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Big Jesus wins award for the 'best community entry' in the parade.
We had a unique perspective on Jesus, His fame and renown. If the crowds were silenced even the stones would have cried out to Him. This must be what it was like for Jesus to enter Jerusalem, re-enacted for the benefit of his LGBT people... What does this say for us and for Him?
Photos of ‘Big Jesus’ appeared in ‘The Guardian’ photos of Pride around the world!
NO meeting at church Weds 6th Feb. Instead meal at Wetherspoon’s, Layton Raikes in the town centre.
Free Arts/drama workshop and free lunch at St Paul’s.
Thursday 14th Feb 10.30-2.30pm...2 Based on Romeo and Juliet.
Free tickets to Romeo and Juliet at the Grand for Weds 27th Feb 2.30pm for all who attend. Names to Lynn. Spread the word
LGBT walk will be Saturday 16th Feb. 5 and a half mile walk from Whalley, mostly through fields and lanes.
Meet 11am outside Checkmate clothes shop on the high street. BB7 9SW. Please bring food, water, good footwear, and waterproofs.
Chance of a pint after.
Thursday Coffee Club Note new time 2pm Meet for a chat at Sainsbury’s Café.
Extracts from Jim’s Preach ‘God's Ways’
Psalm 25 4-6
Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths;
guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Saviour, and my hope is in You all day long.
Remember, Lord, Your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; bring me to mind according to Your love Lord, for You are good.
One day a verse from Ps 103 seemed to leap off the page to me; it was verse 7
‘He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the children of Israel’.
I believe this verse changed my life. I hadn’t a clue what it meant but because it had seemingly, as I said, leapt off the page I was curious as to what it did mean.
Then I read the words of Moses Ex 33:13 “Lord …..show me Your ways, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.
I immediately said, ‘Lord that’s what I want, I want to know you, I want to know you.’
I had begun a journey which I’m still on, to know God. We cannot fully know Him in this life but we can know Him in an ever increasing measure.
At the time I unwittingly ignored Moses’ second request ‘that I may find grace in Your sight’ It was later that I realised the significance of Moses’ two part request. In his prayer Moses was saying to God, ‘I’m grateful You have found Grace in me and You say You can see it, but I want to see it.’
Moses is saying that if I don’t see the grace you see, how will I ever know what grace is? And, I don’t know what your grace is, I will never know You.
Moses wandered around the wilderness for 40 years getting to know grace and getting to know God.
Similarly I found myself outside the mainstream church, and in a way in the wilderness, getting to know grace and getting to know God.
Moses said ‘show me your ways that I may know you’. I searched the scriptures to find out what are the Lords ways. They are loving, faithful, righteous, virtuous, holy, to mention just some.
But the words lack one thing, experience. They are words, not the reality. Reality is the lived experience of personally knowing someone not just not just knowing a description of them.
Sugar is sweet. We know that as reality when we taste it. The psalmist said, ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good.’ To know God I wanted to taste God, to experience God and experience His love and goodness and faithfulness.
As I went on I discovered that Lord’s love and goodness and faithfulness are all unconditional. When I first realised grace allowed me to do whatever I wanted, I also realised that I didn’t want to do whatever I wanted. I wanted to know what the Lord wanted; I felt the Lord simply say, ‘Get on with your life’.
No clear direction but I already had the Lord’s promises of love and faithfulness and guidance. I’d given the Lord my life so I trusted the next step in life would be directed by the Lord.
I got on with my life with all my flaws but the Lord guided me in ways to change some of those flaws. I was deeply prejudiced against drug addicts, alcoholics and Asians.
Through different people and through speaking to me through scripture God led me to a homeless project. Not a place I would have chosen to go to but I trusted His guidance. As I volunteered there the Lord changed me, changed my narrow attitudes and judgementalism and showed me his grace towards people with alcohol and drug problems.
The Lord enabled me to see them as he did. I developed a relationship with these my fellow human beings, all of us in need of a God who loves us.
He then tackled my prejudice against Asians when I was asked to host an Indian pastor in my home for a week. I took time off work and spent the days with him. At the end of the week we were firm friends and I took up his invitation to visit India. My prejudices, all based on ignorance, rolled away.
The Lord has led me along a path that has turned me into a more rounded and happier person. As I’ve gone through different experiences with him I’ve got to know Him and His grace more.
Grace is the basis of our relationship with God because it allows us to relate to God no matter what we are like or what circumstances we find ourselves in. Our relationship with God doesn’t depend on our goodness but only on His goodness. Its not on what we do or don’t do, but in who we trust and in who God is.
I can very easily upset people, say the wrong thing, put my foot in it. But I know I can never upset the Lord who has given me unconditional freedom.
The psalmist said the children of Israel knew God’s acts, they had seen fantastic miracles but they didn’t know God. Moses knew him and his grace and stood in His very presence on Mount Sinai while the people stood afar off. They were afraid of God.
At the age of 14 I became a Christian after I heard the Good News. But just one year later the gospel of fear had done its work, the bad news had made me afraid of God. Full of guilt and shame I ran away from the One who is love.
But over the years God himself has shown me that what I was taught had lots of errors and I need never ever fear him no matter what I’d done or not done. His grace gave me peace and the freedom to just be me. I can stand in God’s very presence.
I pray that we can all know God more and know His grace as a reality in our lives.
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Liberty Church Blackpool,
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