To think about...
'In order to discover the character of people we have only to observe what they love.' (Augustine of Hippo)
Family News
NOTES FROM THE MINISTER
25 May 2019

After school on a Tuesday afternoon was always set aside for CCF (Combined Cadet Force). Boys would be drilled, marched and given tasks relevant to the section they were in. The Army section would shoot guns in the shooting range, the Royal Air Force section would drag a glider (that I never saw airborne), across the Rugby pitches and the Royal Navy section, of which I was a member, would tie knots and memorise the differences between an Aircraft Carrier and a Frigate.

At the end of each Academic year there was the Annual Camp to look forward to. This enabled those of us attending to get a proper sense of what our chosen Tuesday afternoon activity was really all about. Drilling, marching and allocated tasks took on a certain seriousness when a 'proper' Officer was shouting at you rather than a member of the Sixth Form.

My first Annual Camp was to HMS Drake in Plymouth (My second was with the Royal Marines at Lympstone but that's another story!) Upon arrival we were shown our Dorm, the NAAFI and the Dining Hall. Then, with no time to settle, we were taken to the Royal Citadel and told what the first activity of our five days in Plymouth would be - abseiling over the wall!

I was petrified and as I stood on the edge of the parapet certainly offered up a prayer or three for my safe descent. The hardest part, actually, was making the first move and going backwards over the lip of the wall. When that was done it was relatively easy to bounce down the wall letting out rope as I went.

There is no doubt that everyone, at one time or another, faces something that petrifies them. It might be an illness, a death, a sudden change in circumstances, a task that must be completed or a conversation that needs to be had. Whatever it might be, Christians are not immune from the fear that accompanies such things.

But, hear this. The Bible is full of promises of God's being there in whatever you face or have to do.

'God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we may boldly say: 'The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'- Hebrews 13.5-6,   'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.' - Psalm 46.1 - 2,   'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.' - Deut 31.6. 

Why not see how many more promises you can find? Memorise them and no doubt you will find, as Winnie the Pooh put it, 'You're braver than you believe and stronger and smarter than you think,' because you have the awareness of God being with you.