Finding Bible answers to life’s difficulties – about suffering!  - A meditation from Pastor Ken

The miseries of Job and the sure mercies of God

In the midst of his pain [Job 1 – 3], Job seeks to understand why he has to suffer so much. Instead of  explaining why He allowed evil to exist, or human beings to suffer          [Ch 4 – 37]. After lots of dialogue  between Job and his four friends (his comforters) we discover, very surprisingly that God confronted and confounded Job and asked him if he knew how the world and its creatures were created, controlled, and cared for.

[Job 38 – 42] God does not offer explanation of why man has to suffer, but it is a revelation of who God is! God reveals Himself as Creator, [Ch 38], Sustainer [Ch 39], and Controller of all Creation [Ch 42 – 42]

Job didn't need to fully understand God’s ways, no one can [Isaiah 55:8 – 9]. 

He only needed to humble  himself as we all need to  [Job 42:1 – 5],

learn to trust God fully, to fear and  revere Him [Ch 37:23 – 24]



Father’s Day Reflection.

It’s Father’s Day. A day that can bring many different emotions- joy, sadness, regret, disappointment and grief.

I was blessed with a wonderful father, one who is missed today and every day. He wasn’t perfect (no human father is!) but as I said in his Memorial service, he was a man whose life could be summed up in three words- faith, family and fun! (the last two went together!)

He became a Christian as a young lad, serving the church and preaching for over 65 years! This faith sustained him through the many difficult times in his life and gave him a caring attitude to the people he met. As his family we could see that his faith was a vital part of his life.

He enjoyed every moment spent with his family and we had so much fun together. One of my fondest memories (and I have it on video!) is of him in his mid seventies running and laughing in a giant hamster wheel on a French campsite!! Happy days, wonderful memories!

On Father’s Day it’s good for us to remember that whatever our experiences have been we can rejoice in the knowledge that we have a loving Heavenly Father.

In His last conversation with His disciples before the Cross, Jesus comforted them with words about the Heavenly Father we can all know through faith. As we read John chapters 14-17 the word “Father” is mentioned 39 times!!

Every day and especially on the days we struggle with difficult situations, it’s good to know that through our trust in Jesus, ( the Way, the Truth and the Life) we have a Father in Heaven, a Saviour in Jesus, a Comforter in the Holy Spirit and a hope now and for the future. We are not orphans, we are not forgotten, we are loved and cared for by our   wonderful Heavenly Father.

John 1 v 12 says “to all who believed Him and accepted Him (Jesus) He gave the right to become children of God.”

1 John 3 v 1 says “Behold what manner of love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called the children of God.”

However you are feeling and whatever your emotions today, I pray that you will be  comforted in knowing you have a Father in Heaven who loves you.

Anne Morse



On the Third Sunday in June, every year, we celebrate Father's Day. On one such occasion a disgruntled, and obviously hurt man said to me, "It's no celebration for me, I never knew my Father!"  I replied by telling him how we all have a loving Heavenly Father who wants to provide all that we lack in human relationships. It was my privilege to lead him to Christ and to see him grow into a wonderful child of God, secure in  the knowledge of his Heavenly Father's care for him.

This year we  celebrate Father's Day in the Christian Season of Pentecost, a Jewish festival on which, after the Ascension of Jesus the Holy Spirit was poured out on those first disciples, empowering them to take the Good News of God's love to the ends of the earth. Acts Chapter one records the final great command that the risen Lord gave to His first followers. He had commissioned them to preach the gospel (Matthew 28:19); but now, just before His ascension, He told them what to expect, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised” (Acts 1:4)


The Holy Spirit was the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4) and The Spirit is God, the third person in the Trinity.  Before Pentecost we see the Holy Spirit at work in the world in the lives of God’s people.  Right back in creation we read that the Spirit of God moved over the waters (Genesis 1:26).  We also read of the work of the Spirit of God throughout the pages of the Old Testament. Look at these stories of Gideon, see Judges 6:34; of Samson, see Judges 14:19 and of King Saul anointed, see 1 Samuel 10:8.

However, the Holy Spirit had never come to live in and stay with all of God’s people.  The promise of the Father was the promise that the Holy Spirit would come at Pentecost to do a distinctive three-fold work in the lives of all Christians.  This three-fold work can be seen in the use of three different prepositions – ‘with’, ‘in’ and ‘upon’.

Before Conversion the Holy Spirit is "with" us in the sense that he is there to convict us of sin and to introduce us to the claims of Christ. All through our lives the Holy Spirit has been with us in the sense of seeking to persuade us that life's true purpose can only be found in a personal  commitment to Jesus Christ.   Look at John 14:17 "The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you".

At Conversion the Holy Spirit enters "into" our lives to regenerate our spirits and to bring them into relationship with God.  Consequent to conversion the Holy Spirit works ceaselessly to develop the image of Jesus in our lives. One of the greatest evidences of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives is seen in the way that we develop the fruit of the Spirit as outlines in Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness."

The Holy Spirit comes "upon" believers to clothe them with power. Jesus promised his disciples that before they embarked upon a dynamic life of witness for Him they would receive a further  definite experience of the Holy Spirit which he described as the Spirit coming upon them. Compare Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8.

All believers need this three-fold work of God – to convict us of sin, to convert us to God and to clothe us with power.  Now when we become a Christian we have all of this in potential.  We must however, fulfil our potential.  It can be illustrated by someone who has been left a legacy.  It is not theirs until they claim it and take possession of it.  That is why the Apostle Paul commands all believers, “To keep on being filled with the Spirit”, Ephesians 5:18.


The early disciples were told to wait for the promised Holy Spirit, Acts 1:4. They had to wait for God’s sign.  He used the forty days from the resurrection to Pentecost to give them many convincing proofs that he was alive (verse 3 makes that very plain).   Doubtless the waiting time was a time of heart-searching and of earnest prayer but in God’s calendar Pentecost had to come forty days after the  resurrection of Christ.  They had to wait and they did wait and the Holy Spirit came in fulfilment of the promise. 


The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’.  'Yes’ in the sense that we need to wait for God to call us to be  Christians.  He has his time for his call being effectual.  Think back to the time that you were converted.  You may have heard the gospel preached many times.  However, there was that special time when you felt called by it and it was irresistible.  Our eyes are opened, our hearts are warmed and the wait is over. But, ’No’ we do not have to wait for the potential to be fulfilled.  We just have to obey and be filled with the Holy Spirit.  However, the Lord only fills and empowers believers that “do not grieve him” or “quench him”.  Compare Ephesians 4:30 and 1 Thessalonians 5:19.

However, we do sometimes have to wait upon God for him to empower us for special service.  This is not to wait for him but to wait upon him. We don't have to wait for him because he is always ready to give more of himself to us but we do need wait upon him in prayer so that we are open and prepared to  receive what he wants to give.

Rejoice, then, that the promise of the Father has been fulfilled, that the Holy Spirit has been given  without measure, that as believers we have been baptised into his body, the church, that we are  members of one another. 

Let us give him the right of way in our lives and be utterly dependent upon him, for him to fill us with himself and to use us for his glory.

So everyone has a reason to  celebrate Father's Day next week.

John James




Should you ever visit the South Wales valleys, you will notice that they are dotted with churches and chapels. Many of these owe their origin to the great spiritual revivals of a previous era – revivals which transformed both individuals and communities. Sadly, these places of worship are largely empty today, or even used for purposes other than the worship of God. This being so, it is easy to get discouraged by the spiritual climate. But faith affirms that Almighty God is still on the throne whatever the ebb or flow of the current spiritual tide. Jesus said ‘I will build My church and the powers of death shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18). Reports from other parts of the world remind us that the picture in Wales is not the whole picture.

Valleys figure in the Bible. Deuteronomy 11:11 describes the land of Israel as ‘a land of hills and valleys.’ The spiritual lessons gleaned from these valleys are well worth pondering.

The Valley of Aijalon

In Joshua 10:12 we read the command ‘Sun, stand thou still at Gibeon, and thou moon in the valley of Aijalon.’ The incident concerns an event in the days of Joshua, when ‘the sun stayed in the midst of heaven and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day’ (Joshua 10:13). Almighty God actually intervened in nature, and lengthened the day so that Israel had extra time to overcome her enemies in battle. It was an unusual event for sure. The Bible says ‘There has been no day like it before or since’ (Joshua 10:14). But it is a welcome reminder that Almighty God is indeed All-mighty. The Creator is in charge of His creation. He is in absolute control of all things and cannot be thwarted from accomplishing His will. Our God is the One Who controls even the sun and the moon.

Paving the Saviour’s Way

The Lord Jesus had a forerunner who prepared the way for Him. He is known as ‘John the Baptist.’ Quoting Isaiah the prophet, John preached a preparatory sermon, warning his hearers of the impending appearance of the Messiah:-

 ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God’ (Luke 3:4-6).

In Bible days, before a civic dignitary or some other eminent person went on parade, the road was prepared for them. Potholes were filled and stones cleared away. We read in Isaiah’s preparatory prophecy though that before Christ’s public ministry the preparation involved ‘Every valley shall be lifted up and every mountain and hill be made low’ (Isaiah 40:4). The language is not to be taken literally, but it does give us an insight into the supreme honour and greatness that belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the eternal Son of God. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He left the glory of heaven for this earth to procure the salvation of His people. He conquered the grave. He is currently enthroned in heaven at God’s right hand.

The Valley of the Shadow

In the famous ‘Shepherd Psalm’, we read in Psalm 23:4 ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; thy road and Thy staff they comfort me. ‘

In Bible times a shepherd would lead his flock to green pastures and still waters. To get to these he would sometimes have to take his flock through a dark valley. Valleys were dangerous places. Wild animals and robbers were ever ready to pounce on vulnerable sheep. But the sheep were not afraid. Why not? Because the shepherd was with them. He had his rod and staff to protect and rescue them. The shepherd’s presence reassured the sheep. They were safe whilst ever the shepherd was near.

Christians today live in a difficult and dangerous world. But we need not fear. Why not? Because our God is with us. ‘The LORD is my shepherd’ (Psalm 23:1). We are safe under His providential, pastoral care. ‘I fear no evil for Thou art with me.’ This Shepherd never fails nor forsakes His sheep. Our welfare is His concern. We may trust Him both in the green pastures and the dark valleys.

The Valley of Decision

Finally and formidably, Joel 3:14 reads ‘Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.’ The passage takes us to the last days and God’s final judgement – His eternal ‘decision’ and verdict on us. It is formidable and unsettling as we all have to admit that we have not lived up to God’s standards and kept His law. The Christian gospel however proclaims that  sinners may be delivered from the judgement of God by the mercy of God. Joel 3:16: ‘And the LORD roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem and the heavens and the earth shake. But the LORD is a refuge to His people.’ Romans 8:1 affirms ‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.’ If our faith is in Jesus, we need not fear the final ‘Valley of Decision.’ Jesus is the Saviour of sinners. On the cross of Calvary He died to save sinners – bearing their sins and God’s judgement on them, so that we could be spared that judgement and made fit to live in God’s glorious presence for ever. Jesus is a Saviour Who really saves!

So heed the spiritual lessons from the valleys. A well known Welsh minister wrote:-

My Saviour will never forsake me

Unveiling His merciful face

His presence and promise almighty

Redeeming His loved ones by grace

In shades of the valley’s dark terror

Where hell and its horror hold sway

My Jesus will reach out in power

And save me by His only way


For yonder a light shines eternal

Which spreads through the valley of gloom

Lord Jesus, resplendent and regal

Drives fear far away from the tomb

Our God is the end of the journey

His pleasant and glorious domain

For there are the children of mercy

Who praise Him for Calvary’s pain

Timothy Cross


The Fence story - Author Unknown

There once was a young boy with a very bad temper. The boy's father wanted to teach him a lesson, so he gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper he must hammer a nail into their wooden fence.

On the first day of this lesson, the little boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. He was really mad!

Over the course of the next few weeks, the little boy began to control his anger, so the number of nails that were hammered into the fence dramatically decreased.

It wasn't long before the little boy discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Then, the day finally came when the little boy didn't lose his temper even once, and he became so proud of himself, he couldn't wait to tell his father.

Pleased, his father suggested that he now pull out one nail for each day that he could hold his temper.

Several weeks went by and the day finally came when the young boy was able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

Very gently, the father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

"You have done very well, my son," he smiled, "but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same."

The little boy listened carefully as his father continued to speak.

"When you say things in anger, they leave permanent scars just like these. And no matter how many times you say you're sorry, the wounds will still be there."


Bible Verses on Anger

Use these verses along with the fence story to teach a wonderful lesson on the importance of controlling our anger and God's truth.

James 1:19-20 can be summed up in three words for quick recall - "Quick, Slow, Slow." "This you know, my beloved brethren But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to  anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God."

Proverbs 16:32 - "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city."

Ephesians 4:6-10 -
"BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity."


Guidelines From God To All His Children
Effective Immediately:
Please be aware that there are changes you need to make in your life. These changes need to be completed in order that I may fulfil my promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life. I apologize for any inconvenience, but after all that I am doing, this seems very little to ask of you. I know, I already gave you 10 Commandments. Keep them, but follow these guidelines as well.
Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?
Something needs doing or taking care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to me. And, although my to-do-list is long, I am, after all, God. I can take care of anything you put into my hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.
Once you've given your burdens to me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on my list. Problem with finances? Put it on my list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For my sake, put it on my list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.
Don't wake up one morning and say, "Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here." Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It's simple. You gave me your burdens, and I'm taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don't you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with me and forget about them. Just let me do my job.
I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But there's one thing I want you to never forget. Please don't forget to talk to me - OFTEN! I love you. I want to hear your voice. I want you to include me in the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with me. I want to be your dearest friend.
I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are. Have faith in me that I know what I'm doing. Trust me, you wouldn't want the view from my eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?
You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who are mourning. Share your faith with those who have none.
I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes me a little longer than you expect to handle something on my to-do-list? Trust in my timing, for my timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.
Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for my sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please know I love each of your differences.
As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love me. Love your neighbours. But also love yourself. It makes my heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to me. Don't ever forget that!
With all my heart, I love you, GOD



We are a praying church, and fully trust and believe that God hears and answers our prayers in accordance with His divine will. If you need prayer, please do get in touch.



(Matthew 6:26).


My parents have recently acquired a bird feeder for their back garden. These are full of seed, and hang from their apple tree. Now that they no longer have a cat, it is fascinating to notice the increase in feathered friend visitors to their back garden, which can be viewed through the kitchen window. Did you know that birds feature right through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation?

Divine Creation

On the fifth day of creation, Genesis 1:20 records that ‘God said ... let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens.’ And God’s word brought about His will. He created the birds of the sky, designing them in such a way that they could fly. Creation is one of the foundation stones of the biblical revelation. The Bible teaches intelligent design, that is, Almighty God’s infinite intelligence is the only ultimate explanation behind the intricacy of the created order, of both animate and inanimate objects.

The Divine Flood

In Genesis 8:11 we read of the dove. This dove was sent forth from Noah’s ark after the flood, and returned to it with ‘a freshly plucked olive leaf’ in its mouth. Ever since then, the dove and olive leaf have been viewed as a symbol of peace.

God judged the world with a universal flood. But now His judgement was over. The olive leaf showed that a new beginning had begun. Romans 5:1 says that ‘Therefore since we are justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ On the cross, Jesus was judged by God in the place of sinners. He exhausted the divine wrath against sin which was their due. Hence when we put our faith in Jesus, we are delivered from judgement and have peace with God. Colossians 1:20 tells of Christ’s ‘making peace by the blood of His cross.’

Divine Providence

Moving to the time of Elijah the prophet, we notice that when Elijah was away from civilisation with no physical means of support, some ‘ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening’ (1 Kings 17:6). God had said ‘I have commanded the ravens to feed you’ (1 Kings 17:4) and the ravens obeyed His word. Elijah was therefore provided for miraculously – the ravens fed him. This is remarkable as Leviticus 17:15 tells us that the raven was an unclean bird ...

Elijah’s being provided for through the instrumentality of ravens reminds us that God provides for His own children. He provides for us through natural means, or, if He sees fit, He can provide through supernatural means, as He did for Elijah. He is in charge of the great planets, and He is in charge of the birds of the air. He can use any means He wishes to accomplish His will. The Shorter Catechism states ‘God’s works of providence are His most holy, wise and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures and all their actions’ (Q. 11). Hence, in Elijah’s day, the ravens did His bidding.

Divine Care

When we turn to the New Testament, we see that the Lord Jesus used sparrows to illustrate God’s care for His children. In Mathew 10:29 ff. He said ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.’

God’s eye is on the sparrow. All His creatures are the object of His care and concern. But Jesus said of us ‘You are of more value than many sparrows.’ He was reasoning from the lesser to the greater. If the birds of the air are objects of God’s providential care, what of God’s own children? Unlike the animal kingdom, they are made in His image, able to know and love God. And unlike the animal kingdom, God sent His own Son to redeem them. Christ’s redeeming work has adopted His redeemed into the family of God. They are able to call God ‘Abba, Father.’ This Father cares for His children and loves them with an everlasting love. It is unthinkable that He will not undertake for their earthly and eternal well-being. ‘He cares about you’ (1 Peter 5:7). A tongue in cheek ditty brings this out well:-


Said the robin to the sparrow

‘I should really like to know

Why these anxious human beings

Rush about and worry so.’


Said the sparrow to the robin

‘Friend, I think that it must be

They have no heavenly Father

Such as cares for you and me.’



Finally and formidably, when we turn to the last book of the Bible, Revelation 19 takes us to the final battle at the end of time. Here, God will overthrow all His enemies and all that is contrary to His kingdom of righteousness and peace. His enemies will be slain by the sword, and Revelation 19:21 tells us that the birds of the air will gorge on their dead flesh. It is horrific reading, and makes Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds seem quite tame. The biblical reality is though that God’s patience has a time limit. One day, He will right all wrongs. One day, He will condemn all unrepentant sinners to eternal judgment. It is this which gives the Gospel its imperative. How vital it is that we know Christ as our Saviour. He alone can deliver us from the condemnation we deserve. Scripture assures us ‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1).

Timothy Cross



Please pray for:

  • Our Government, for wisdom as they continue to lift restrictions while taking precautions against the Indian variant.
  • Front-line NHS staff and other Key Workers.
  • Our leaders as they continue working through the consultancy program and seek God regarding Kingdom purposes our church.
  • Each other - that the Lord will continue to put a hedge of protection around the fellowship as we meet together.
  • Each other’s families, that the Lord will bring peace, comfort, healing and revelation to those we dearly love.
  • Those in our fellowship who live alone – that their needs will be met, and they will feel God’s comfort and presence daily.



Uprooting Weeds (and Overcoming Sin)

Laura pulled her sleeves back and set to work, determined that these weeds would get out of here. She wanted a well-kept garden desperately, but right now, it looked more like a garden of dandelions and crab grass. No more! This garden was going to get in shape.

Hours later, Laura dragged herself back into the house, satisfied with a job well done. The area where dandelions used to reign was now mainly just overturned soil—weed free at last.

How did this happen? Laura could hardly believe her eyes. She’d been busy inside and hadn’t checked on the garden in a few weeks, and it was completely overgrown yet again!

Once again, Laura set to work. And once again she yanked everything out of the ground. When she finished, there was not a plant standing when she finished.

But once again, the weeds just grew back, even bigger and stronger than ever it seemed. Laura was getting discouraged. What was she doing wrong?

She mentioned her dilemma to her neighbour one day, an older, wiser gardener named Phoebe. “I just don’t know what to do! Why do these weeds keep coming back?”

“My dear girl,” Phoebe replied. “Have you been planting good plants in their place?”

The question might sound like a rhetorical one, but it wasn’t. Laura hadn’t been planting anything in the garden at all—she’d just been trying to remove the weeds and hoping good plants would grow on their own…or at least that it’d stay weed-free.

Seeing the look on Laura’s face, Phoebe continued to explain, “You have to plant good plants in the  garden so there’s no room for the weeds to grow. And you’ll want to nurture those plants and watch for weeds sneaking through, pulling them before they multiply. Don’t despair, child. You can have a  beautiful garden yet! How about we work on getting some good plants planted?”

To Ponder: If we want to get rid of sin in our life, we have to not only put it off, but also put on Christ Jesus. We need to turn to away from sin and toward the Saviour. Actively pursue Him. Make decisions to watch, read, spend our time, etc., in ways that promote His Fruit growing in our lives. For example, if you struggle with complaining, don’t just stop complaining, but also start praising. If you struggle with an addiction, don’t just stop, but also start filling your time with pursuing Jesus. What do you need to put off/put on today?

(Author Unknown)





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