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Saturday, 11 January 2014

Looking into the future.

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the past and as I do I am amazed at the changes that 2013 have brought for us as a family. It is true to say that at the beginning of last year my head was buzzing with what the future might bring. It was clear to me that my ministry in Ogmore-by-Sea was at the end. There were a;; sorts of issues that would simply not go away, we were struggling it seemed on an island of despare and no-one but the Lord to turn to. That in itself was no bad thing because the future is completely in His hands and as we now know His plan for the near future was a move to Cornwall. 

But the new year was not simply about looking back and forward and resting on our laurels. The scripture tells me that I must be about the business of making disciples of those whom God is saving. People are saved as they hear the gospel and I am the gospel herald that God has directed and prepared. My concern for 2014 is "how do I articulate the gospel today and for the future?" 

What is my ministry today?

I cannot help it but I am a preacher by spiritual nature and as such I am really missing all that gospel preaching entails. I am missing having my head buried in the scriptures seeking the truth to pass on to any that might be in my hearing. Spurgeon is often quoted as saying that he would give a starving person the gospel wrapped in a sandwich but that can so easily be just an excuse for trusting in activity rather than the Word of God. To Spurgeon the gospel was the filling of the sandwich, the bread was simply the food that gave him a hearing. I am sitting here wondering if I have only got a sandwich to give!

What is my gospel output?

No amount of social concern will be a substitute for gospel declaration without which none will be rescued from sin. How will they be saved without hearing and how will they hear without a preacher? It is by what the world thinks is foolish (preaching the gospel) that people are saved, and preaching is in my bones. Along with the Psalmist I can truly say that God's word is like a flame burning within me. 

It is all in His hands!

As I lay awake once again in the early hours and was considering what the future might hold I was thinking of the song "I know who holds the future" and so determined to blog on about the future of this old Looe-Nattic with the words ringing in my heart and sadly for any within earshot from my lips. As I was Googling (that is now a bona fide verb!) the lyrics I came across another song sung by Alison Krauss which says much the same thing with a little lore sentiment and probably poetic licence also:

 I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

I don't know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what lies ahead.

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden's getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.

I don't know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I'm covered with His blood.

Why not listen?

She sang this in the White House, what gospel opportunities sha has been afforded, a simple singer with the gospel to the most powerful centre in the worls and when you think that she has recorded albums with the likes of Robert Plant the Lord really uses such people who truly belong to Him for Gospel purposes.

 But what about me?

This is not depression speaking but simply the questions I always ask at the beginning of each year and until they are resolved I will continue to ask. How can I be useful for the kingdom of God this year and who is it that God will direct me to with words of hope, comfort and salvation??

I do not know what lies ahead

I do not know what lies ahead,
the way I cannot see;
yet One stands near to be my guide,
He’ll show the way to me:

I know who holds the future,
and He’ll guide me with His hand;
with God things don’t just happen,
everything by Him is planned.
So as I face tomorrow,
with its problems large and small,
I’ll trust the God of miracles,
give to Him my all.

I do not know how many days
of life are mine to spend;
but One who knows and cares for me
will keep me to the end:

I know who holds the future, ...

I do not know the course ahead,
what joys and griefs are there;
but One is near who fully knows,
I’ll trust His loving care:

  I know who holds the future, ...

I have just opened the curtains to discover a beautiful day, after the storms of recent days comes the calm of a winter's sun about to rise over Looe, may the Sun of Righteousness be declared here today, 

Here I am Lord!!!!!


Gary said...

Hi Pete,
Given that the cafe has a big function room, and catering faciliies, have you thought about running an Alpha Course from there?

Peter Thatcher said...

I have plans for a "who is Jesus?" course not quite Alpha but a look at what the bible actuelly says about WHO jESUS IS.