After 3 months of not meeting together in person, it was a great blessing for our church to be together. The attendance was great with only a few children absent. We still have some from Loanhead who have not come out to Auchendinny. But, they are older and it is more difficult.
Our membership class went really well. Thank you for praying. We continue to have internet issues at this location. I added data to my phone and tried to livestream the service. Unfortunately, not only did it not livestream, but I failed to get a recording of the service. Technology sometimes has a tough learning curve. We may just need to be content to record our services and upload afterwards. Your prayers for wisdom are appreciated.
Please also pray for our need to split our children's classes. It would be ideal to have two classes going for the children. We'd also like to get back to youth activities. Thank you for your prayers.
I have enjoyed our study of Hebrews on Thursday night. The passage this Thursday was a sobering one with 3 warnings from God found in Hebrews 10. If you ever wondered why it is right for God to send someone to Hell, that passage makes it very clear.
The new journey video on Thursday was, "Observing God." We don't have to wonder if God knows what is going on in our lives. He's observing every moment of our lives.
A special blessing this week is reading the biography of someone who is very special to me. I was priviliged to do my internship in 1999 with Dr. Ed Nelson when he was pastoring at Bethel Baptist Church in Tucson, AZ. I want to encourage "you" to read it. It is a great reminder that we serve a great God. Dr. Nelson is candid about his ministry strengths and weakness and shares wonderful stories of God's working in His life. "A Sinner Saved By Grace" is the title.
The Lord gave me a short witnessing opportunity today with a person who purchased something from us. Please pray that God will open her eyes to His existence and His truth.
Don and I were doing flyers this morning for the first time in a long time. Lockdown is starting to get less stringent with churches allowed to meet from this coming Friday.
Don and his wife collected us from the airport 11 years ago this morning. :) My family was much smaller. Only 4 kids aged 7 and younger. Katie was also 8 months pregnant. :) Two of my boys are now passing me or passed me in height. (Not that incredible of an achievement, but definitely different from 11 years ago.)
The area where we put out flyers is all new builds within 2 miles of our church location. Please pray for fruit from our labours.
We departed from Minneapolis, Minnesota for Heathrow England then on to Edinburgh, 11 years ago today. My hairline tells me this is correct as I scratch my head in amazement. :) God has done great things for us whereof we are glad. We praise Him for all His goodness to us over these 11 years.
I was able to get back out today to put out flyers. The weather is ok (not raining) but not exactly feeling like Spring. I didn't have any prolonged conversations with anyone. But, I'm thankful that I was able to get out.
This morning, The Journey segment was, "Listening God." My main point was that our faith is strengthened by seeing God answer our prayers.
Thank you for being with us on the journey of church planting in Scotland. Many of you have faithfully prayed for us for more than 11 years. (We joined BWM in the autumn of 2005 and started deputation in January of 2006.) We're thankful for our many prayer and financial supporters that have made this ministry possible.
PS. We have seen some sunshine lately. This is from Sunday afternoon and is taken a few miles from our home.
This evening was our final (for this lockdown) evening Zoom service. Starting next Sunday we are allowed to meet for our 5:00 PM Sunday School and Church service. We will still have to do Zoom on Sunday AM and Thursday PM as we don't have a location available for those time slots.
God gave us a good day. Our attendance tonight was the lowest ever on Zoom, (sickness, work obligations etc.) but we still had a good service. I enjoyed preaching a message, "Preach Jesus" from Acts 5. The early church ceased not to teach and preach Jesus despite everything the devil threw at them.
The ladies meeting went very well last night. Thank you for praying. In attendance were our church ladies plus two other ladies who have visitied our church in the past. God's hand was evident.
This week is a busy week and your prayers are appreciated. With our return to in person services, we add back on our Adult/ Teen SS. I'm still doing The Journey segments twice a week and also preaching on the men's home in Ireland via Zoom. Thank you for praying!
PS. Here's are some pictures of the finished project from this past week.
God has blessed our weather with high pressure this week. When high pressure is in charge we get prolonged spells of dry weather and usually some sunny days. We needed a few days of good weather to rebuild our driveway gates and stain them. This weather has been perfect for getting that job completed. We've had some great conversations with our neighbours as well.
I got out with flyers on Monday afternoon, but otherwise haven't gotten back out this week. The Journey has continued to go well. I have been encouraged by God's help in writing and presenting these segments. The two segments this week were, "Friendly God" and "Angry God." (Youtube Links) (They are also on Facebook and Sermon Audio.) Your prayers for this ministry are much appreciated and have been very helpful.
The response to the gifts being handed out for the ladies' has been very good. Katie is prayin and preparing for the ladies Zoom meeting this coming Saturday. Thanks for praying.
Thankfully, our back up church location (which we have used during lockdown) has agreed to give us access to the building. So, we will be back to our location and schedule that we had previous to this last lockdown. Thank you for praying for this open door.
In other building news, there is a building in Loanhead which will either be sold or rented. I've inquired about it to see if we can find a 24/7 location. We are a bit weary of being "homeless" as a church and are to the point in our ministry where we believe a 24/7 location is important. Please pray for God to meet this need in His timing.
God blessed my time via zoom with the men at the men's home in Ireland today. Thank you for upholding this new weekly ministry in prayer.
God blessed us with a good Sunday as we honoured our mother's today. (Happy Mother's Day!) This evening we looked at Ruth 4 as I preached a message, "About Mothers." Praise the Lord for those whom God has used to preserve life and give birth to each one of us. We wouldn't be here without God's blessing upon mothers. (Obviously there are loads of other reasons to be grateful to God for His goodness in giving motherhood.)
The Scottish government has given a date for when churches can begin in person services, 26 March. I've already checked with our normal location and they are not able to allow us to meet there. I've emailed the location we used during lockdown and they have yet to respond. Please pray that God will meet our need for a church location.
The gifts our ladies' are handing out with invitations to women to attend a Zoom meeting are being well received. Please pray that some would take the time to join our ladies this coming Saturday night at 8:30. It is purposefully late to allow women with children to attend uninterrupted. We know that the gifts have already been a special blessing to those who have received them. Thank you for praying for this special meeting.
Wind and rain has been the weather story of this week. We had a low pressure system move through on Tuesday and have a second one passing through just now. I was able to get out yesterday morning and do flyers. I only spoke with one man and it was a brief conversation. I said, "Your generation does not believe in God." I found out he was a year younger than me which makes it, "Our generation." (I can't see myself when I'm talking and forget that I'm looking older these days.)
I'm very thankful for God's help with The Journey and appreciate your prayers. The live streams are going well - praise the LORD. The segment for today was, "Righteous God." Interestingly, God's holiness is a source of great security for us.
One recent blessing from the livestream is connecting with some young people who used to attend our church. One girl (16) in particular is asking when we are going to be meeting again. Please pray for her. She attended our church for a couple years and stopped coming about 3 years ago. Several other former attendees have "liked" the posts. Praise the Lord. Thank you for praying.
I was able to get out yesterday to an area in Edinburgh about a mile from our church location. God gave me a really good divine appointment with 5 teens and I got to do a little "street preaching." (Some people walking by rolled their eyes when they heard what we were talking about.)
One teen who didn't take a Journey card asked for one at the end of our conversation. He had asked me, "How do you know there is a God when you can't see Him?" I told him he needed to watch my video, "Invisible God. But, You did't take a card. His mates laughed at him as he said, "What card?" He then remembered refusing my offer.
Last night we put together a two minute advert which is currently running on Facebook in Scotland. I also uploaded it as a trailer for The Journey Channel on Youtube. We chose a large area for this advert to run because Scotland needs the Gospel. Please pray that God will direct this endeavour to areas of greatest need.
My Journey video today was, "Incomparable God." (Sermon Audio Link.) I am enjoying this focus on Who God Is. Your prayers are much appreciated. I have been much encouraged with God's help in this ministry project.