Forgiveness – reflections from Graham Chastney | Day 33 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

Forgiveness – reflections from Graham Chastney | Day 33 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

Forgiveness is a massive subject and takes us a lifetime, and more, to learn.

Last weekend Andrew Gardner spoke about the part in the Lord’s Prayer which says: Forgive us our sins

Ever since that day I’ve had a picture in my mind of a pair of hands clasped together trying to contain a snake. It’s not a very big snake, but it’s the small snakes that are the most poisonous and have the worst bites. The small ones are the most deadly.

The hands are holding on to the snake in the hope that one day they will be able to throw the snake back at the person who gave it to them.

While it’s vital for us to receive God’s forgiveness, the Lord’s Prayer goes on:

and forgive us our sins,
    as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

Matthew 6:12

Forgiving others isn’t just a duty, it’s vital for our health. Holding on to bitterness is like holding on to the snake, we think that we will be able to use that bitterness to get back at the one who hurt us, but the reality is, all we are doing is hurting ourselves.


There’s still time to get involved in catching the wave, it’s not too late to get started. If you want a book there’s still some available from Fulwood Free Methodist Church. There’s also an option to get the daily prayer thoughts delivered to your email via our friends at trypraying via this link. Enter your name and email address and you’ll be subscribed to the list once you’ve verified who you are by clicking on a link in the email they send you.

These 40 days of prayer are part of our Focus on 40 as we look forward to celebrating our 40th Anniversary as a community this next weekend. We don’t want to just be looking back on the 40 years that have already been, we want to be looking forward to the next generation and all that God has planned.

Identify Yourself – reflections from Andrew Gardner | Day 32 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

Identify Yourself – reflections from Andrew Gardner | Day 32 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

“Halt, who goes there?”

It’s an old army saying. Anyone on guard duty had to ask the person approaching to identify themselves. So how do you, how would you identify yourself if asked?

Many people are choosing to identify or re-identify themselves according to who they believe they are. A man can identify as a woman. Someone else may choose to identify as neither male nor female, just as a person. People want to break away from stereotypes, values and labels and request we value and accept them for who they believe they are or who they have chosen to be.

Amazingly, when we become Christians, we begin to identify ourselves differently. So often how we see ourselves is damaged by bad experiences, labels, negative values and hurtful stereotypes. Jesus longs for us to see ourselves as simply loved by him, loved by God. He values us, loves us so much he died for us.  We can hold our heads up with the dignity and grace of being a child of the living God. This is not a label, it is our liberating identity.

If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Halt, who goes there?”


There’s still time to get involved in catching the wave, it’s not too late to get started. If you want a book there’s still some available from Fulwood Free Methodist Church. There’s also an option to get the daily prayer thoughts delivered to your email via our friends at trypraying via this link. Enter your name and email address and you’ll be subscribed to the list once you’ve verified who you are by clicking on a link in the email they send you.

These 40 days of prayer are part of our Focus on 40 as we look forward to celebrating our 40th Anniversary as a community this next weekend. We don’t want to just be looking back on the 40 years that have already been, we want to be looking forward to the next generation and all that God has planned.

Love – reflections from Sue Chastney | Day 29 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

Love – reflections from Sue Chastney | Day 29 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

Wow what a thought to wake up to! God loves me.

This is indeed something to rejoice in but it is also a challenge. God also loves everyone else. Because of His love for us he wants this love to overflow from us into all the others we will meet today.

How can we show his love to others today – even the people we struggle to like?


There’s still time to get involved in catching the wave, it’s not too late to get started. If you want a book there’s still some available from Fulwood Free Methodist Church. There’s also an option to get the daily prayer thoughts delivered to your email via our friends at trypraying via this link. Enter your name and email address and you’ll be subscribed to the list once you’ve verified who you are by clicking on a link in the email they send you.

These 40 days of prayer are part of our Focus on 40 as we look forward to celebrating our 40th Anniversary as a community this next weekend. We don’t want to just be looking back on the 40 years that have already been, we want to be looking forward to the next generation and all that God has planned.

 

Transforming change  – reflections from Andrew Gardner | Day 28 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

Transforming change – reflections from Andrew Gardner | Day 28 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

A better car, a better computer, a better Kitchen, a new hairstyle. Most of the time, we are happy to change “things.” Usually, we are happy to change them because we believe in the “better” word.

Changing habits? Well that’s harder. We get stuck in a tension. We know changing a bad habit or life pattern would be better, but a big problem is that somehow that problem has become us, its inside of us, its become part of who we are.

We allow these kind of changes when we believe in better. When we believe Jesus wants not just the better, but the best for us. When we see that His ways for us are true and loving and good. And we begin to change when we say “Yes,” change me, transform me because being like Jesus is the best we will ever be.


There’s still time to get involved in catching the wave, it’s not too late to get started. If you want a book there’s still some available from Fulwood Free Methodist Church. There’s also an option to get the daily prayer thoughts delivered to your email via our friends at trypraying via this link. Enter your name and email address and you’ll be subscribed to the list once you’ve verified who you are by clicking on a link in the email they send you.

These 40 days of prayer are part of our Focus on 40 as we look forward to celebrating our 40th Anniversary as a community this next weekend. We don’t want to just be looking back on the 40 years that have already been, we want to be looking forward to the next generation and all that God has planned.

Initiative – reflections from Graham Chastney | Day 27 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

Initiative – reflections from Graham Chastney | Day 27 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

One of the most insightful things that I’ve done in my life was to do a life planning course called Storyline.

This course encourages you to think about your life as a set of stories. Most stories have a very similar pattern, starting with an inciting event.

An inciting event was the opportunity that set Bilbo out on his journey; moved Abraham to Canaan and Moses towards a conversation with Pharaoh.

Inciting events happen to us every day, some more dramatic than others, we can choose to use them as a way of taking the initiative, or we can let them pass us by. It’s not the inciting event that produces the story, it’s our response to it.

How are you going to use your inciting events today?


There’s still time to get involved in catching the wave, it’s not too late to get started. If you want a book there’s still some available from Fulwood Free Methodist Church. There’s also an option to get the daily prayer thoughts delivered to your email via our friends at trypraying via this link. Enter your name and email address and you’ll be subscribed to the list once you’ve verified who you are by clicking on a link in the email they send you.

These 40 days of prayer are part of our Focus on 40 as we look forward to celebrating our 40th Anniversary as a community this next weekend. We don’t want to just be looking back on the 40 years that have already been, we want to be looking forward to the next generation and all that God has planned.

Reflection – reflections from Andrew Gardner | Day 26 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

Reflection – reflections from Andrew Gardner | Day 26 | catching the wave | Focus on 40

We all like compliments. What would be the best compliment someone could give you right now?

Sometimes someone may say, “There’s something different about you.” Other times people may be obvious – “I like your new hair style.” “That’s a smart suit.” “You’ve lost weight.” “Are you working out?” “That’s a great job you did.”

We love it when we hear something that builds us up, especially when we have been trying and someone notices and encourages with a positive comment.

But what would be the greatest compliment someone could ever pay you? The Apostle Paul gives a great compliment to the church in Thessalonians. He says they became a “model to all the believers” 1 Thessalonians 1:7. That’s not all. He tells them he thanks God for them, for their work produced by faith, their labour prompted by love and their endurance inspired by hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3

Something caught my eye in the Pennine hills the other day. Sunlight caught the window of a vehicle I was too far away to see, but the sun’s reflection dazzled and caught my eye.

So what would be the greatest compliment you could wish for? If we are reflecting Jesus, wouldn’t it be great if someone said, “There’s something different, even dazzling about you, you are just like Jesus.”

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

P.S. Pay someone a compliment today!


There’s still time to get involved in catching the wave, it’s not too late to get started. If you want a book there’s still some available from Fulwood Free Methodist Church. There’s also an option to get the daily prayer thoughts delivered to your email via our friends at trypraying via this link. Enter your name and email address and you’ll be subscribed to the list once you’ve verified who you are by clicking on a link in the email they send you.

These 40 days of prayer are part of our Focus on 40 as we look forward to celebrating our 40th Anniversary as a community this next weekend. We don’t want to just be looking back on the 40 years that have already been, we want to be looking forward to the next generation and all that God has planned.