Steph & Simon's Blog 

Welcome to our blog. Here you will find some of the reflections and thoughts on church life, leadership and general life from Steph Littlejohn (Minister) and Simon Lace (Team Leader). We hope you enjoy it!
 

Rhythm of Life

 

Hi everyone. I hope that you are all doing well. I am finding this all very surreal. It strikes me that the rhythm of our lives has been completely disrupted.

I am already finding it difficult to remember what day of the week it is!

Before we were all in this lockdown scenario, I heard Joan Bakewell talking about how she was managing and thriving in her self-imposed self-isolation. She talked about the need for maintaining a routine and how she filled her days. Joan talked about getting up at a set time, taking time to exercise, spending time reading and she even had a new hobby. She had got some bird feeders and had started watching and learning about birds. What she said made a lot of sense.

Our days, weeks, and years have a rhythm to them. It’s the way God made things. Perhaps we should give some thought to the routine and rhythms that we need in our lives now. Here are some suggestions from me.

LOOK UP

After we wake up it is good to start the day focussing on God. I have three apps on my tablet that I use. I have a great app called Lectio 365 which I started using earlier this year. It was especially helpful after I had my recent eye operation and had trouble reading. It is a daily meditation and prayers that you can read or listen to. I listen to it with my husband, Don.

It is great at slowing you down and helping you to focus on God. Give it a try. You can download a week at a time on Mondays. Last week’s was particularly helpful and can be found in the archive. There are other on-line devotionals available. There is quite a large range on YouVersion, which I use for reading the Bible each morning. I also use PrayerMate; an app to help you get into regular prayer. The 24/7 prayer organisation also has one. So, start the day with some spiritual exercise   Joshua 1:8 tells us to:
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Physical exercise of some sort is really important as well. If you are getting out for walks and the shops, I would encourage you to greet strangers and share a smile at least. And remember when you go shopping to be nice and keep a safe distance.
 
LOOK OUT

Spend some time with friends and family. Remember to phone a few people a day to see how they are doing and do whatever you can to encourage and raise spirits; you can also use aps like WhatsApp, Skype, Houseparty and Zoom to get together virtually. Some of our life groups are trying this.                                              

Hebrews 10:24-25 says this:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Maybe there are some people that you know who will be home alone. Give them a call. If you need to ring into the church, we have a mobile number that Simon has for that. 07928 829396. We all need words of encouragement, and here are some from one of our regional ministers –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRWUxLAIagU&feature=youtu.be

In these days when there is so much gloom and doom around try to do something to raise a smile. Proverbs 17:22 tells us that:
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Do something creative. This can come in many forms. I have really enjoyed time in my garden, but also spent some time cooking and baking, and of course playing my ukulele. Maybe I will even go back to drawing. Have some fun! One of the things that I miss about not being in our service together is the opportunity to sing our praises to God. It lifts the spirits and also reminds us how much God cares for us. Sing at home or play worship songs.

Throughout the day we need to keep our focus on God, to remember that he is Lord of everything and loves us so much that he came to save us. So perhaps we could remember at midday to pray the Lord’s prayer. It may be that a particular part of it is significant that day for you so pray into that bit. And at the end of the day offer God prayers of thanks for the good things that have happened to you that day. It could be the sun shining, hooking up with a friend, some food that you have enjoyed. We are also encouraged to “give thanks in all circumstances”.  I hope that this has helped you to think about putting into place new life-giving rhythms to your days.

Can I also encourage you to limit the number of news reports you watch. We need to be informed but we need to be able to see beyond the virus. Keep looking up!

Please do contact me on my email; stephl@ebc-bracknell.org  if you have a fun or encouraging link, picture or story and I will include some in my future blogs. So, may I end with wishing you well and sharing with you this link that Nigel sent to me.

Remember stay safe and help other to stay safe too.  Keep washing your hands! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxOJ7hh3H-I

Steph
 

Steph Littlejohn, 02/04/2020

 

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