Sunday Worship Feb 28th

Choosing Mary.

The following letter appears in a book by Dan Taylor called Letters to My Children (InterVarsity Press, 1989). Dan is writing to his son Matthew.

Dear Matthew,

When I was in the sixth grade (about 11). I was smart, athletic, witty, handsome, and incredibly nice. Things went downhill fast in junior high, but for this one year at least, I had everything.

Unfortunately, I also had Miss Owens for an assistant teacher. She helped Mr. Jenkins, our regular teacher. She knew that even though I was smart and incredibly nice, there was still a thing or two I could work on.

One of the things you were expected to do in grade school was learn to dance. My parents may have had some reservations at first, but since this was square dancing, it was okay.

Every time we went to work on our dancing, we did this terrible thing. The boys would all line up at the door of our classroom. Then, one at a time, each boy would pick a girl to be his partner. The girls all sat at their desks. As they were chosen, they left their desks and joined the snot-nosed kids who had honored them with their favor.

Believe me, the boys did not like doing this—at least I didn’t. But think about being one of those girls. Think about waiting to get picked. Think about seeing who was going to get picked before you. Think about worrying that you’d get picked by someone you couldn’t stand. Think about worrying whether you were going to get picked at all!

Think if you were Mary. Mary sat near the front of the classroom on the right side. She wasn’t pretty. She wasn’t real smart. She wasn’t witty. She was nice, but that wasn’t enough in those days. And Mary certainly wasn’t athletic. In fact, she’d had polio or something when she was younger; one of her arms was drawn up, and she had a bad leg, and to finish it off, she was kind of fat.

Here’s where Miss Owens comes in. Miss Owens took me aside one day and said, “Dan, next time we have square dancing, I want you to choose Mary.”

She may as well have told me to fly to Mars. It was an idea that was so new and inconceivable that I could barely hold it in my head. You mean pick someone other than the best, the most pretty, the most popular, when my turn came? That seemed like breaking a law of nature or something.

And then Miss Owens did a really rotten thing. She told me it was what a Christian should do. I knew immediately that I was doomed. I was doomed because I knew she was right. It was exactly the kind of thing Jesus would have done. I was surprised, in fact, that I hadn’t seen it on a Sunday school flannel board yet: “Jesus choosing the lame girl for the Yeshiva dance.” It was bound to be somewhere in the Bible.

I agonized. Choosing Mary would go against all the coolness I had accumulated.

The day came when we were to square dance again. If God really loved me, I thought, he will make me last. Then picking Mary will cause no stir. I will have done the right thing, and it won’t have cost me anything.

You can guess where I was instead. For whatever reason, Mr. Jenkins made me first in line. There I was, my heart pounding—now I knew how some of the girls must have felt.

The faces of the girls were turned toward me, some smiling. I looked at Mary and saw that she was half-turned to the back of the room, her face staring down at her desk. Mr. Jenkins said, “Okay, Dan—choose your partner.”

I remember feeling very far away. I heard my voice say, “I choose Mary.”

Never has reluctant virtue been so rewarded. I still see her face undimmed in my memory. She lifted her head, and on her face, reddened with pleasure and surprise and embarrassment all at the same time, was the most genuine look of delight and even pride that I have ever seen, before or since. It was so pure that I had to look away because I knew I didn’t deserve it.

Mary came and took my arm, as we had been instructed, and she walked beside me, bad leg and all, just like a princess.

Mary is my age now. I never saw her after that year. I don’t know what her life’s been like or what she’s doing. But I’d like to think she has a fond memory of at least one day in sixth grade. I know I do.

(Taken from Letters to My Children by Daniel Taylor. ©1989 by Daniel Taylor. InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515)

                The good news of the Gospel is that we have been chosen by God. You are someone special in the eyes of God. God looked out over all the world and for some crazy reason saw you and me and said, “I choose you ; I choose Paul; I choose “Insert your name here”.  The greatest day of your life was the day when God chose you. Yes, you have the opportunity to choose to accept Jesus as Saviour, And you can because he has chosen you first. Jesus said “You did not choose me, but I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last” (John 15:16).

Amen

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Sunday worship 21st Feb 2021

The Great Blondin

The great circus performer Charles Blondin stretched a tight rope across Niagara Falls. It was 1,100 ft long, 3¼ inches in diameter and 160 ft above the water, near the location of the current Rainbow Bridge.

                He first did this on 30 June 1859, often with different theatrical variations: blindfolded, in a sack, trundling a wheelbarrow, on stilts, carrying a man (his manager, Harry Colcord) on his back, sitting down halfway while he cooked and ate an omelette, or standing on a chair with only one of its legs balanced on the rope.

                Once whilst taking a wheelbarrow full of bricks effortlessly across the cable, from one side of the falls to the other. Blondin turned to the crowd and asked,

                “Now, how many of you believe that I could push a man across the wire in the wheelbarrow?”

                The vote was unanimous. Everyone cheered and held their hands high. They all believed he could do it!

                “Then,” asked Blondin, “would one of you please volunteer to be that man?”

                As quickly as the hands went up, they went back down. Not a single person would volunteer to ride in the wheelbarrow and to trust his life to Blondin.

                Many people say to Jesus, “Yes, I believe!”

                If you are among those who say that, are you willing to demonstrate your belief by trusting your life to him?

                Are you willing to get in the wheelbarrow and to risk everything on your faith? That’s what it means to believe.

                Faith is not just an intellectual exercise. It involves total commitment.

Amen.

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Worship Sunday 14th Feb 2021

Today is Valentines day when traditionally secret love is declared by sending an anonymous card or flowers a day for Love to be shared, and next Tuesday is shrove Tuesday or pancake day marking the start of Lent, When we give something up to remind us of Jesus’s time in the wilderness, so I thought it would be good to do a combined message for the two and announce ,

“I’d Love a Pancake”

Which reminds me of a story I heard about pancake day.

Two brothers, Kevin and Ryan were excited about pancake day they loved pancakes and so when the day arrived and Dad was in the kitchen about to make pancakes an argument arose, because each brother wanted the first pancake. I’m the oldest said Kevin I should get the first pancake.

But I was here first said Ryan so I should get the first pancake,

Dad seeing a great opportunity for a good moral life lesson turned off the gas, turned to the boys and said “Now listen boys if Jesus was here he wouldn’t say give me the first pancake would he, He’d say Let my brother have the first pancake and I’ll have the second one.”

Kevin thought about this for a few moments and then he says, Ryan you be Jesus.

A story attempting to teach about putting others first,

Which also reminds me of a song from my youth

J. O. Y. J. O. Y. surely that must mean, Jesus First, Yourself last, and others in-between (to the tune of jingle bells)

So if we give nothing else up for Lent, lets give up being selfish, and share love were ever we go

Amen

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Sunday worship 31st Jan 2021

John 2; 1-12

Weddings are just not happening at the moment, and when they were they were restricted to 15 or thirty people, but we know that hasn’t always been the case and will return to normal.

Weddings in Jesus’s day lasted for days and included just about everyone family friends and just about the whole village.

When we do go to a wedding we usually put on our best gear, generally behave ourselves, eat and drink too much and don’t concern ourselves with any of the organisation or running of it, because its all taken care of.

Now have you ever noticed that mums have an in built detector, a nose you might say, for when things aren’t going smoothly, Mary Jesus’s mum was no exception she spotted that there was a wine problem, we don’t know how she knew, she just did. Running out of wine at the height of the wedding celebrations would not have been good for the newlyweds or there families, it would have looked bad.

So, Mary got Jesus to sort it.

He reluctantly got the servers to fill 6 water jars with water each containing about 100L or 22 Gallons that’s a total of 132 gallons of water, then take a taster over to the master of ceramonies and when he tasted it , it wasn’t just any old wine it was the best wine, and was the equivalent to about 800 bottles.

Only the servers the “below stairs”  staff were aware of what had happened non of the main wedding party would have been any the wiser.

It was almost done in secret, secret wine secret miracle, Mary knew the disciples knew , the servant knew, but know one said anything, it slipped under the radar unnoticed. That miracle that best wine, passed everyone by

The thing with secrets is its impossible to keep them to your self, I’ll tell you this secret as long as you don’t tell any one. And soon every one knows

The secret Of Jesus, His Power, His love  His sacrifice.

Tell some one this secret, And tell them, to tell everyone.

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Worship Sunday 20th December

Here are the links for worship this week. There is also a link for Christmas Eve for a Carol Service at 6pm at Langley Mill

On Christmas Eve I will send out links for the virtual Christmas Day Services.

There will be a Christmas Day Service at Ripley Methodist Church at 10.30am on Christmas Day, led by Paul Rose.  Full details related to social distancing can be found on the newsletter sent round by Scott this weekend.

The Ripley Worship channel with all previous weeks videos on, as well as this weeks:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXjjQ483ocbZn2g0RcQvAYQ/

Advent Week 4:
        LOVE - Housing and Homeless Supports

The Methodist Church

http://www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/worship/singing-the-faith-plus/seasons-and-themes/worship-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

The 4th
        Sunday of Advent Love | Third sunday of advent, Blue candle
        magic, Christian christmas

Trinity Church Cheltenham 10am:

Advent: Light the Candle of Love - Pastor Robert's sermon
        for Sunday, December 23 - First United Methodist Church

St Andrews at Langley Mill 10.30am and also a Carol Service at 6pm on Christmas Eve

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2589129048

Advent Candles – Sermons That Were Never Heard

Kate’s Worship can be found on the following Facebook page at 10.30:

@strangetimes2020

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Worship Sunday 13th Dec

The Ripley Worship channel with all previous weeks videos on, as well as this weeks:



The Methodist Church: –

http://www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/worship/singing-the-faith-plus/seasons-and-themes/worship-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Visualizing
the Third Sunday of Advent – TripleWide Media

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Worship Sunday 6th December



https://youtu.be/UMJmqONpAfc



Advent is all about looking forward, and we all know the Christmas story we’ve seen it in every shape and format there is, children’s nativities, on TV, Christmas cards, the cinema, we even assemble our own version of it with little figures of Mary, Joseph, shepherds etc.



The whole point of Advent is to look at the approach of Christmas but in a slightly different way.



This year every one is approaching Christmas in a different way.



Traditionally the second Sunday of advent is associated with John the Baptist often referred to as a voice crying out in the wilderness, And this year has been a wilderness year for so many, being with out, not being able to see our friends and family, not being able to see our loved ones in hospital, not being able to go on holiday, loosing loved ones. And for many this Christmas will be a wilderness Christmas, unable to celebrate in the usual way.



As we all approach Christmas, we all approach it from the wilderness of 2020 and John says to prepare, get ready, to make a straight path, although this year has been very different and this Christmas will be no exception we need to prepare



We as Christians are called to await the coming of the Lord, we have been waiting and travelling, thro the wilderness and we welcome any one to travel with us, pointing others to Jesus along the way, just as advent calls us to prepare and points us all to Jesus at Christmas.



Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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Worship Sunday 29th November

The Ripley Worship channel with all previous weeks videos on, as well as this weeks:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXjjQ483ocbZn2g0RcQvAYQ/


When Does
Advent Start? 2020 Beginning Date, Meaning of Weeks

The Methodist Church
http://www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/worship/singing-the-faith-plus/seasons-and-themes/worship-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

First Sunday
in Advent – Year C – Lectionary Bible Notes – Christian Teaching
– thisischurch.com

Trinity Church Cheltenham 10am:

http://trinitycheltenham.com

OLPS
Church – FIRST SUNDAY of Advent – Hope Find hope in… |
Facebook

St Andrews at Langley Mill 10.30am

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2589129048
candle of hope Archives – Advent

Kate’s Worship can be found on the following Facebook page at 10.30:

@strangetimes2020

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Worship Sunday 22nd Nov

https://youtu.be/QO8vzHctmAI

A Perfect Mistake

by: Cheryl Walterman Stewart

                My Mother’s father worked as a carpenter.. On this particular day, he volunteered to build some crates to hold the clothes his church was sending to an orphanage in China. When he finished building the crates, he helped pack them full of clothing and load them on the trucks that would take them to the shipping docks. He felt good that he could contribute to the project, even in a small way.

                On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses. They were gone. He mentally replayed his earlier actions and realized what had happened. The glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates. His brand new glasses were heading for China!

                The old carpenter had very little money, certainly not enough to replace his glasses. He was upset at the thought of having to buy another pair. “It’s not fair,” he told God as he drove home in frustration.

                Several months later, the director of the Chinese orphanage came to speak at the old carpenter’s small church. He began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage.

                “But most of all,” he said, “I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way to replace those glasses. My coworkers and I were much in prayer about the situation. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed one of the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top.”

                The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued, “Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom-made for me! I want to thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity!”

                The congregation listened, pleased about the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought. There were no eyeglasses on their list of items to be sent overseas.

                But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, was an ordinary carpenter who on an ordinary day was used in an extraordinary way by the Master Carpenter himself.

God can use us in ways we might not expect. Even when things go wrong, we can trust that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

                It’s hard to explain why bad things happen to God’s people. But we can expect that they will. Rain falls on good people the same way it falls on bad people (Matthew 5:45). As Christians, what sustains us is knowing that God is capable of turning the bad into good. He just asks us to trust him.

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Sunday Worship 15th Nov 2020

This Sundays direct link

you tube channel link

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXjjQ483ocbZn2g0RcQvAYQ/

Brandon’s Mess

            The author and pastor Chap Clark tells this story

There was once a dad who had a three-year-old son named Brandon.

            One day, Brandon sees his dad eating chocolate chip cookies in the living room and says to himself, Daddy loves chocolate chip cookies with milk. So I’m going to give Daddy a glass of milk. With that thought Brandon goes into the dining room and drags a chair from the dining room into the kitchen, leaving a trail of scratch marks on the floor.

            Brandon climbs up on the chair and hitches himself onto the counter to pull at the cabinet door. Wham! It smashes against the adjacent cabinet door, leaving a gash where the handle hit it. Brandon reaches for a glass, accidentally knocking two others off the shelf. Crash! Tinkle, tinkle! But Brandon doesn’t care. He’s thinking, I’m going to get Daddy some milk!

            Meanwhile, Brandon’s dad is watching all this, wondering if he should step in and save the rest of his kitchen. He decides, for the moment, to watch a little more as Brandon scrambles off the chair, dodging the pieces of broken glass, and heads for the refrigerator.

            Pulling violently on the refrigerator door, Brandon flings it wide open—and it stays open, of course. Brandon puts the glass on the floor—out of harm’s way, supposedly—and grabs, not the little half-gallon of milk, but the big gallon container that is full of milk. He rips open the top, pours it in the vicinity of the glass, and even manages to get some milk in the glass. The rest goes all over the floor.

            Finally done, Brandon puts the milk carton on the floor and picks up the glass yelling, “Daddy, I got something for you!”

He runs into the living room, trips, and spills milk all over the place—the floor, the sofa, his dad.

            Brandon stands up and looks around. He sees broken glass, milk everywhere, cabinets open, his dad with milk from his eyebrows to his toes, and starts to cry. Through his tears, he looks up at his dad with that pained expression that says, “What are you going to do to me?”

            His dad only smiles. He doesn’t see a kid that just destroyed his house. Instead he sees a beautiful little boy whom he loves very much. It doesn’t matter what he’s done. Brandon’s dad stretches his arms out to hold his little boy tight and says, “This is my son!”

            Jesus told a similar story about another son who messed up. We call the story “The Prodigal Son.” It also could be called “The Parable of the Loving Father” because, just like Brandon’s dad, the father in the story threw his arms around his son and said, “This is my son!” (See Luke 15:11-32.)   

            When we talk about God as our Father, the kind of father we’re talking about is Brandon’s father. God is a father who loves us unconditionally, even though we make a real mess of things.

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