Past Events 

Grief

The how's and why's 

1 Thessalonians 4:13 tells us not to grieve like those of whave no hope, but what does that really mean for those of us who have lost loved ones, people we care so deeply and passionately about that losing them hurts, hurst with a real physical pain, in addition to the emotional loss?  
This is something I have been wrestling with over the last number of weeks.  For Keith and I, having lost two very close members of our family, Keith's dad and my brother, this has been a real, heart wrenching issue.  Yes, both of them loved the Lord dearly and we have no doubts where they are now, and yes, we don't grieve in a way of thinking they will be suffering eternally. Yes, we have every confidence they have commenced the rest of eternity with our loving heavinly Daddy and we praise God for that.  

I hear people saying 'now don't be sad, you know they are in a better place.'  Yes, I know that, and I also know that these sentiments are well meant and noone is meaning to cause hurt.  But, you know, God made us emotional beings.  He is a loving God. He is a God with feelings and emotions.  Right from Genesis 1, we see that God saw his creation was good, He was pleased.  We also see that God was deeply saddened by the things we as His creation have done.  This goes right through to the New Testament, when Jesus learned of His friend Lazarus' death, He wept. Jn 11:35.  For me, this has been one of the most comforting verses of the Bible throughout my life.  I think as a woman in today's society, we sometimes feel that we need to surpress our emotions, especially when we are working in the real world.  There is an expectation that we have to be tough, that we have to hold back our feelings and appear strong at all times.  Wow, this is so wrong!  I don't believe for one moment that we should go around wearing our hearts on our sleeves and crying at every small thing that comes along, but, we have been given emotions and I don't believe God gives us emotions for no reason. He knows we need a release.  So why should we fight against this?

So, coming back to grief.  Is it wrong to feel sad?  Is it wrong to miss people so desperately?  Well, if Jesus cried and He is our example, then I see no reason why we shouldn't.  However, that doesn't mean we should be wallowing in our grief and sadness. Jesus wept, yet as God's Son, He knew the outcome. He knew Lazarus would be resurrected. We are God's children also, and if we know our loved ones are also God's children, we too know the outcome. We know they will be resurrected - maybe not in this world, but certainly in the Spiritual. Nevertheless, that does not remove the pain of the loss completely. We have been born with emotions and feelings. We miss our loved ones dearly.  Over 20 years later, I still miss my dad. The pain isn't as severe as it was in the beginning, but every now and again, something happens, something I think 'Dad would love to hear that or see that', and then realise he's not here.

However, in all these things, I acknowlege that He (God) has turned our sorrow (mourning) into dancing (Psalm 30: 11)

These are only my initial thoughts in a time of sadness.  I may change my mind and if I do, I shall add to this blog.  Comments are welcome. I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Sharon Wilson, 08/01/2017


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How God is changing Me!

 

To begin, leading me back into fellowship, for it is there, not only where He wants me to be, but where He knows my needs will be met.  Sharing with like-minded, encouragers, overseers of His Word under strong, purposeful, obedient, yielding leadership – He ‘knew’ and ‘knows’ I need ‘that place’ – The place where I could experience “touching Heaven” whilst endeavouring to rise up and take my place in the army that’s “taking earth”.

Touching Heaven…what does that feel like?  Well for me, it’s incredibly difficult to put into scholarly terms, so what I will do is tell you a little of my experience.  I know God’s hand has been upon me my whole life, too many years to put down here, maybe some other time…where it has got incredibly exciting is right about when life got incredibly confusing and difficult! No surprise there for some reading this.  Easy is just easy, but difficult has multiple layers!  I think I probably had got to the final layer of the onion layer in terms of difficult and then…something changed.  Did all my woes, tears, pain and awkward circumstances disappear?  Absolutely not!  But, and here’s the deal breaker… but because in ‘His complete wisdom’, He got me grounded under His chosen leadership (Bless you Pastor and Mrs W!) I stopped drifting, (not so sure I’ve stopped kicking yet!) I was hearing things that not only comforted me, but challenged me also.  I like a good challenge, not so sure I was banking on the ‘taking earth’ challenge, but I so wanted to ‘touch heaven’!!!

(and not be afraid)

Anyway, countless blessings have happened and continue to happen to me and for me, but what has got me truly excited is the past 4 – 5 weeks, man what an experience!  I have always prayed, for ‘eyes that see, ears that hear, a heart that is open and a will that is willing…well let me tell you, in my book that’s an awesome prayer, because awesome things have happened more evidently (to the human eye, ear and heart).  In the recent weeks…when two or three are gathered, small crowd, right?  Well not for God or His heavenly hosts.  Have you been part of a heavenly choir giving praise to God?  I have.  With truthful, honest, from the heart praise in my church, I heard angels giving praise with me!  With my family, in my church, yeah I took a second listen and yeah I heard them! I was worshipping with the multitudes, the heavenly hosts above, with a handful of brothers and sisters.

For those who think church is dead, I challenge you, pray my prayer and seek God, He will show you different.  I have felt the Holy presence of my Heavenly Father, the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the healing power of my Saviour, Jesus Christ, most prominently in the last few weeks than ever before!  Yeah, broken hearts, broken bones and disease can be healed, but so can confidence, self-esteem, trust and joy can be restored.

I have been brought to the place where I am happy to get on my knees and not care what another has thought. I have been touched by God and am not afraid to say it. He has allowed me to ‘touch heaven’ and is equipping me to assist with ‘taking earth’.

That, my friends is how He is massively changing me.  Without Him, I am nothing and many do not understand that, but thankfully I have a living relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth, “in him all things are possible”, so those that today do not understand my relationship with Him, in His time according to His will, will know the truth and understand it.

Sally


Sally, 15/06/2016


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Marching into the Promised Land on our knees!

A personal reflection on Sunday's service



Today was a perfect balance of bowing down and rising up.  The ever self-conscious worshipper I have never felt so okay with kneeling before God in church before...along with everyone else in the church who could I might add! For me there was no sense of piousness or ‘I’m so unworthy’, even though I fully appreciate I am, it was like how a child knees when listening to the teacher read a story during carpet time at school, completely at ease, engrossed and leaning in to engage more.  There was no rush to move from the moment as spoken and sung worship gently rose from around the church.  The sense of the glory of God was evident throughout and reflected in the Psalms that members of the congregation read aloud afterwards, Psalm 99 and Psalm 68.

Joshua 1 formed the basis of the sermon.  It spoke to me about being strong and courageous and assured of the power and mightiness of our great God being with us wherever we go and whatever we do, the God whose glory we had just revered and celebrated in our worship. We were lead to reflect on the amazing stories of the impossible becoming possible in the lives of the likes of Abraham and Sarah and the disciples establishing the early church. We were challenged on our motivation to reach out to others and encouraged to be bold and to trust God in order to do so. We were grounded in realism that sometimes doing God’s work is not easy, it involves waiting as it did for Abraham and persecution as for the disciples.  It was refreshing to think about stories such as D. L. Moody who came to faith as a result of the awkward obedience of a Sunday school teacher.  That teacher may never have been the greatest of evangelists and did not find the task easy but he led one great evangelist to faith that went on to impact a nation.  From the fervent ‘amens’ from a young person to nods around the room it seemed the message was applicable to everyone’s life as we all seek to do God’s will and work.

Today’s message was a massive encouragement to me personally and affirmed me in the direction that I have felt God has been leading me for a while now.  All things are possible for those who trust in Him and I need to be courageous and brave in pursuing his leading and ‘taking the land’ that he has said is mine for His glory!!

MD

 

Miriam Dann, 06/06/2016


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Woman to Woman
 

How Awesome it is when Ladies get together and just 'be'!


It may seem strange to read what I am about to say, particularly if you have a stereotype in your mind as to what a pastor's wife should be, should do, or should say.  Well, I am not the average pastor's wife.  I am me.  I am who God has made me, and I seek to do what He wants me to do.  So here goes, ready or not...

The idea of ladies' meetings fills me full of dread.   I think it is safe to say that I am not a girly girl sort of woman.  Yes, I like, no, I LOVE shoes, yes I love having my hair done and I always wear make-up, but a stereotype, I am not!  I learned a long time ago, that God has made me, me.  He has gently led me to the realisation that I don't have to do what other people want me to do or to be.  I might be married to the Pastor, but that does not mean I have to be what others expect.  I am submitted to my husband, and we work together as a team.  So, with that in mind, please understand what I am saying.

 
I was absolutely delighted when Sally Park said to me that she felt God had laid on her heart to start a ladies' ministry.  I knew at that moment that something amazing was about to be born.  Sally, like me, is not conventional.  In fact, perhaps even less so than me!  So, even I, looked forward to our first meeting with anticipation - Ladies doing lunch!  Always good when there is food involved!  We arrived and it was so good to see the informal atmosphere and ladies from within the church and the community mixing together.  We chatted, we prayed and we were girls in His presence.  My most lasting memory was to hear Stella pray for the first time.  What an absolute blessing.  Thank you so much Stella for your obedience and humble nature.

So, having talked about stereotypes, I stand a humble hypocrite and say 'Wow, I loved it, and can't wait for the next one!'  God has something really special in store for His daughters here in Chippenham.  I hope you will come and join us for what promises to be a very exciting journey!!!


 

Sharon Wilson, 19/10/2014


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From Pastor Keith...

As those of you who attend CCF will know, prayer is, and always has been my passion and is at the heart of my vision for this church and the wider town/area community.  Our welcome slide clearly states:  Chippenham Christian Fellowship, Building a House of Prayer and the first point on our 2014 Vision Statement said we wanted 2014 to be a year of praise and prayer.  This continues to be a focal point of our fellowship.  I believe prayer is a vital key to taking Chippenham for Jesus.  We need to be joined together in unity, as a fellowship, but also as the wider church; it is with this in mind that we are running the half-nights of prayer, where all believers are welcome. 

I encourage those of you, with a heart of prayer and worship to come and join with us.

Pastor Keith, 21/02/2014


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Sunday 22 October
10:30amWorship and Word @ CCF
Saturday 28 October
12:00pmGrace Banquet @ CCF
Sunday 29 October
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Sunday 5 November
10:30amWorship and Word @ CCF
Wednesday 8 November
7:30pmWoman to Woman @ Angela's home
Sunday 12 November
10:30amWorship and Word @ CCF
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