When we began these weekly Briefings we thought that perhaps we would have three weeks in lockdown. This is number 5! April is nearly over, Easter has come and gone. I was even wondering this morning if we will still be separated on Ascension Day – 21st May – or even Pentecost Sunday – 31st May. We don’t know, but our comfort is that the Lord knows and he is our refuge and strength a very present help in times of trouble. Perhaps for many of us this is the most testing time we have ever been through. If so, it is also the time to show that we trust in God and submit to his will, seeking to serve him even under restrictions. Today I bring you a devotional borrowed from a friend. It encouraged me; I hope it encourages you too.
Brief Devotional: Count Your Blessings
[A fellow minister wrote this and shared it today. As I read it, Psalm 107 v 1 came to mind: Give thanks to the LORD for he is good; his love endures for ever] Have you ever counted your blessings? If so then have you been surprised at what the Lord has done? If you haven’t counted your blessings then what about giving it a go? I drew up a list of my blessings some time ago in order to see them in black and white and it surprised me at what the Lord has done! I placed them in order beginning with God, then my family and after that other things. I wonder if you share the same blessings with me?
God’s love for me-This is the greatest blessing a man possesses. God loves me unconditionally. He does this through Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit.
God’s care of me-This is another great blessing I possess. God cares for me from the cradle to the grave. He gives me what I need.
God’s Word to me-What a blessing that God speaks with me.He wants me to know Him.He shows Himself to me in His Word.
God’s relationship with me –What a blessing that I’m in a relationship with God. I know Him. We belong to each other.
God’s people with me-What a blessing that I have Christian brothers and sisters. We love the same heavenly Father. We encourage each other.
My family – the Lord has put the solitary in a family. People to love and people who love me.
My wider family-What a blessing that I have a wider family. This expands my horizons in the world. We support each other.
My friends-What a blessing that I have friends. They help me in life.We talk freely with each other.
My health-What a blessing that I have health. This enables me to live and work smoothly. I appreciate the freedom it gives me.
My food-What a blessing that I have food. It’s tasty to eat.It gives me strength.
My clothes-What a blessing that I have clothes. It keeps me warm. I can move about cosily.
My house –What a blessing that I have a house. It gives me shelter. I can relax at home.
Creation-What a blessing to see the creation. It’s a beautiful world in which to live. I appreciate the environment’s rich diversity.
Music-What a blessing to hear music. It’s lovely to listen to sweet sounding songs. I appreciate the rich diversity of voices and instruments.
I know I could lose some of these blessings. But they would have been blessings to me nevertheless. Whatever I lose I’ll never lose God’s love for me nor His care of me (Romans 8:38-39).
In his hymn, Count your Blessings, the author- Johnson Oatman –urges us to to do that not only in the midst of life’s joy but also in the midst of life’s sorrow.
Brief Prayer Requests
1. Can we continue to remember in prayer those in our fellowship who do not have access to the internet? Pray that they will be kept close to the Lord through reading his word and prayer, but also that they will not feel isolated from the rest of the church.
2. Pray for the families we have contact with through Teeny Tots. Several of the mums are expecting babies in the next few weeks, others have already given birth. It is a worrying time. Jean keeps in touch via Facebook. Pray that the Lord will reveal himself to them.
3. Remember those who are working in front line jobs in the NHS, Social Care, Education, Local Government and many other roles. In our own church we have brothers and sisters working in NPT Hospital, Plas Cwm Carw Care Home, and Singleton Hospital. Let’s not forget others in the church who are working from home or travelling to their workplace.
Finally, for those who are following the daily readings, here are the Psalms each day from this Wednesday until Friday of next week
April 22nd – Psalm 33; 23rd – Psalm 34, 24th Psalm 35 25th Psalm 36 26th Psalm 37
April 27th – Psalm 38 28th – Psalm 39 29th Psalm 40,41 30th Psalm 42,43
1st May Psalm 44
If we can be of any help to you, please get in touch: Jeremy and Jenny 01639 882564
Warmly yours in the Lord
Your Pastor Jeremy 20th April 2020