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The Road to Jerusalem
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Geoff & Joan Eales

Bishop Peter writes in the September edition of the Parish News, “There is something liberating, inspiring and energising at being beside the sea”. About once a quarter I have lunch and a prayer-walk with my soul-mate, Rev Colin Snell. Last week we went to the very end of Brean Point to look around the fortress there. When we went to the search-light post at the very tip of the peninsula, the wind nearly blew us off our feet! Our thoughts turned to Jesus and the calming the storm. That same awesome power is at our finger-tips when we join them together in prayer, and no matter what storms life throws at us, He gives us the power to handle them. I’ve had a few storms myself just lately.

Sadly Rev Chris Argles was forced to withdraw from her post as Associate Vicar. After a period of poor health she has been advised by her GP not to add any more to her work-load, and Chris made the decision—quite rightly—that the care of her grandchildren must take priority. Chris sends her thanks to all who sent messages and good wishes. I’m sure Chris goes with all of our very best wishes and thanks for her brief time with us. We pray that she is blessed with good health again very soon. Joan and I will not forget the storm of last Sunday evening. Our peace was shattered by what sounded like a football crowd in the Rec behind us. We looked from our spare bedroom window to see about 200 people, chanting “off, off, off” to a group of travellers who’d occupied the Rec for the last week or so. At first we feared a riot, but the police were brilliant, swiftly dispersing the angry crowd and urging the travellers to leave. It was clearly not going to be safe for them to remain there. It’s fair to say that the travellers didn’t endear themselves to the locals, by driving around the Rec all night, blasting music at full volume and deliberately destroying the playing surface of the football pitches. But at the height of the protest, the crowd was extremely angry and my heart went out to the very young children who must have been terrified in those caravans. We all make life-choices which have an effect on the people around us, including those we love and cherish. The leaders of those travellers, who claim to have been “victimised”, need to consider the misery they cause local communities, the cost to the rate-payer and most of all the effects on their very own children, but the people who organised this protest and boasted “people-power” to the press, also need to think about the humane values of welcoming strangers in our midst. In biblical times they didn’t just “pop in for a cuppa”, they came in caravans, put up their tents, and were greeted by their hosts for as long as they remained there! The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:34 

It’s coming to that time when we celebrate that the Harvest is safely gathered in from the storms of winter. We thank God for His glorious provision. This year we are making a special effort to invite and welcome friends and neighbours to our festivities (St Paul’s 17th Sept & St Peter’s 24th). As we celebrate God’s abundant generosity I will be encouraging everyone to review the things, talents, time and money we offer Him in return, so please come with an open mind and a generous heart. There will be a lunch as usual, and a sign-up list in church to help us with numbers for catering.

And finally—I’ve been given a Recipe for a Smoothie (to calm the storms of life). It’s from Philippians 4 v 6-8. First DO NOT WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING, immediately TALK TO THE LORD, don't pray, TALK and tell Him everything– your thoughts and your feelings. Be real – unload it all, pour it all out and don't hold back, cast all your cares on Him. Then THANK THE LORD for something good He has done. Think about the thing you are being thankful for and relive it, dwell on it a little. (It's difficult to think of things to be thankful for when you're too stressed to think of any, so each day write down in a book the good things God has done). Once these three steps are completed, drink—and verse 7 will come to you: the peace of God will fill your heart and guard your mind in Christ Jesus. That PEACE comes because you’re doing verse 6 – enjoy your smoothie!

Your servant in Christ

Geoff

Vicar of Milton & Kewstoke

Catch up with the latest news here and in the Parish News - September issue OUT NOW

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