Darren Dalton • October 15, 2021
Or What's Worth Protecting?
You can't help it, every time the news is on or you look at social media there is someone always protesting. Insulate Britain is concerned about the climate causing traffic jams on the m25 to get the government to insulate all homes to help reduce CO2. Extinction Rebellion also fighting for awareness of climate change.
Save the bee's, Black lives matter and LGTB Pride is all passionate and is trying to protect and fight for things that are important to them. I have witnessed leaders become so passionate about politics that they behave in an un-Christ manner to those who share a different opinion. I wonder what it is in our lives that we get worked up and passionate over? What things do we want to protect and fight for?
Peoples feelings and passions don't just stay with them but it seeps into governments, distorting the way they should lead, it becomes based on power and votes, using the excuses they want to connect with the modern-day culture. It then begins to shape the media, and our culture as children are now taught new things that don't even make sense. A famous pop star tweeted that "we should stop calling Extra Teresterals, 'Aliens' because it is offensive".
Film and book characters are rewritten to reveal and "connect" with the world. So now characters are no longer how they were once created but resemble the thoughts and feelings of the world around them. I with other fans have stopped watching Supergirl and other dc series as the plot is no longer about the superhero but same-sex attracted relationships.
I reflected this week upon whether I am that passionate about God's word and want to protect it. The world's agenda does not just influence the culture but it also influences God's established church.
Churches are seen to be out of date and not connecting with the culture around us. So we are told that we need to change the Gospel, to make it fit and connect with the culture around us. No longer do the truths in the bible hold any relevance to us today. We are encouraged to live and preach a Gospel not about God but about us.
People are being led astray as they are deceived and believe in the false gospel that is preached from the pulpit Sunday after Sunday. Gods creations, the world and we are being distorted by sin, no longer are we what God had intended us to be. We are in a battle, as God wants to restore us in His image and create us as His nation, however, the enemy is deceiving us.
We are being influenced by the bombardment of protesters that demand that we fall in line with them, their ideas and their desires. Colossians 2 tells us that if indeed we died with Christ we have died to the principles of this world. The rules people make up are based on their own wisdom and not of Gods and therefore we should not submit to them. Their own wisdom leads to self-imposed worship and eventually death.
Are you passionate about God's word and true redemption?
Is it worth fighting for, to be passionate about that it causes you to stand up and be heard?
Are the souls of your neighbours, friends and families worth fighting for? We are called to reveal Christ to those around us, and not the world to itself. What is it that you are passionate about? Are you helping Christ be heard today?
St Andrew's Church
Darren Dalton • October 06, 2021
Are You Ready?
I was walking to church last Sunday not because I wanted to get fit, but because I am such a sacrificial, loving husband and father and thought it would be easier for them to have the car, while I fought against the elements and walk for a whole ten, yes I said ten minutes. I know I am such a gift to all lol.
Anyway back to the point, on the way to church, just past Pelham's park I witnessed five cars drive up then turn left to the leisure centre. It made me reflect on a couple of things.
The first is how much time and money are spent on people trying to create a body like mine... They may have a healthy body but when they die all that time, effort and money are wasted. Because they are not spiritually healthy by the means of salvation received through Christ.
The second thing is, how many people are at that point where they are dithering at the crossroads between choosing Christ or the gym, or it might be something else like shopping, sleep, or any other idol which is a distraction. So the enemy may have a hold over them and persuades them to make the wrong choice?
The third question is, how many of those people over the major festivals like Christmas make that conscious decision to come to church? They come, they hear and they leave until next year. What is our response? Maybe we judged them or that we just accept it because that is what always happens?
St Augustine in a book covering his sermons for Christmas and Epiphany, says (but put in my own words) 'Those who choose to come to church do so with an expectation of witnessing to what God is doing in the scripture and in our lives as we come together to hear His word. That word St Augustine writes should be heard through the ears of our hearts so that we go out and witness to those around us.
Creating community, building relationships and spreading His message of hope. So what are we doing about those who chose to come to church last Christmas, how many of those are we still in contact with? How many of those are part of our fellowship or do we have some sort of relationship with them?
Do you come to church with that expectation to witness what God is doing? are you ready to be transformed from the heart which changes you from the inside out.
Are you ready, not only to welcome those who come to church at Christmas but to engage with them now? So when it comes to that crossroads, the choice for them will be an easy one. We were saved for God as he is creating a nation. A nation filled with His people and he has called us all to help gather and create community. A community that is Christ centred, preparing our hearts for when He returns and restores us with the whole of creation.
Just start with one person, imagine, there is around a hundred of us and if we all intentionally lived out faithful lives there could be another hundred added to God's family.
St Andrew's Church
Darren Dalton • October 01, 2021
Clearly, summer has left us and here comes the wind, rain and shorter days. I miss the warmth and wearing shorts, (yes people you may be glad to know the shorts have gone and no longer do you have to put up with my awesome legs). Yet as I look back and remember all those times I did not go to the beach the next season is CHRISTMAS yay!!!! (inner child jumping up and down with excitement).
In order for Christmas, the next season to arrive the old one must pass away. The old gives life to something new. This got me thinking of the things we may look back on and want to replicate or stay in those times. Like those people that have Christmas every day, repeating Christmas day after day, not experiencing anything else but stuck in what seems like groundhog day.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 speaks that there is a time and a season for all things, a time to plant and a time to harvest. If we always live in the past we will fail to witness the new life, new opportunities and new growth God has prepared for us.
As we move forward through the pandemic we could easily get stuck in the life before it all happened and wanting to replicate what went before. Though, covid put a stop to things we have a fantastic opportunity to let go of the past and move forward with God not just personally but as a family, seeking and discerning where He is calling us. We may be blinded to His call if we are looking and living in the past.
In order for us to move into the next season of our lives and in mission what things must we let go of that are preventing us from enjoying this season with God and with each other?
St Andrews Church