Archive for December, 2013

Here’s a sensational video and a thought for the new year from Ephesians 4:  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

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They Won’t Expect This!

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Here’s a beautiful video out of New Zealand, that tells the Christmas story from the point of view of children. You’ll love it. I played it at church yesterday and it was a great introduction to my talk about the unexpected visit of the angels to the shepherds on the outskirts of Bethlehem, announcing the birth of Jesus.

What’s in a Name?

Posted: December 16, 2013 in Uncategorized
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ImageSometimes people choose their baby’s names because it keeps up a family tradition, sometimes because they know someone else of that name, or perhaps it’s just because it’s a name that sounds good.

It’s not too often in the 21st century that people choose names because of their meaning.  I looked up the meaning of my name. Robert apparently means “bright fame”, but those two words don’t seem to go together, after all, it’s not a sentence and the words don’t describe anything, so I think naming me Robert had more to do with family history than the meaning of the name.

Prior to the birth of Jesus another baby was born, and his parents called him John.  Now that’s a name that has some meaning. At the time of his birth, John meant the Lord is Merciful, or Gracious Gift of God.

There was a bit of a dispute at the time because everyone thought that the baby should be named after his father – don’t you love the way everyone’s got an opinion!  But John’s father, Zechariah, had been told by an angel that his baby was to be called John, and Zechariah had the insight to know that John was going to be the person who would prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus.

It’s interesting to me that Jesus didn’t just appear on the scene unannounced, but that his cousin, John, was born before him, with the role of preparing the way. As we prepare for Christmas; buying presents, decorating the Christmas tree, and buying the ham, it’s worth remembering that Jesus didn’t come without preparation, and his arrival was not unexpected.

O Holy Night

Posted: December 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

Ken Duncan has brought us this beautiful Christmas reflection with some of his amazing photographs. Take a look.

Surprise!

Posted: December 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Christmas is a time of surprises.Image

We get to open presents that, sometimes, are just what we wanted, and while there may be some predictable presents, it’s always good to get a surprise.

As a child I used to spend a lot of time wrapping presents in such a way that no matter how much you looked at it under the Christmas tree, or felt it or shook it, you still couldn’t guess what it was.

Christmas is a time when families get together and sometimes that produces surprises. Look how much the baby has grown … when did the children turn into teenagers? … Isn’t Aunty May looking old?

There are a whole lot of surprises in the Christmas story as it’s told in the Bible.

It was a massive surprise to a young teenage girl, by the name of Mary when an angel popped into her little village of Nazareth and told her that she would have a child who would be the saviour of the world.

It was one mighty surprise for a group of shepherds in the paddocks outside Bethlehem, when a whole band of angels appeared and told them about the birth of a baby.

The wise men, or astrologers, who travelled from Iran, or even as far as China, would have been very surprised that their search for a king led them to a baby in a manger.

And, to be honest, it’s a huge surprise to me that almighty God, the creator of heaven and earth, should consider little old me worthy of his love, such that he would send his son to earth so that I could be made right with him. 

That’s the message of Christmas, and that’s a surprise that doesn’t need to be disguised by fancy wrapping.

 

Little Drummer Boy

Posted: December 7, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Here’s another great song to get you into the Christmas Spirit!

The Piano Guys

Posted: December 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

Time to get into the Christmas spirit with some great music from the Piano Guys. I enjoyed this one.

What a fantastic time we had at Christmas at the Fair yesterday.

The event, now in its sixth year, has turned into the major community event of the year for High Wycombe and this year was definitely the best ever. The volunteers from Maida Vale Baptist Church who planned Christmas at the Fair, and did all the hard work in putting it on have to be congratulated for doing a great job.

I am pleased to see the church taking a lead role in the community in providing services that build social capital and help our neighbourhoods to grow in a healthy way.

Take a look at the video and enjoy….