Clive’s Covid 19 Letter No 14

Hi All

Long time no see or at least not face to face in person.

I fear though it could be quite a bit longer before we do, and then only in limited numbers.

Funerals can take place in churches from next week with limited numbers.

We await permission from the government as to when weddings can happen and under what kind of limitations. The same is true of services.

One thing this restricted lifestyle may have given some of us is a bit more time. And even if we are still working, we are at least, again for some of us, saving time travelling, either to and from work, or for work.

I’ve even managed to read a couple of books, both of less than a hundred short pages I hasten to add.

They are from a very useful little series from the Good Book Company entitled “Questions Christians ask.”

Many are familiar questions answered at greater length in other books by other writers. One I would especially recommend is called, “Do miracles happen today?”

There are very few good books on this subject. They either take the sceptical view or the too credulous view. The former argues that since they don’t seem to happen in my experience today then they couldn’t have happened in the past and so we should not expect them in the future. The latter argues that Jesus did miracles, the Apostles did miracles therefore we should do miracles, seemingly unaware that no one in the last two thousand years has done anything like what either some of the OT Prophets, Jesus or his Apostles did. A comparison of Christ’s commission to the 12, the 70 and the Great Commission is helpful.

Previously I had relied on the following books:

Miraculous Healing by Henry Frost, originally published in the early 1900s by the China Inland Mission and reprinted in the late 1970s with endorsements from Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones & Joni Eareckson.

Dr John Stott in his chapter entitled, Religion: Natural or Supernatural in his book Christ the Controversialist and a few pages on the subject in Baptism & Fullness both from the 1960s & 70s.

Donald Alistair, now Bishop of Peterborough, wrote a very helpful Latimer House Studies No 11 in the 1980s on Sickness and Healing in the church.

Many of you may have questions like:

What actually is a miracle?
How does it differ from an answer to prayer?
Why do miracles, in the bible, cluster around Moses, Elijah & Elisha, Jesus and the Apostles?
Can miracles happen today?
Are miracles likely to happen today?
How do I respond to a claim for the miraculous?
What can I say to a child about praying for healing?

Well they are all answered clearly cogently and in a biblically accurate way in, “Do miracles happen today?”  by Tim Chester in this new series which also has authors like Vaughan Roberts & Christopher Ash.

Available from the Good Book Company www.thegoodbook.co.uk/do-miracles-happen-today

£3.39 or £2.39 for the eBook with reductions for bulk so buy 10 for a House group for your upcoming study and they work out £3.00 each

We would all do well to get the correct biblical understanding of the miraculous otherwise we can feel a little unsettled in our Christian lives.

Stott’s book is still available, and you get a lot more (10 more chapters each the length of a book in the GBC series) for your money (£10) from Amazon and elsewhere. You can’t read the longer book in one go but you can read Tim Chester’s in a short sitting.

What else?

Well our youngest, Lydia, let me know what they are up to at their church in Bristol, and one of the things their leadership did last week was to invite the members to respond to a questionnaire with just 5 questions. You don’t have to answer them all, and it is up to you how much you write. We would, though, like to hear from you. We don’t get a lot of response from speaking to ourselves in an empty Auditorium! You certainly can’t do jokes; there’s no one to laugh at them and at least three of you usually did!

Here is the link: www.stmarys-basingstoke.org.uk/lockdown-survey to send you to the form to fill in. Thanks.

And, this coming Sunday, we have an interview with David & Rachel Williams who are down under in Melbourne Australia, though David grew up in Hartney Westpall, just up the road.

They were due to be with us this Sunday at church. Jonathan their youngest was due to be getting married next week in England, but weddings are still not back on, Australia has had no flights in or out and we can’t yet meet in person.

So do stay on after the closing prayer for a few minutes to hear from them before virtual coffee time.

Instructions for joining: the children’s programme, the service on our website and You Tube and zoom codes for virtual coffee which starts 10 minutes after the service & adverts for Christianity Explored.

Online Service, 10am: www.stmarys-basingstoke.org.uk/online-service
Children’s Group, from 9.30am: www.stmarys-basingstoke.org.uk/childrens-group
Virtual Tea & Coffee, 10 minutes after the service ends: Contact us for Zoom details.

Other ways to join

YouTube: youtube.com/StMarysBasingstoke
Listen to the service by phone: 01256830011 (press 5 to pause, 4/6 to skip back/forward) Charged as a regular landline number according to your phone plan.

Keep in touch on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter too.

Finally, do please pray for the following from among many worthy things you could pray for:

·      Friends & family in Basingstoke who might be open to joining our online Christianity Explored course starting in June with Colin & Chrissie Barton, Emma Hayes & Andy Beckwith. It got off to a good start.

·      And those who have encountered losses and difficulties during lockdown.

·      And it would be good to be able to conduct weddings again, even with limited attendance.

·      All the things you know are going on.

May our LORD be with you.

Clive

Survey link: www.stmarys-basingstoke.org.uk/lockdown-survey to send you to the form to fill in. Thank you very much.

Published 13/06/2020, 20:00

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