3 January 2021
Updated: Jan 3
Welcome everyone! Today Christy and Anne will be leading us in a time of shared worship and teaching.
My mom sent us this picture on New Year's Eve. It gave us a giggle and reminded us it really is worth taking time to start 2021 on the right foot...
Lord, we sit at the beginning of a new year, a fair picture of what is to come set before us by the government and media, but still with a sense that much is beyond our control. Whether that fills us with excitement or dread, we know that
* you know exactly what's coming
* you are fully in control of anything we ask you to act in
* life can be challenging or even feel monotonous, but it is never ever pointless when we follow your lead.
Father God, we've been through some hard times, but we know from the experience of walking with you another year that we are not alone. You are good and you are working in ways I cannot understand and yet you somehow have a role for me to play in your plans - that's both comforting and exciting! Please speak to me through Anne and the worship that follows to affirm this and give me and my church family direction for the way forward.
Nick will now lead us in prayer:
Father, we thank you for this day. We ask that you would cleanse us, clothe us anew in your holiness, goodness and perfection, and give us strength to walk alongside you whatever direction you take us in. Grant us the kind of strength, passion, boldness and perseverance that you did Paul.
We pray also that you would bring friends alongside us, companions to share the journey with, to encourage us and for us to encourage in return. We thank you for your church and for your people - both those who are here already, and those who you are planning to bring into our midst. Help us to follow your leading and that we might fulfil whatever role you have for us in bringing others to faith in Jesus and growing your church in our relationship with you and one another.
In Jesus name,
If your heart's desire is to know God more and to have your 2021 be something of eternal significance, then Jan has something to share that could help:
Fasting? Isn't that where you have to stop eating? Did Jan really say for a week? Is she nuts? I want a good year, and working off the extra Christmas grub I consumed isn't a bad idea, but surely a week is a little excessive?! And how is that supposed to help me hear what God has to say to me and the church?
When the music fades, all is stripped away, and I simply come
Longing just to bring something that's of worth, that will bless your heart
I'll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required
You search much deeper within, through the way things appear, you're looking into my
I'm coming back to the heart of worship, where it's all about you, all about you, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it, when it's all about you, all about You, Jesus.
King of endless worth, no one could express how much you deserve
Though I'm weak and poor, all I have is yours, every single breath.
I love you, Lord, O your mercies never fail me, all my days I've been held in your hand
From the moment that I wake up, until I lay my head, I have walked in the goodness of God.
And all my life you have been faithful, all my life you have been so so good
With every breath that I am able, I will sing of the goodness of God.
I love your voice, you have led me through the fire, in the darkest night, you are there like no other. I've known you as a father, I've known you as a friend, and I have walked in the goodness of God.
And all my life...
Your goodness is running after, it's running after me (x2)
With my life laid down, I surrender all, I give you everything
Your goodness is running after, it's running after me
Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my voice and let me sing always only for my King
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee
Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use every power as thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it thine, it shall be no longer mine
Take my heart, it is thine own, it shall be thy royal throne
Take my love, my Lord I pour at thy feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever only all for thee.
Instrumental - This is a Welsh lullaby. Imagine God taking you into his arms, and holding you, delighting in your desire to be with him and pouring out his love to you.
Lord, we find enormous peace in your presence, emptying ourselves of the fear of the unknown and responsibilities that weigh us down as we come back to a place of simply being in your presence. We want to live in, and from, this place where we are immersed in you. So we enter this week with one goal in mind - to love you and to know your love for, and through, us each and every day. This is family, this is home, this is who you made us to be, and it's good - just like you! Amen
Jan's ultimate goal is to hear from God and she's reminded us that fasting is a powerful tool for doing that. However, fasting in and of itself doesn't make us hear God - if it did, anyone who did a detox or skipped a meal before a cholesterol test would come out feeling a lot more spiritually fulfilled! Fasting must be coupled with other spiritual disciplines, like prayer, reading the Bible, worship, silence, and possibly praying with a friend. So if listening to God is something new for you, then spend this week experimenting with making space for him to speak in a variety of ways, including fasting (which could be giving up meals, or, if you are unable to do that for medical reasons, then giving up something you drink a lot of, or love to snack on so that the physical craving becomes a reminder to pray/listen).
If anything comes out of your week of listening that you feel is of relevance to the church as a whole, please be sure to send this through to one of the deacons or to email@example.com .
A week of listening to God
Day 1 - What are spiritual disciplines?
Day 2 - Personal and Group disciplines
Day 3 - Holiness
Day 4 - Bible reading and prayer
Day 5 - Fasting (if you're planning to fast today, then it's worth listening to the video for day 6 today too)
Day 6 - Christian Fasting
For those who want to include intercession - a time of crying out to God for his miraculous intervention in circumstances - Richard has provided the following needs to consider. You might like to spread these over the week:
World Peace in areas of conflict The decline and control the CoVid pandemic and the availability of vaccines to all nations World mission organisations and particularly the Baptist Missionary Society National Our government, opposition and all MPs Those who are homeless The lonely and vulnerable All frontline and key workers Local Hayling Community Centre All local Churches and their ministers The schools on Hayling Island HIBC The leadership team Youth work in the Church Going live with Church Services Asking God ‘what is my role’ in HIBC? Personal Pray about what is on your heart