November greetings from Ros
Greetings from Ros...
I find it hard to believe that we are about to enter November & that it will soon be Christmas. Where has this year gone? It’s whizzed by when I wasn’t looking! I can’t believe that in a few weeks I will be returning to Rutland to spend time with my friend Jean as we prepare for Christmas. I’m looking forward to my time away. It is always good to meet up with friends to catch up and to share our lives. Whenever I get together with Jean there is always lots of laughter which is tremendous therapy. We divide our days between planning for services, writing cards etc, knitting or some other crafty thing, and going out for walks/trips. We find it to be a good mix of the satisfaction of getting things completed and relaxing so that we renew our energy for the busyness of Advent and Christmas.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:30-31)
It is important to have times of refreshment during the busyness of life, especially at the very busy times of the year and of life. I want to encourage you to join me for the Advent Retreat on the Saturday before Advent Sunday (Dec 2nd). This will be an opportunity to focus upon your relationship with God at this important time of the year. Get it in your diary, please. Then I have plans for Advent to help us slow down for a few moments each day…but I’m not going to tell you any more than that, I’ll leave it to be a surprise next month!
Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome…
Whilst away with Jean there will be a lot of reminiscing going on. This month is a month filled with remembering. We have Remembrance Sunday & Bonfire Night; one looks back and remembers the sacrifices made in the lives lost in war and the other remembers a great failure in the Gunpowder Plot. As we look back on our lives we will no doubt celebrate our successes and maybe grieve over our failures, as we will find both success and failure in our lives. The same is true for the church as we look back over the life of the church. But we mustn’t get bogged down with regret for failures but should let both the successes and the failures spur us on to attempting greater things for God.
But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.
Recently, I’ve been doing some looking back, some considering the present and some looking ahead to the future. It is inevitable as I face the changes that will be made at the beginning of next year. Some of you may not be aware of the fact that I’m ending my ministry at Forest Street at the end of this December. I’m continuing at Swanwick on a half time basis and look forward with anticipation as to what God might be doing here in the village. It will inevitably lead to changes in how I serve in Swanwick and the details are yet to be worked out. It is a challenging time for me as I make changes within my life and as I work through some of the practicalities of the decision. But I know I can trust God with the detail. I look forward to seeing God at work in our midst in new ways. So, be warned, it will be a challenging time for us as a Fellowship too!