them, unconditionally.
To be light, we must shine for all and at all times. It’s so important to understand that the coworker, in the cubicle next to us (that you don’t really like), is fighting behind the scenes just to show up to work with a smile on their face, and we may be the only ray of Light that shines on them all day. Nothing should motivate a believer more than to reflect Christ in our living more than our sayings.
Unconditional love is limitless, it’s human standard to see love through dirty lenses full of hurt, rejection, and unforgiveness. Hurt people hurt people. The love of God reaches the heavens and its faithfulness to the clouds.
We all can learn to love how God loves but first we must spend time in His presence.

Let’s pray
Dear God,thank you for loving me. 
Thank you for this day and the beautiful world I live in. 
Thank you for family and friends to play and share with. 
Thank you for my home- for clothes and food and a safe place to be.
Thank you for my church and for those who are teaching me. 
Dear God, help me do what you want me to do. 
Forgive me for when I do things wrong like when I hurt myself and hurt you. 
Make me be the best that I can be to everyone. 
In Jesus’s name. I pray. 
Amen.

Your's in Christ,
Betsi
 
 

Encouragement 12th June 2020


In Leviticus 26:12 we read "I will walk among you and will be your God"

After many weeks of restrictions due to the Corona-Virus we are more and more going out again. Trying to bring normality back in our life. What will be different, what will be our life after Covid-19?

What has changed in our thinking about our self and in thinking of others?


Isla, Malta (Photo by CD)



Here a little meditation and invitation of Jesus


Let me walk with you that you may know I am not absent neither am I distant but close alongside you on the journey of life.

Let me walk with you to the hurting and together we will bring them comfort.

Let me walk with you to the fallen and together we will lift them up.

Let me walk with you to those who weep and mourn and together we will wipe away their tears.

Let me walk with you to the hungry and together we will share our food.

Let me walk with you to the lonely and together we will share our friendship

Let me walk with you in all our journeying you will learn

Of my presence and nearness, daily come more to know more and more about me until you come to know me and serve me and love me.

So let me walk closely with you, and be your companion and with your free agreement take you to places where I want you to be. Show you things you want to see, let you listen to those things I want you to hear. Let you encounter those people I want you to meet.

Do not be afraid. I know and understand your joys, your hopes, your every feeling, you r fears and hidden guilt and doubts, and I would still walk with you and bring into your life so much to enrich and delight you, so much to surprise and bless you.

                                                                                                                                                                                            (from Marantha community)


Many blessings,

Christa

 
 
Encouragement – Thursday – 11 June 2020

Matthew 15:14 – 61
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Have you ever heard of the book "The Pilgrim's Progress?” If not, you may want to look it up and give it a read. In general, it illustrates the struggles that believers encounter along life’s journey. One of the things most fascinating about the book is the story of the author John Bunyan, who actually wrote the book while imprisoned. The book was penned while his area of influence was being suppressed. However, it ended up reaching and encouraging countless "pilgrims" around the world and still does to this day!
Matthew 5:14 mentions a city on a hill, which cannot be hidden. Can you imagine how much light a city like that produces?

I remember being in the country side at night. In the far distance, I could see the light from the nearest city and it was not even a city on a hill. So, I can only imagine how much light would be produced by a city if it were on a hill. Guess what? Jesus describes His followers as that kind of light!
Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said: “You are the light of the world.” 
That's the light of Christ that is within us. We don’t have to be a city on a hill, but we radiate the same! And when people see us, they should see the God who lives within us. We can radiate the light of Jesus everywhere we go, AND even when we can’t go anywhere at all! How cool is that?

Let’s pray
In the light of your presence Jesus,show us the sins we need to confess to You and turn away from…
Jesus, You are the light of the world. Keep us following You so that we never walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
Loving Lord help us to be your light in this world and radiate your love so many will see that You are God. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. 
Amen

Yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 
Encouragement  Wednesday 10th June 2020

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Because God is strategic and His execution of His good plans for us is progressive, His timing often differs from ours. When He reveals His plans to us, we often want immediate manifestation. However, the Bible’s account of Joseph’s preparation reveals how God may use meaningful, yet obscure assignments to develop us before elevation to high visibility public platforms.

At the age of seventeen, Joseph had two dreams that predicted his rise to prominence and authority. By the age of thirty, Joseph became Second in Charge of Egypt.

So what happened during the intervening thirteen years? Joseph’s course charged through jealousy’s pit; family betrayal sealed with Egyptian enslavement; false accusations and imprisonment in exchange for faithful service at Potiphar’s house; human forgetfulness in exchange for faithful service in Pharaoh’s prison; and ultimate revelation of God’s prevailing purpose at Pharaoh’s palace. Importantly, the Bible records how the Lord blessed Joseph to succeed at Potiphar’s house, then Pharaoh’s prison, and finally Pharaoh’s palace before promotion to Second in Charge of Egypt.
Somewhere between the isolation of the pit and the confines of Pharaoh’s prison, Joseph gained a profound maturity. Genesis 45:4-5 records his attempt to reassure his fearful brothers in revealing, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”

God’s intense preparation of Joseph forged the strength of character and wisdom Joseph needed to prevail over the region’s catastrophic famine and safeguard the Messianic lineage. Joseph’s brother Judah (who persuaded the brothers to sell rather than kill Joseph) was a forefather of David from whose family line Jesus the Messiah would arrive centuries later. Only God could leverage a pit experience to have such lasting impact!

Joseph’s journey encourages me to look at pit experiences differently, whether it is the ongoing Corona Virus crisis, bereavement, losing a job or all sorts of trials.
I want to trust God to have good plans for my life. I will continue to search for His wisdom in seeing situations from His perspective.
God loves each of us exquisitely. As His children, let us make the most of whatever assignment He entrusts to us. Focus on Jesus, not on the pit.

You will find Joseph’s story in Genesis 37 – 50 (except chapters 38,49) – If you don't want to read the whole story, please see the crucial verses
Genesis 37:5-28
Genesis 39:1-23
Genesis 40:1-15 + 40:23
Genesis 45:4-8

Yours in Christ - Betsi
 
 

Lifeway Worship


ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND"


Link here

Tuesday – 9th June 2020

On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we are strongly encouraged -
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
and in Ephesians 5:20 -
“always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Becoming a Christian does not mean to have a sorrow-free life but as children of God we can learn to live a life full of thankfulness and gratitude despite all circumstances.
God is always on top of every situation and He is in control.
It is easy to sink into despair when we forget that there is nothing on this earth that is greater than God. Not disease, not government, not even death itself is more powerful than our Creator, Savior, and Sustainer.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 compels us to "give thanks" in all situations. Notice that Paul did not say be thankful FOR all situations, but rather to be thankful IN all situations. Then he goes on to let us know that it is God's will for us, as followers of Christ Jesus. God does not want to see us sinking into despair, and why would we want to sink when we can instead be lifted up by thankfulness to and in God.
Remember the ‘old’ hymn “The Solid Rock”? The chorus says, "On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand." It is Jesus Christ who lifts us, who raises us up, who delivers us, and who sustains us!

Keep safe
Yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 
Encouragement Monday  8th June 2020

Today’s verse of the day, on my bible app, comes from Isaiah 6:8
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” 
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

This verse has a very special meaning to me; I came across it (and similar verses to it) while reading in my bible, while discerning my call into ministry. Together with another verse from the Old testament, when Samuel answered God’s call “Here I am Lord” (1 Sam 3) I was reassured that God wants me to start my education and training in order to become a pastor.

God speaks to us. A prayer is a conversation with God and not a monologue. He listens AND speaks to us, often through His word (but not exclusively).
I encourage you to give God a chance. Stop for a moment and take three deep belly breaths. Breathe in the Holy Spirit, calm your mind, listen to His whisper. Read a paragraph or just a verse. Ask God to show you what He wants you to learn from it.
God is good, faithful and loving. Put your trust on Him. He has a plan for your life and remember that God’s timing is perfect

Yours in Christ
Betsi
 
 

Keith & Kristyn Getty


"When trials come"


Link here


Sunday 7th June 2020


Welcome everybody to our 

Sunday Worship Service



Today we’ll think about trials.

The reading comes from 

James 1:1-18

Gozo (Photo by CD)

 
 

God’s word for you today Saturday 6th June 2020


I have a friend who never gives up on me and is always by my side.

His name is JESUS


John 15:15-16

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.


Greatest man in history named Jesus,

Had no servants, yet they called Him Master

Had no degree, yet they called Him teacher

Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer

He had no army, yet kings feared Him

He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world

He committed no crime yet they crucified Him

He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today


A friend accepts you as you are. A friend likes to spend time with you.

Being a friend of God implies faith in God and intimacy with God that is available even today to you and me through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. To become a friend of Jesus starts with a love for God through Jesus. Only Love can produce love in return.


Lets be thankful for God’s unconditional Love for us. Thank you Jesus that you call us friends.


Be safe. Yours in Christ,

Betsi


 
 
Encouragement - 5th June 2020

In John 15:9-14 we read:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”
Malta (Photo by CD)

Live in Response to What You've Been Given
As New Testament believers, we do not obey the law of God because someone says we must. We meet and even exceed the law’s requirements because of the love of God that was implanted in our hearts when we received Jesus as Savior.

Look at it this way. No Christian husband loves his wife because a written law says he should. He loves his wife because his heart is filled with love for her. He’s not going to avoid adultery because there is a written law that says he should. He wouldn’t think of coveting someone else’s wife, because he loves his wife.

Grace is not the absence of ethics or boundaries or principles of conduct to guide our steps. Grace is freeing us from believing that any of these save us. Grace is understanding that only Jesus could live up to God’s law and that through faith in Him, the righteous demands of a holy God are fulfilled. But grace is not the abolition of all standards, all truths that guide conduct, or all boundaries that define and distinguish between the holy and the profane.

Jesus has set us free to live in whatever way pleases God. This way of living is our grateful response to what we have received.

Be a blessing to others and be blessed by our loving Father
yours in Christ - Betsi
 
 
Encouragement - 4th June 2020

Dear all,
“...but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭(KJV)‬‬

According to Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word for power is "dynamis" (G1411), which means “strength, power or ability.” 
God has given you the power to produce everything that He has called you to do. He has given you the power, strength, stamina and fortitude to conquer every storm. God has not given you the spirit of fear—He has given you power to conquer every mountain. When you are His child, fear has to flee. When you are in Christ, the stronghold of fear must loose its grip. Fear has no power when faith is present. When you’re in Christ it’s your choice to either function in the authority and the power that God has given you or you can shrink to the stronghold of fear. Choose not to cower to fear; walk by faith.

Let’s pray
Heavenly King, you are our Father and Friend. 
Thank you for the new day.
This world You created seems to continue to be dark and brings an uncertain future. 
Help me to focus on you and take away my worries and anxiety.
Lord I chose to say
Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
Oh, Lord, bring my thoughts back to You.
Jesus, Be the center of my life, my Rock, my Fortress and my Salvation.
Help me not to stray as the sheep of this world but to focus my eyes and heart upon You.
Grow my faith daily Lord. 
May the Holy Spirit guide me accordingly, as He gives me strength and courage.
Cleanse my heart and my mind of any doubts of Your mighty power to set me free, 
to deliver me from evil. 
Be with me as I face these fears, guide me that I may go out in confidence, knowing that You are at my side.
Hear our prayers for we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen


Be safe. 
Yours in Christ,
Betsi
 
 
Triton Fountain, Valletta, Malta (Photo by CD)
 

Encouragement – Wednesday 3rd June 


We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
There’s an old saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin that says there are only two certainties in life—death and taxes. Of all the people who’ve ever lived or will ever live on this earth, 100% of them will die. In case math isn’t your strong suit, that means all of us.
Everyone will spend their eternity somewhere. But many don’t really consider this truth while living on earth. There are those who think life in the here and now is why we’re here. They think this is their home. 
But as followers of Jesus, we know this isn’t our home. The Apostle Paul tells us that our “citizenship is in heaven” (Philip. 3:20 NIV). We weren’t made for earth but to dwell on earth temporarily for God’s glory.

It feels odd to say that a person’s life is a temporary time frame, doesn’t it? Surely, someone who lives 80 or 90 years on this earth has lived a good, long life. Well, when you measure that next to eternity, it’s not long at all. So, how long is eternity? Very long. It’s actually something way beyond our mental grasp. It’s like infinity with numbers and it just keeps going and never stops. That’s eternity.
For the person who has accepted Jesus as Savior and made Him Lord of their life, eternity in heaven with God is an awe-inspiring and hope-filled reality. Yet, even with the joy of eternity in our future, the current stresses and worries in this world can often sidetrack us and keep our eyes on what’s happening in the here and now. That’s why Paul told us in 2 Corinthians 4:17 that our “present troubles are small and won’t last very long.” And then a verse later he goes on to say that we should “fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen,” which is our future in heaven, because the “things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”  What hope this should bring us!

One of the most popular Christian hymns is Amazing Grace. The final verse of the song says:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we first begun.
Imagine that! After 10,000 years into our eternity, we haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s ahead. It’s absolutely mind-boggling! What’s happening in the here and now is just a small portion in our lives that won’t even be noticeable once we’re 10,000 years into our eternity.
Let’s adjust our sights from earth’s struggles to the hope of heaven for when we do, all else will pale in comparison to what God has in store for those of us who call Him our Lord. (from Bible App)

Be safe, keep in contact.
Yours in Christ,
Betsi

 
 

Encouragement – Tuesday – 2 June 2020


In Matthew 4:4 Jesus said:

'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'
And in the Old Testament, in the book of Isaiah 40:8 it’s written:

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever."

Have you thanked God for His Word lately? For the BREAD OF LIFE?

Have you thanked God for the privilege of having a Bible?

But you know, having a Bible it’s not the same as reading it and satisfying the spiritual hunger for more...

But perhaps you think that reading the Bible is a burden? You feel like it’s something you have to do, or should do but you struggle with?

I guess that you know that Bible wasn’t always accessible to the public. At certain points in time, the Bible was only in Latin. During this period, this language was only widely spoken by the clergy and lawyers, not by the general public. For a significant period of history, the only way the masses heard the Word of God was through oral telling and reading by others.

Many people couldn’t read it for themselves whenever they wanted to like - we can. And I bet they didn’t struggle to get God’s Word into their lives the way some of us do now. I bet they counted the days and hours until they got to hear it again. Thanks to the Reformation, we can read the Bible in our own language today.


How much do we take our access to Scripture for granted today?? Especially in free countries where Christianity is not openly persecuted and criminalized.

What a privilege it is to open the Word of God, wherever we are, whenever we want.

God’s Word is a precious gift and our access to it is an immense blessing. To not open it and read is to rob ourselves of that gift. Reading the Bible is not a burden or a "have to." It's a "get to."

Sometimes a little gratitude is all we need to view something with new eyes.

I encourage you to stop for a moment and to choose gratitude for God's Word today and open it up with this fresh perspective.

From Sunday on we are going to start a new series looking into one of the books in the New Testament, the book of James. I encourage you to read it and spent some time with God asking Him to show you what you can learn from that letter. With gratitude in your heart start with a verse or a few verses, or with the whole chapter, it is up to you but remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 4:4 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'

Give thanks to the Lord because He is good and He is the Word.


Be blessed and keep safe

yours in Christ

Betsi

 
 
This song reminds we that Jesus is always there for me

"My lighthouse" by Rend Collective

Link here

Encouragement 1st June 2020

Good morning to you all

As we entered “Lock-down” I had started with the Book of Ezra for my daily reading. I red Ezra and Nehemiah and now Esther, all these books tell the story of the Jews in Exile. Their return to Jerusalem, of their struggle to find ways to worship God in a strange place and returning to find that Jerusalem was not how they remembered it when they left.
 
Fortress Birgu, Malta (Photo by CD)

It struck me that as we are all learning to live with ever changing restrictions that we have much in common with the Jews in exile and I wondered what lessons we could learn from their experience. The Jews when they returned to Jerusalem wanted to rebuild the Temple exactly as it was so that they could worship the Lord in the way that was laid down for them in Deuteronomy and Leviticus. I am sure we are eager to get back to worship together physically once more too. 
However, I am sure that the way we do this will at first at least be a quite different experience for us all as we observe social distancing. The Jews found it difficult to worship in a strange land. We have all found that we have had to adapt and learn new skills so that we can continue to worship at home. Yet we can join with others be it by watching TV, YouTube and Zoom services and I, for one find these daily encouragements of great value. 
The one thing that is different for us from the Jews in exile is that we have Jesus in our lives. At the end of Matthew's Gospel Jesus Commissions His Disciples 28: 16-20 “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” 
Let us remind ourselves of this promise as we pray.

Dear Father, be with us all as we remember that you are always with each one of us.
Whatever situation we find ourselves in you are our strength, 
our comfort our guide, our friend, our saviour and that your love for us
 is forgiving and constant even when we are at our lowest ebb or highest high. 
Be with those who mourn for they shall find comfort, 
be with those who serve they shall find reward, 
be with those who suffer they will find healing. 
Be with each of us as we live our lives in you presents. 
Jesus, we ask these things in your name. 
Amen

God Bless
Stay safe,
Diana Nye
 
 

Sunday 31st May 2020


Pentecost Sunday Service led by the Moderator of Church of Scotland


Link here

 
 
Encouragement Saturday 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"


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Worship Service


Sunday, 10th of May 2020



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(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" 


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Josh Groban


"You raise me up"


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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"


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(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"


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(Hymnbook CH4 no. 17)


Upper Clyde Parish Church


"Jesus calls us here to meet him"


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(Hymnbook CH4 no 510)

 

Worship Service


Sunday, 3rd of May 2020


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Comino, Malta

 
 

Maranatha Music


Shout to the north


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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" 

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(Photo by CD: 

Cittadella in Rabbat, Gozo)














Casting Crowns 

"Great are you Lord" 

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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)


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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"

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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

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Walkers to heaven


"Blessed assurance" 


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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 Chur