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ABIDING IN JESUS -

AS DISCIPLE-MAKING DISCIPLES


Because we have received and experienced God’s great love, and hear his word to us, we want to share the real life we have in Jesus Christ with others.


By teaching ourselves and others to obey all that Jesus has commanded us, and loving one another as he has loved us, we aim to build one another up into disciple-making disciples of Jesus Christ. To this end we are committed to encouraging and equipping one another for a life pleasing to our heavenly Father.


Our aim is to communicate the love of Christ in the common language and culture of our time so that we are understandable and relevant.


As well as promoting local activities held throughout the year at St Andrew’s Kinson, this page will include articles written to encourage us to grow and develop as disciple-making disciples.

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Ramblings of a Curate!!

How do we respond when things become uncomfortable when we face opposition and those who are supposed to protect the freedom of faiths are creating legislation and laws to prevent us from openly sharing our faith?


Do we shy away, wish to create a community of fellow believers sheltered and away from the rest of the world? Or do we adapt the Gospel to win favouritism from the secular world?


I read an article where a church is now offering beer at their services to bring more people in. At what point does church stop being about God and becomes about entertainment? No longer placing their hope and trust in our sovereign God, but giving over to culture and allowing that to shape our churches.


The book of Daniel is a great revelation to what happens when you fully trust and place your hope and identity in God. Especially when living in an anti-God culture. A culture that worships and glorifies every man-made idol including the king himself.


Chapter 6 has King Darius tricked through his pride to make a decree that if anyone prays to anyone else except the king for thirty days will be thrown into the lion's den.


The reason for such a strange decree was, Daniel was known as a man of prayer. Every day he would pray to God three times. The satraps and other administrators knew this and knew this was the only way they could get Daniel in trouble with King Darius.

They knew Daniel was obedient and trusted in God and would not do anything to break his relationship with God.


This was Daniels response to the threat of his life. Daniel chapter 6:10 tells us that he did exactly what he always did, he didn't panic or stop praying. He continued faithfully praying, placing his hope and trust in God for help.


Though Daniels enemies were against him and even though Daniel was thrown into the lion's den, God saved him.


The bible tells us that we will go through these difficult times but what is revealed is that our sovereign creator, who has chosen us to be adopted into His family. He is with us throughout those trials. He was in the furnace with Daniels friends and he saved Daniel.


We too can trust in the same God as he does not change, He is still the same sovereign God of the Old Testament just as he was in the New Testament and is today and will be in the future.


When trials or pressure comes our way, what will we be known for? Will, we still stand in prayer trusting in God's word and promises? or will we bow down to the idols of this world, idols that have been created in the image of mankind, idols that can not save us from God's judgement.


After Daniels witnessing to God's power Darius could not deny God anymore and decreed in verse 25;


Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: “May you prosper greatly! “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”


May the way we testify through our faith and trust in God call others to bow down and call upon Jesus, that through His death and resurrection we all may be saved.


Reverend Darren Dalton

St Andrews Church Kinson Bournemouth


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Ramblings of a Curate!!

Disconnected!


I saw an advert for an alarm company, a wife rings her husband at work and tells her husband that the neighbour was burgled. His response was 'that could have been us!'

The wife reassured the husband as she has called the alarm company for protection. Then the advert ends with the jingle.


This advert shocked me, I wonder if you have seen it and how it made you feel?


This advert reveals the very heart of the consumer community, there was a lack of empathy or any real concern for their neighbours. People who they may have known for a while. His response was me me me and no concern to how the neighbours felt or if they were ok. The wife's response was I need to protect our stuff.


There seems to be a disconnect, where the community is not important but the only person I need to look after is myself. No longer do we focus on what's best for the community but if it's not in my best interests I'm not interested. Or the fact we can live on the same street for most of our lives and still do not know the people we live next to.


Unfortunately, I see the same mentality creeping into our churches, the disconnect from one another where we do not truly know the person who we sit next to every Sunday or know what is going on in their lives. The shift from knowing and hearing the Gospel message to placing it in our hearts and truly living lives that show that we are connected, loving in a way that reveals we are disciples of Christ.


The results of this disconnection can be revealed by the way the community are more concerned with self and have become a culture consumed with individualism.


There have been many stories in scripture that have helped me and one of those is from the book of Ezra. Ezra is a priest at the time of the Exiles returning to Jerusalem, the people have already forgotten about their exile and the reason for it in the first place. They already start sinning by marrying people from other tribes.


Ezra's response to this affected me deeply and opened my eyes to how we need to respond. In chapters nine and ten, Ezra is in prayer and he breaks down into tears and tears his clothes as a response to the heart of the community he is living in. Through this act, Ezra is showing how much he cares about the future of Israel, through their sinning they were exiled from the promised land and most importantly from God. He sees their lack of connection between each other and from God as a massive concern.


Through his action, he shows the community that he cares about them and their spiritual needs. Through this revelation, the people around him also cry and tear their clothes in repentance and turn away from their sinful ways.


They cared because he cared, this led me to think how do we show that same concern? If we hear someone has been burgled is our first response to build a bigger wall to keep everyone out, or is it to provide an intentional service to show that we care.


How do we show that the spiritual welfare of our kids, our church family and the wider community matters to us? If we don't show that we care or that we are concerned why should they? How connected are we with God and His mission in His world?


Reverend Darren

St Andrew's, Kinson, Bournemouth.

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Ramblings of a Curate!!
I'm not sure where I'm going with one, but let's journey together and see where we end up!

I have pondered on;

Matthew 7:13-14. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Another interpretation of the 'narrow gate' is 'strait gate'. Strait is a narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two other large areas of water, such as "the Straits of Gibraltar".

the Origin of the word

This helps me to understand a little more what Jesus meant as narrow. It's not just as simple as narrow is the gate but it is tight and not anyone can fit through it. You need to be a particular shape and size, the gate is designed for those who have been on a disciplined, strict and self sacrificing journey, only then can they fit through it. The journey where we are disciples of Christ being transformed by Him no longer are we our old selves but we are new transformations in Him.

The picture above if you were wondering is from a show called 'A hole in the wall' where there are shapes carved out in the wall and as it comes towards you, you need to adjust your self in order for you to fit through. The game puts the works on the contestants to fit through the narrow hole but in order for us to fit through the 'narrow gate' we need to allow God to do the reshaping and the only way He can do that is if we fully trust in Him and let go of all the other idols we carry.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight

When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples first time they did not take anything extra, no money not even a second pair of sandals. They had no option but to fully trust God, as only God can give what we truly need.

We too are on that journey, sent out by Christ to proclaim His good news, the only difference for us is that we hold onto too many idols. Idols that we place before God, idols that we put our trust in, idols that prevent us form meeting on Sunday's and through out the week. As we make excuses after excuses to make ourselves feel better.

The road is narrow and tight, it encourages us, it forces us to get rid of those idols we hold on to if we want to pass through the narrowing of the gate. unfortunately too many people find it more comforting to feel in-control, to do what they want and to live the way they want to, they keep on the wider path as it enables them to hold as many idols as they want.

The narrow path is uncomfortable as we need to be honest with ourselves and with God. The journey is hard, we have to let go of everything and fully trust in God. But through this strict journey we are moulded into the likeness of His son so, when it comes to the gate we will enter. Not because of what we have done but because of the work Christ has done and the Spirit continues to do.

The question I and we need to reflect upon is, what do we need to let go off to allow God to continue to shape us as we journey with Him, and are we willing to put the hard and sacrificial work in and stop making excuses?
Rev'd Darren
St Andrew's Kinson Bournemouth
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Ramblings of a Curate!!

Why are we saved?


Through the new sermon series based on Exodus, we are reflecting upon some of the attributes of God's mission. His mission is to restore creation and our relationship with Him under and through Christ.


We are being saved from slavery, free from the bondage of sin and death. The scripture reading in the newsletter is Galatians 5:13-14. Paul writes that we should not continue living the way we did and misuse our newfound freedom, but with this freedom, we should serve one another.


So we often approach the idea of being saved as being saved from something. We often forget that we are also being saved for something or someone.


When we trust in Christ as our saviour we are adopted by God we are not our own but we are His. This is why we are saved to be His to worship Him to enjoy Him and to glorify Him. Exodus 3:12 God tells Moses that a sign will be when His people are free that they will go to the mountain and worship Him. Free and set apart for God to be His people who worship Him and enjoy His presence with them.


Westminster shorter catechism answers this question;


Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?


These are the answers,

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, [a] and to enjoy him for ever. [b]

[a]. Ps. 86:9; Isa. 60:21; Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 6:20; 10:31; Rev. 4:11

[b]. Ps. 16:5-11; 144:15; Isa. 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil. 4:4; Rev. 21:3-4


Please I encourage you all to have a look at those verses and maybe ask yourself in which ways do you glorify God and what ways don't you? Also, do you carve out intentional time to enjoy God, spend time with God and enjoying His word and His presence?



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Ramblings of a Curate!!

Escapism.


escapism

/ɪˈskeɪpɪz(ə)m,ɛˈskeɪpɪz(ə)m/

noun


  1. the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.


Throughout my ministry, the diocese has promoted the importance of well being. The clergy need to have an opportunity during the day or the week to shut off, recharge, and escape the vocation's pressures upon us.


In case you were wondering my way to escape is badminton, cycling, hiking and running twenty miles every other day... Don't laugh, of course, it is the fantasy world of superheroes and star wars and my COLLECTABLES not toys...


Escapism is a way we can ignore reality and immerse ourselves in another world, a world without pressure, pain, stress, and kids.


Reflecting upon this, I feel that for many people business is also a form of escapism. We take on things so that we don't need to deal with reality or the things that truly matter. Escapism prevents us from doing things that we need to do either because we don't want to do them out of laziness or a sense of fear.


The fear that we won't get it right or do a good enough job, a fear of what people think of us. We busy ourselves so much that we miss out on those times with our families, or that feeling of accomplishment when we finish that DIY job we have been putting off.


By living in a fantasy world or one that is busy with stuff we miss out on those deep relationships we could have with one another. When people ask for volunteers to help; to visit someone, or read the bible with another person, people look down at the floor because they want to binge-watch a series or just sit in the quietness of our rooms where nothing can get to us. All because we are afraid that we won't know what to say to someone who is going through a hard time.


Escapism also offends God as it becomes a sin. Sin is disobedience to God's calling upon our lives. To love Him first, to be in a relationship with Him and then to love others. Come to church on Sundays as a gathered community giving all the glory and praise to God. To meet in life groups and honour your one to ones. To stand up for what is right, to be a voice speaking up for those who don't have one.


Escapism places other things in front of all of those, it busy's us, distracts us from what really matters because we feel it's too hard or we are not comfortable.


Escapism done wrong can lead to us failing to love God, as it is rooted in self. How does it make me feel and not how does it make God feel?


Rico Tice writes in 'Faithful Leaders' that; the definition of failure "is being successful at the things that don't matter".


We can make up so many excuses, I know I do when it comes to some of the difficult things in ministry, we can escape from them by making ourselves busy and saying we don't have the time. But we will be failing God, and one another if we continue.


So, what are we escaping from, is it disobeying what God has called us to, are we being so successful at being busy that we are not honouring God and our brothers and sisters?


What things do we need to stop to take up what God wants and become a success in God's eyes?


Do not fear the unknown don't allow it to stop you from receiving all the blessings God has for you as you step out fully trusting in Him, knowing that He is enough.


There are a lot of things we can escape from in this world but one thing you can not escape from is God's judgment, the question is will you hear "welcome you good and faithful servant".


Rev Darren

St Andrews Church

Kinson, Bournemouth.

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Ramblings of the Curate!!

Body Parts!


In 1 Corinthians 12:14-30, Paul compares the people of Christ's church as a body with many parts. All parts are required to be functioning for the church to be fully ministering as God had ordained it to.


Questions:


If you had to be a body part, what would you choose and why?


What body part would you not like to be and why?


Paul reflects upon how the undesirable body parts may be the bottom, or a toenail is to be held up and respected, as they also have a role to play.


If one body part fails to operate then the whole body suffers, just as it takes the whole congregation to be working together in service, not only to God but to each other in the way we gather on Sunday and throughout the week.


There may be body parts that we often overlook and forget about. I know I don't often stop and ask the question before is consume something, what effect will this have on my liver?


Who in our church do we think are overlooked and what can we do about that?


Each part of the body has a function, such as the lungs draw in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide, our toe's help keep some of us balanced our nose hairs help trap dirt and other things from entering our body.


What function do you or can you play in our gatherings and our life together throughout the week as we seek to evangelise, encourage, enable, and equip each other and those around us in our faith?


As I write this I am reminded that Paul writes that an ear can not be an eye nor does it try to be, or a foot be a hand. Each body part has a function that puts all of its energy into being.


In many churches, there are a handful of people who do a lot and become spread thin and burnt out. If we all did our part, it would protect one another from having to feel that we have to do everything.


A book I read once said that a healthy and alive church grows both numerically and spiritually as it is filled with disciples who seek God's will.


What is God calling you to?


It takes every part of the body to be active for it to be a fit and healthy one and Paul reminds us it is the same for the Church.



Rev Darren

St Andrew's Church

Kinson, Bournemouth.

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Ramblings of a Curate!!

Mission now possible!


In most forms of media, there is a hero, someone or a team that has a mission to save their family, country or even the world.


The plot for Mission Impossible follows Ethan Hunt and his mission to uncover 'the mole' who has framed him for the murders of most of his Impossible Missions Force (IMF) team. Similar to James Bond, and most superhero books and movies.


We love to cheer for the underdog, who appears to defy all the possible odds to succeed in the mission.


Early in the Bible, we are shown the underdogs, Israel, God's chosen people to reveal God's blessing to the nations, to be set apart. Yet we read how time and time again our underdogs are defeated, enslaved and exiled and someone from God's chosen people becomes the hero, saves and leads God's people.


Such great people like Moses, King David, Deborah and Gideon to name just a few. Yet time after time Israel reverts to their sinful way, worshipping idols. Just after God rescued the Israelites from Egypt, performed miracles such as the plagues upon Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. When left alone, they take the first opportunity to build a golden calf, worship it while living a life that does not glorify God or set them apart.


Tim Chester remarks "A god made in our image suits our desires but can't help us when we are in need".


I wonder what gods have we made to bring us comfort and security?


For some, King David, Moses, Abraham and others have become the heroes, to praise, glorify and even at times worship. Yes, they helped lead and save Israel from death at times. Yet, the true hero of the Bible is in fact, God, He hears the cries of His people and responds. He establishes, equips and enables the heroes in the bible to fulfil what God has ordained from the beginning of time.


Psalm 115 says that only God should receive all the Glory, for the other gods we make cannot hear, cannot speak and cannot save.


While Moses and others save Israel from physical threat, the spiritual threat is a constant shadow hanging over them and us. A mission that no mortal man or woman and complete, it is for us a mission impossible to be made right with God.


God, the true hero of the bible and our lives, turns mission impossible to mission possible, as he came down, time and time again to save and speak to His people.


Finally, He came down as a helpless babe, to die on the cross. Taking upon Himself the wrath of God which should lay upon us. He rose again in Glory and now through Him we too can be made right with God and the shadow of the spiritual threat has been dissipated to give way to joy and confidence in the true Hero.


Let's spend time reflecting upon what heroes/idols we have created and come before our God who saves from the fiery furnace of Nebachenzar and the fiery judgement of His wrath, which we all deserve.


God is a God of mission, In Him, the impossible can be made possible and He calls us to join in His team of misfits.


Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to accept His call upon your life, trust in Christ for your eternal salvation and be transformed by His word and live your new life in joyful service to Him, set apart glorifying Him in obedience. This ramble will self-destruct in ten seconds.


Rev. Darren

St Andrew's Church

Kinson Bournemouth


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Ramblings Of A Curate!!

Wedding season


After a year of weddings being postponed, they are all coming at once. (reminds me of the bus joke, where you waiting hours for one bus and all of a sudden three turn up).


It is such a joy to preside at weddings uniting couples together before God just as He had ordained before time itself. As the service itself is a precursor to what God has planned, that we the church, the bride will be united with our Groom, Christ for eternity.


Yet there is much more that I never thought about when that day comes. It is not just two people coming together to be one, it is all the stuff, the past everything that makes up the identity of that person that also comes as part of the contract.


Tim Chester at Keswick really helped me, a simpleton, understand deeper what is happening.


When I married Stephanie, she did not only get me but she got my three children, my humour and yes I am funny! She also got my collectables (trying to sound more grown-up by not saying toys.) I on the other hand got Steph's Audrey Hepburn cover and films, and all her country music. I wonder who got the better deal there?


So when we marry Christ, we come to Him with our sinful nature, all those things we have done in the past that deserve God's judgement and punishment. Christ comes with His righteousness, He takes on our sinfulness as we take on His righteousness. We are no longer condemned because we have put upon Christ's righteousness, yet through us united and married to Christ, He has now taken our condemnation and punishment for us.


It doesn't seem fair, does it? Just because Christ chose us to be His bride means He will inherit our judgement for all the things we have done. While we doing nothing inherit His redemption, His eternal life.


All because Christ says choose us and says "I do" He is nailed to the cross for our transgressions. That my friends, is grace, a gift freely poured out and given, it's not fair, we didn't even ask for it. Yet His love compelled Christ to be obedient to the Father and take our place upon the cross. So for whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Revelation 19:7

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”


We help prepare couples for their lifetime commitment to one another by enabling conversations to take place and having them consider things that they never thought about before. Hoping they might discover some new things about each other that will help them on their journey.


I wonder as we wait for that day when we are united with our Bridegroom, how are we preparing ourselves and others. After all, we don't want to be unprepared like the brides who did not prepare enough oil for their lamps.


Rev. Darren

St Andrew's Church

Kinson, Bournemouth

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Ramblings of a Curate!!

Is God truly all we need?


Lamentations 3:22-24

Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

therefore I will wait for him.”


I am writing to you all from Keswick, I now know how Paul felt as he wrote to churches. Well maybe!


We started our week with a talk at the all-age service, the preacher spoke of the past year and all the things Covid has taken away. Meeting family, swimming, dancing, singing, gathering, and the Lord's Supper to mention a few. There has been a lot of loss, frustration, and anger, yet it looks like we are slowly returning to some sort of normality as the guidance is beginning to be lifted.


The author of Lamentations speaks of a great deal of loss and the destruction of the temple, we can connect with that sense of loss. As gatherings were prevented, and worship as we know it changed with no singing or sharing the peace and the Lord's supper.


Yet as restrictions are lifted, we long for those things that covid took away to be restored. Pinning our happiness and identity on those things. For the author, though they had no temple, they had nowhere to sing and sacrifice and were being exiled, everything they once knew and held dear was gone.


Yet for them God was all they needed, He was their portion. Singing, sacrifice the temple were all good things but it was about God being all they need. The other things just aided worship and praise but God was number one in their heart and so was obedience to His word. Though they were facing horrendous persecution all their hope, trust and faith were in the one who saves.


It leads to me think personally why am I in a rush to go back to the way things once were, why am I so eagerly wanting to sing and bring back everything Covid took away. Though they are good things am I seeking my identity my own happiness in those things? Or is God my portion, He is the one who I come to meet with He is all I need? Am I waiting for Him and being obedient to His word which God sees as worship above the rituals we perform on a Sunday. God is more concerned with my heart more than my voice (with that I truly thank Him). 1 Samuel 15:22, Romans 2:25-29.


Can we truly declare that God is all we need? As much as the singing, the Lord's Supper, and the other things are great, it is not what it is all about. Coming to hear God's word, being transformed by Him and then sent out. God firstly calls us to Him then out to reveal Him. We have an opportunity to place God first and then to prioritise the other stuff around Him.


As we do move towards a time where we do slowly introduce those things that aid us in glorifying, and praising our God I ask that we wait for Him, we trust in Him and we hope in Him. Let God be our portion as we live worshipping lives 24/7 as we are obedient to His word.


While at Keswick, though we can sing here I want to live in that obedience, so where we as a church have decided to take things slow and committed not to sing yet, I am placing God first and standing with you by deciding not to sing here at Keswick, but to make this time an opportunity to draw close to Him allowing Him and He alone to be my portion and He alone who I worship.


God is my portion and I wait upon Him.


Rev. Darren

St Andrew's Church

Kinson, Bournemouth.

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Ramblings of a Curate!!

Seeking


I've been contemplating the people's movement in regards to Jesus. There is a saying, "you are either moving towards or away from Christ".


On the notice sheet last week and this week, within the spiritual food box. We have looked at the feeding of the five thousand. Last week we had the beginning part in Mark 6:33-34 and this week the end in John 6: 23-24. We are given a picture of these people desperately seeking Jesus, their motives may be different, some wanted healing, some feeding and some to listen to what Jesus was saying.


Whatever their reason, Jesus was able to teach, perform miracles and reveal the glory of God to them. Throughout the Gospels, people came far and wide searching for Jesus to discover for themselves who He was, receive healing, or have their lives turn upside down. Nicodemus, Zacchaeus, the woman suffering from bleeding and the Lepers are just a few.


They understood if they wanted answers, healing, receiving fulfilment and salvation. If they wanted to know more about the father they had to come to Christ and listen and respond to the answers.


These people put everything to one side and prioritised Christ, they desperately sought Him out and drew closer to Him. The only way Jesus could speak to them, heal them, and teach them is if they were with Him.


Sometimes I expect my faith to grow deeper, my prayer life to be out of this world and my bible knowledge to be greater than Dot from East enders. But there are times I don't put in the effort, I expect Jesus to come to me or perform some sort of wifi download while my attention is elsewhere.


It's like me wanting to be healthy while eating pizza and have muscles upon muscles, while not even attempted to walk close to a gym or making any effort to walk. I'm either walking towards the gym or the takeaway, each direction will have a major impact on my life.


If we want to grow deeper in our relationship with Christ, have a better understanding of the bible, or be more intentional about our journey. We need to be walking towards the one who can do help with all of this.


Only Christ can reveal Himself to you and the world can only reveal itself, so are you desperate enough that you are prepared to do anything to meet Christ. Are you seeking Him in the right places? Regular prayer time, reading His word and attending church will aid you to face the right direction and to move towards the prize.


We are either moving towards or away from Christ, the first thing to ask is are we even facing Him at all?


Rev Darren Dalton

St Andrew's church Kinson Bournemouth.


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