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Mar 29

I Value Faith - Week 2

I Value Faith - Week 2

We can learn a lot about Faith from the arts.  Here are five pictures.  Click through them and think to yourself, or discuss if you're in a group, about which is most to your taste, which may say something interesting to you, which may strengthen your faith.


God is both constant and unchanging and also seen afresh by each generation and culture.  Hopefully, after Easter, your faith is lively and renewed.  If not, ask God to show you something about him through art, music, the Bible or from a friend.


Prayer: God our creator, you give us the earth to enjoy and you reveal yourself to us in many ways.  Help us to be open to your Spirit and to live for your glory and our neighbour’s good. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. AMEN

The five pictures are:

The icon of the Trinity was painted around 1410 by Andrei Rublev The icon of the Trinity was painted around 1410 by Andrei Rublev
It depicts the three angels who visited Abraham at the Oak of Mamre - but is often interpreted as an icon of the Trinity.
   
The Golden Rule by Norman Rockwell The Golden Rule
by Norman Rockwell
1894-1978
He wanted to show that "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you" was something on which people of most religions could agree, regardless of their creed or belief. In the picture we see people of many nationalities.
   
Agony and Ecstasy by David Mach

Agony and Ecstasy
by David Mach
Shows both triumph and suffering.

   
Tears of Christ by Makoto Fujimura Tears of Christ by Makoto Fujimura
The water colour almost made the artist feel he was painting with tears.
   
Incarnation by Walter Habdank Incarnation
Walter Habdank
Again, joy and the promise of suffering are both shown here.

Mar 29

Something To Watch in the Holidays

Tags: Faith
Mar 26

I Value Faith - Week 1

I Value Faith - Week 1

So often we hear in our society about people we can't put our faith in. Confidence tricksters who try to cheat us. Our news is full of suspicion about peoples motives, whether they work in politics or banks. Many elderly people can be targeted by those posing as gasmen or other service people to try and con their way into old peoples houses. It's quite horrible. Many of us are appalled but we, too, are suspicious of people. It's not wrong to be cautious. We need to be careful about whom we place our trust in.  When trust is demolished it is very hard to replace. 

Jesus is the one who will never desert us and will be with us through the most difficult of circumstances. He is on our side. Yet he asks us to trust in him without seeing him, to place our faith in him. He doesn't ask us to put our trust in one who is untrustworthy or who is dishonest. Have a read through of chapter 11 of the letter to the Hebrews. It lists all sorts of people who lived by faith using them as an example. It's really inspiring.

Prayer: Dear Father, it's a hard thing to live by faith and follow you whom we cannot see. Please strengthen and encourage our faith in you. Thank you that we have good reason to trust in you.  Thank you that in a world of dishonesty you are the one we can trust. In Jesus' name, Amen

Tags: Faith
Mar 16

I Can Revise - Week 2


Optional introduction:



One key thing we all need to do if we are going to be effective at revision is to improve our memory.  We need to recall information and apply it at the crucial time.  The same is true with our scripture.  Muslims place such a high status on knowing the Qur'an by heart that if they have memorised it they are allowed to use the title Hafiz.  Many Christians have found much inspiration and also comfort from learning verses or passages by heart.  Effective revision learning often takes place when we are still and quiet.  We can learn a verse from the Psalms (46 v10) to remind us that we often need to be still and quiet in order for us to be aware of God's presence with us.  Do take the opportunity now and regularly to 'be still and know that I am God'.
Be still and know that I am God

Prayer: Play the following video. The music from Steven Curtis Chapman uses many Bible verses and the chorus is our memory verse. The song is a good reminder of the nature of God and also His promises to each of us individually.


Tags: Faith
Mar 9

I Can Revise - Week 1

I Can Revise - Week 1

 

Revision

How on earth do we find anything spiritual in revision, you may wonder. Well, our God wants to be completely involved in every area of our lives, affirming and guiding us. All of our school work is no exception. Moments of stress and our application to work is something that God can enter into. He can calm us down, give us his peace and clear our minds, making them alert and receptive. It is also important to look thoroughly and carefully back through what we have learned, making sure that we have it correctly, that we didn't miss anything. 

When a woman was brought to Jesus after behaving pretty badly, all of her accusers were shouting for him to condemn her. Before he answered, Jesus wrote in the sand with a stick. He was revising the whole situation really carefully. He needed to be sure that before he gave an answer, he would reflect his father in heaven and address the people and situation presented before him accurately. When he had revised, he spoke to the accusers, reminding them that not one of them was perfect either and needed to revise their own lives before passing judgement on others. Neither did he endorse the way the woman had behaved. He told her to revise her behaviour by saying "Go and sin no more".  

You and I need to invite God into our minds and work. We also need to revise our lives regularly. our attitudes and habits, our thoughts and priorities.

Prayer: Dear Father, Come into my mind bringing peace and freshness, so that I can revise all my school work carefully. May my work reflect my ability accurately. Help me also to revise my life in all its aspects so that all areas reflect your love and truth. I ask this in Jesus' Almighty Name, Amen.

Tags: Faith