Slave to fearAfter a break and a very busy period for me personally, here is another thought for today from CHBC. I hope it speaks to you today.

Today’s thought for the day is a simple reminder to all of us, despite what is happening around the globe, that we are children of God and that means we should be free from fear of what may or may not come in our futures.

Paul says in Romans 8:31 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

I guess the question that often confronts me personally sometimes is whether I live like a believe this? To declare I am not a slave to fear is one thing, to actually confront the fear directly with the peace God brings is often another altogether. Paul writes his line in Romans 8:31 after a section sometimes tilted Present Suffering where he outlines that what awaits those who know God is so much more that anything we can experience now. He starts the whole section with this line “ I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”.

Paul knows that his fellow believers are suffering, torture, imprisonment, death and he doesn’t say these are harmless or painless but rather he reminds his audience then, and us now, what awaits is worth all that and more. He goes on to say “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (vs 24 & 25).

I also want to leave you with the words from a song that really helps me. It is called ‘No Longer Slaves’ and it is written by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser. The first verse and chorus are below and serve to remind me of what I need to know…. I am no longer a slave to fear BECAUSE I AM A CHILD OF GOD (caps intentional) You unravel me With a melody You surround me with a song Of deliverance
From my enemies 'Til all my fears are gone I'm no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God I'm no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God Here is a link to the song a video – enjoy - Stay safe and know the blessings of God – You are no longer slaves, you are set free from fear.

Praying together for: Christian Education Project (CEP)

The Christian Education Project (CEP) works with primary and secondary schools in Redbridge. They have been working in over 30 of the borough’s for over 20 years. They have built a reputation for professional and engaging presentations, working with children and young people right through from nursery to sixth form.

They act as a link between the schools and the local church by conducting lessons and assemblies. They aim to support teachers in their delivery of Christianity as part of the Religious Studies syllabus. They offer their services to schools free of charge making about 50,000 such contacts in a year.

CEP is an ecumenical (representing different Churches/denominations) project that is funded almost exclusively by local churches and individual supporters.

 Prayer points:

  • CEP requests we encourage churches to pray consistently for the schools in our area
  • Pray that CEP will be invited and accepted in many schools and long-lasting relationships with the institutions
  • Pray for the CEP workers and schools that they will engage meaningfully to promote Christian faith through support of Religious Studies and activities during school assemblies.
  • Pray for CEP to continue to receive financial support from existing and new individuals and organisations for the projects and to expand its work to many more schools.
  • Pray for CEP team that they would be invited by many churches to share more about their work.
  • Pray for more churches to work with CEP in volunteering to support their work in schools, opening buildings for school visits and supporting schools’ public events

Find our more about their work at

Love your enemiesLuke 6:27-36
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

The events of the past week or so surrounding, and following, the death of George Floyd on the 25th May have made me reflect on how we treat each other when we are hurt, what our responses can be like when injustice visits us, those we love or those we associate with. The instinct to lash can be so powerful that it overrides everything else.
This moment, this unjustified tragedy has spark so much anger, resentment, frustration and I can see why. It is the latest in the long line of false accusations and deaths that has happened to person because of the colour of their skin. I know that there have also been unjustified deaths of people of all skin tones and each and every one of them is abhorrent and should not be justified. Yet their does seem to be an underlying, institutionalised issue with racism that cannot be ignored.
But, in spite of all the pain that has been, and is being caused, I have also witnessed some beautiful moments when people have realised that what unites us is so much more than what divides us. I have seen the need to protest about this state of affairs be married to a rejection of violence (except by the few intent on deepening the divide on both sides), a desire to make their feelings know and tears seen through peaceful action. I have seen reports of police officers in America kneel before the crowd and seek forgiveness and be met with tears and hugs and unity, of police officers holster weapons and walk towards the crowd and with genuine heart ask ‘what do you want from us?’ and then respond by walking with the protesters, a Genesee County Sheriff takes of his riot clothes and walks towards and speaks with the protesters then walks the protest march with them… and no violence occurred.
And these moments of unity, courage, passion and conviction reminded me why Jesus said these words, and words that can also be found in Matthew 5:43-48,

Matthew 5:38-42 - “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

These words do not deny the wrongdoing, they do not seek to hide the abuse – we are in fact, as Christians, called so many times in the bible to reveal hidden wrongs, to out abuse, to protect the vulnerable, weak, broken and poor… these words when taken with the words from Luke 6:27-36 give a response so powerful that it cannot and should not be ignored. In these words Jesus is rejecting violence in all it’s forms, personal, institutional, structural… he even shows us what that looks like as he journeys towards and eventually dies on the cross. Love is to be our marker for everyone, even for the man that is creating the culture that fuels division and hate.
It is never an eye for an eye, it is always love, hope, compassion, equity, justice… even in the hardest of times.


One body

Romans 12:4-5:
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, so in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27:
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

YouniqueHere we are, 10 weeks into lockdown and thoughts are now turning towards what life will be like in the months to come.  The Prime Minister has expressed a desire to be back to near normality by July, yet the scientific advisers seem to be saying that this is unlikely to the case until we have a vaccine or a drug that is far more effective at treating those who are ill.  One thing is sure though, there is a desire to start moving towards coming out of lockdown and we have seen this in the relaxing of certain rules.

Psalm 139

Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

This morning is a simple reminder of a very simple truth that we can all forget with ease, but which should shape how we see ourselves and it is simply this…

You are unique, special, one of a kind, irreplaceable, beautiful, full of wonder, extraordinary, there is no one else like you in all the earth and you bring something to the world only you can bring…. YOU. So believe in yourself because God believes in you, He knows you so much more than you know yourself… he believes in you so much you are worth dying for. So read these words from Psalm 139 and know that you are not just ‘good enough’ being you, you are ‘beyond measure’ being you.


Proverbs 8:34 :
Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors

Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday, a time when we remember the moment the Holy Spirit descended upon the faithful men and women in that upper room. It is a time when the church, that faithful body of Jesus, was commissioned to do the Fathers will through the enabling and power of the Holy Spirit. But what we see after that moment, all through the New Testament, is a people listening to the Holy Spirit. It is from this attentiveness that the works and miracles of the Father spring forth.