By -, Aug 3 2018 01:23PM
This week has been a physically tough week. We’ve been thinning a small woodland for a few weeks now reviving an old woodland that once was managed, but is in need of replanting and reviving in some areas. We have been removing the Ash trees, but leaving the Oaks. This takes precision in how you fell the tree so it falls where you want it to and doesn’t damage the trees you want to leave.
Why am I telling you about my week in the woods? Here's why:
Not only do you need to fell the tree, you also need to cut it to the correct length so that it can be lifted by way of a tractor-mounted crane onto a forestry trailer. And in order to keep the tractor driver happy, you move all the logs into reasonably convenient stacks, so he doesn’t have to play hide and go seek for every log that’s been cut. This is where the “physically tough” bit comes into play. It’s tiring as it is, carrying the saw around, bending down to saw things, stepping around and over branches all over the place. But then, you have to lift, or at the very least pivot all the logs (that are reasonably movable) into a stack? There was one little reprieve in the middle of the week: My boss (tractor driver) saw me moving logs and told me that I don’t need to worry about the bigger logs (12” or greater) as they’re going to be too heavy and, as he put it, moving them would be a “recipe for a bad back if I ever heard one.” He said that the tractor can do all the hard work and save me for cutting trees down. But I still need to stack the smaller logs (under 12”) into neat stacks so they go onto the trailer tidily. After a week of this, I’m physically exhausted and sore. Jennie reminds me regularly that I have very few days left in this job.
I’m a lay Pioneer Minister. I’ll be going into training beginning in September, but I already feel that God has placed me where He wants me, but also when and how He wants me. When I walk into town, I see loads of needs. I also know there are needs we aren’t seeing, but are equally as important, sometimes far more important than the obvious needs. Sadly, many needs are going uncared for, at least not adequately. Things like homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, physical and sexual abuse, family dysfunction and neglect, depression and anxiety in young people… I could go on and on. It is easy to see these things and begin to take them on as a personal burden.
But here’s the thing, we have a relationship with the Living God! He is BIG and He is more capable than we can even imagine. He has promised us that if we are attentive to the Lord, He will carry us through and will complete everything He has started in us.. You know, all those things I listed above, None of them are too hard for God to handle through us! He’s promised! He told me through His word!
If you’re coming to the end of a particularly rough week, take a minute to reflect on these verses and talk to God about them. Really question Him and tell Him why you agree or disagree with what His Word says!
Here are the verses:
2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NIV)
13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Isaiah 40:30-31 (MSG)
27-31 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
or, whine, Israel, saying,
“God has lost track of me.
He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.
Luke 1:37 (NKJV)
37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Schools are still out for summer holidays this week! 4 more weeks to go! I’ll be squaring up some much needed paperwork and catching up with some emails that have gotten out of control!
But as the news in Selwood is still so fresh and new and is actually really important that you pray about it, I’m going to reiterate the news:
“We have some good news to share about work in Selwood Academy next year! Richard Kelley, a local pioneer ordinand (and good friend), and James Markham, Trinity’s new Children’s and Families worker (and also a good friend), have organised a 3-person chaplaincy role at the school! The three of us will be interchangeable in our approaches, however, we’ll each have our own focus between leading Assemblies, Pastoral care for Staff and Pastoral care for Students. The Chaplaincy project validates the work I’ve been doing over the last few years and broadens this work substantially. This is an incredible step forward in our ministry to young people in Frome!”
• For the new Chaplaincy project! Pray that God would equip all of us and give us distinct vision for the work God is putting us into.
• For the young people in the schools that God has opened the doors for us to minister in.
• That God would open the doors to the other schools and other various places for youth across town. Pray for detailed vision for the ministry God is going to do in this town!
Town Missions Work, Hope Frome
This is another multi-event weekend for the Hope Frome Team! The HOPE Coffee Van team will be out on the streets of Frome in St John’s Forecourt on Friday Night from 10pm-2am, serving hot tea, coffee and Hot-Chocolate (with all the trimmings) to whoever stops by for a chat!
The HOPE OASIS will also be at the Frome Independent Market in the Market Square (near the loos in the middle of the Cheese and Grain Car Park). We’ll be serving cold water and a place to sit and relax during the market. We are also a “designated water refill point”! So come by and get your free refill!
• For God to move in us as we care for whoever He sends us.
• That we would be ready and faithful in sharing the Love of Jesus when the opportunities arise.
• That God would bless this time with changed lives and hearts transformed for Him!
As many of you now know, I’m leaving Tree Surgery in order to retrain in Lay Pioneer Ministry Leadership through CMS. I know this will be a challenging time as I’ve not been in education for a good number of years. I even had someone say to me “It sounds to me like you’ve got this all in your head. Why do you need to retrain?” I replied that it’s God equipping me even more for what He has in mind for me.
We WON’T be moving to the college in Oxford. We’ll stay in Frome, but I’ll travel up for classes one day a week, then I’ll return to pursue ministries locally.
• For provision for Jennie and I through this time.
• For clarity and peace of mind for what God needs me to do. As well as FRESH VISION!
• That others would be blessed and God would be Glorified in everything I do!
Church Youth Work
SUNDAY CAFE is on SUMMER BREAK until the 9th of SEPTEMBER!
• For the kids of Sunday cafe. Pray for more kids from more places! Pray for engaging kids who are curious and eager to really GET the Bible, to really know what it all means. Pray for the existing kids that they would continue in the things we’ve been doing thus far and that God would meet with them this summer and really connect with them in a personal way.
• For the leaders of Sunday Cafe. Pray for bigger vision for the ministry that God wants us to do in this place! Also pray for rest and recovery for everyone involved!
- Holy Trinity Church in Frome (Sunday Café Youth Group)
- Frome Area Christians Together (FACT)
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