Darren Dalton • June 17, 2021
What or who do you celebrate?
Howdy all, this week I began to think of father's day. A day when we give thanks and celebrate the male role models in our lives. Then my thought went to should this day be more about giving thanks to our heavenly Father, after all, we are here because of His will.
This is where the rabbit hole appeared that I very much skipped down. We have father's day, mother's day aunt and uncle day, even a middle child day. So I thought I investigate what other things or people do we celebrate, and these my friends were my findings.
These are actual days that we have set aside to remember and celebrate; a day for hangovers, Martin Luther King and civil rights and a gluten-free day.
We celebrate love your pet day, superhero day (both fiction and non-fiction heroes) and a high five day. There are days for Lasagna, national lazy day and world ufo day. These are just a few, yet every day of the year there is something to celebrate, to give thanks to. Things to idolise, distract and shift our focus from the one who gave us all these things.
Reserving days for even more bizarre things, cause us to elevate the gifts above the one who ordained them into being. We end up idolising ourselves and our own achievements, turning days into events and calling it 'pride'. The last time I checked the bible pride was very much a sin, which is the opposite of humility (something I know a lot about). Yet we come together and celebrate, elevate and worship.
Don't get me wrong it is important to remember our heritage, the struggles of our brothers and sisters, and those who brought us into this life. We also need to remember that none of this would have happened if our sovereign God did not permit it to happen.
Every day we need to renew our minds to the one who created all things who has planned our lives even before time itself. The things of this world are to tangle us up in our own fleshy desires and sin, to become a slave to our own needs that causes pride, in that we too feel entitled to have a day named after us or some we agree with. Thus giving us the illusion that we are important and worthy of glory and praise.
I think that God deserves more than a couple of days a year to be celebrated and remembered, I personally think he trumps over potato day.
Let's make every day about God celebrating and obeying His will, giving Him thanks for the very breath He has given us. Every day renewing our minds as we focus upon He who gives us good gifts, the gift of eternal life in and through His Son who gave up His life for us.
Oh, and in case you were wondering 10th October is Clergy Appreciation day..
St Andrew's church Kinson, Bournemouth
Darren Dalton • June 12, 2021
Question: If you saw this crate in an auction, no one knew the contents, it could be full of packaging and a broken vase or it could vintage star wars figure in boxed and mint (or whatever your imagination can make up). Would you bid? If so, how much would you go up to?
On my day off and yes, I need to get out more, on Storage Wars a crate like this was in a container. The bidding went up to £3,500.00, with all kinds of speculation as to what was inside.
The guy ended up spending £3,500.00 on a container filled with newspaper and a broken bowl. People gamble all the time and often making huge mistakes that can cost them their lives. People today also gamble with their eternal life, bidding on empty gospels and empty religions that look good and exciting on the outside. On the inside are full of empty promises that end up costing their eternal salvation.
Often, I will hear the question "but how do I know I'm saved?" "Have I picked on the right faith?".
The first thing I would say is that there is no gamble if God has chosen you then He has chosen you, therefore you are saved. You did not choose Him. You did not have to work or pay for God's grace, It is freely given.
Secondly, God is sovereign, he does not change and neither does His promises or His word. So then, nothing can take His love and grace from you. He won't change His mind, there is no gamble you are either saved or not saved.
One way you can tell if you are saved concerns the transformation in your life. If you have been chosen and have been made righteous in Christ you will hate sin. In Christ, we are new creations, who die to our old selves and begin a transformation process. We will still sin, but will slowly turn away from those things and also decrease in the time between sinning and repenting.
No one can say they are saved and a Christian and still live their old lives, we are born again. We hunger and thirst for what is right, what is God's will. Paul was aware of this very battle. In Romans 7: 15-25 he writes of the battle between flesh and spirit. He acknowledges our weaknesses, understanding there is nothing we can do to receive salvation, but only through Christ are we saved.
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
For Christians, there is no gamble. We are chosen by God and saved through Christ. We can see God working through us as we are transformed into the likeness of His Son. This brings me great joy and comfort, no longer do I need to guess or hedge my bets on other idols, but only through Christ are we saved.
The question is, does my life reveal it?
St Andrew's Church, Kinson, Bournemouth
Darren Dalton • June 04, 2021
The 'E' Word
In Morning prayer over the last couple of weeks we have read speeches by sinful, weak men that through their trust and faith in our sovereign God, they were given the strength and words needed to reach out to thousands.
In the book of Acts chapter two, we read Peter's speech at Pentecost. In chapter seven, we read Stephen's speech to the Sanhedrin. Peter delivered his in front of thousands of strangers, while Stephen gave his speech while his life was at risk, being accused of blaspheming.
For many of us, we hear the word, dare I say it? EVANGELISE, there I said it. We are filled with terror and do anything to hide away from it. The word fills us with images of people standing on soapboxes shouting "repent you, sinners, the end is nigh". While passers-by mock and ridicule the preacher. There's a fear that when we share our faith we will have people laughing at us, friends and family disowning us or even not being confident in what we are saying and end up looking foolish.
We can be so aware of our own insecurities that we can become paralysed and make up many excuses of why we cannot accept God's calling upon our lives, like Moses when he encountered God through the burning bush and received his calling. Have a read and count how many excuses he came up with about why he could not free God's people. Also, see how God spoke into those insecurities and enabled Moses to accept the plans God had for his life.
We are not being asked to save a nation, but to speak to and connect with those around us. Start with the one, allow God to be strong in our weakness' allow His glory to shine through. We can only bear fruit while we remain in Him.
In our bible reading this Sunday we read of the great commission and the promise that, when we are obedient to Christ's will, all we do is in His authority and that He is with us to the very end.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
So brothers and sisters, trust in the one who has called you. Trust that He will equip you for all the works he has prepared for you. Maybe start with one of those you have prayed for over the past few weeks. You don't need to prepare a huge chapter-long speech, you can speak of how God has been at work in your own life or how His grace has affected you and brought you to where you are now.
Unsure where to start perhaps pray:
"God use me to reach one person today."
Rev Darren Dalton
St Andrew's, Kinson Bournemouth