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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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What distinguishes you as a Christian?

The Holy Spirit in the past has not held a prominent role within the Church but these days people are claiming spectacular manifestations of His power. Focusing on signs and wonders believing that this distinguishes Christians from others.


Paul writes in Galatians 5:22-23 that the fruit of the Spirit, as in its manifestation in our lives is LOVE. From that love comes joy and peace and so forth. The hallmark for a believer is the fruit of love, we love because we are loved first.


As we become like Christ it was through His love for us that he willingly gave up his life. It was His through love that he happily gave up all the privileges of Heaven to become flesh and walk this earth to suffer and be humiliated. As Christ tells us it is by the way we show love to one another that we will be known as His disciples John 13:34-35.


Some people think the hallmark of a Christian is truth, sound doctrine, creeds and the Reformation confessions. To fight the good fight and stand firm in the teaching of the scripture. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13 that if he can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge but does not love he has nothing. Knowledge puffs up while love builds up therefore love trumps knowledge.


Others may say, holding true to faith alone that we are saved by justification alone, God's grace. Again Paul in 1 Corinthians says even if he has faith to move mountains, yet does not love, he is nothing.


Religious experience is key to our identity as Christians. That knowing Christ is enough as everything else is at a loss. The experience we can receive through Christ and the power of the Spirit reveals how spiritual we are and how Christlike we are. Yet, Paul argues "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal".


Service can also reveal that we are followers of Christ, service to the poor, those in need our neighbours as Jesus reveals through the parable of the Good Samaritan. Guess what, Paul declares "If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing".


Here is the thing, all the people are correct, holding true to scripture, living by faith alone, having some religious experiences and works by faith are all hallmarks of what makes a Christian. Yet the core fruit the main distinguishing telltale sign that we are Christians is Love. The love and grace of God and our Love for Him and how that transforms us change our priorities and hearts as we love others with that same intentional love that seeks to build others up and to transform the culture around us to glorify God alone.


So, brothers and sisters you may be the smartest, theologically minded person, you may be able to speak in tongues and seek other signs and wonders, you may be passionate about helping others out and you may have had some great experiences as Jesus has revealed things to you through scripture and the Spirit. But if your whole motivation is not loving and for the building up of God's kingdom and church then there is nothing that distinguishes you from other people.


It is by the way you love, this reveals to others that the Holy Spirit is manifesting in your life, it is love that shows others that God is in you. It is love that will show the world that you are Christ's disciples. What, if you are truly openly and honestly reflecting, are you revealing to those around you?


Rev' Darren Dalton

St Andrews Church

Kinson Bournemouth

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December 2021 @ St Andrew's Kinson

We have something for everyone as we begin the month of December - a festive concert by the Dorset Accordion Group, Carols by Candlelight, Family fun on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and a traditional Carols and Communion Gathering at 11pm on Christmas Eve to help us see in Christmas Day 2021. More details will be posted on our Facebook page and at standrewskinson.org

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Ramblings of aCurate!!

Image-Bearer


Genesis 1:26-28 reveals the origin of mankind, we are created male and female in God's image and likeness. We can be creative within the arts, create life, we can communicate and long for community because these are some of the characteristics of our triune God, and we show our creator through our lives.


Just as Christ came to make the invisible God visible by being the image of God, Colossians 1:15. We too are called to be imitators of God Ephesians 5:1. The Ephesians passage says that we are to live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.


To love as Christ loved, forgiving, welcoming, friendly, serving, healing, and compassionate. These are some of the things we think of when we think of Christ's love. This is true yet often churches only focus on these aspects, and congregations are left with half of the Gospel. A Gospel filled with grace with no challenges and the message that God loves you just as you are.


Christ's love goes further, through His love he reveals the dark truth about who we are. We are sinful people in need of a saviour, Luke 5:32. Jesus did not come to sit and eat with sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes to be all-inclusive and loving, He sat with sinners to call them into repentance. He challenged, judged people's hearts by their fruit, and disciplined and rebuked those who needed it.


Christ loves us though we don't deserve it, he came to give us new life in and through Him and that love we recognise that we need to be transformed. We are called out of the darkness and into His marvellous light as the Holy Spirit continues to work on our hearts.


Grace is that we are loved so much that Christ chose to give up His life for us, to take upon Himself our sinful natures and the wrath of God. Then, through His resurrection, we to take on His righteousness as Christ has defeated the consequences of sin and conquered death.


Truth is also His love as we come to understand our dependency upon Christ and our need to be transformed in all areas of our life that we too become imitators and image-bearers of God revealing both Truth and Grace.


As I reflect upon myself as an image-bearer of God, do I truly reveal the image of God or just the comfortable bits? Am I willing to be unpopular for speaking out in truth around certain aspects of the wider church life and the life within our church?


Also, am I consistent with my character or do I have two personalities a "church persona" and a "private persona". It seems easy to be one person in church but as soon as I am in the car and someone does not let me out of the roundabout, or the kids start arguing or if I have to listen to the same song for the twelfth time in a row, do I switch back to my old self?


I urge you to do the same, reflect upon your lives, the way you respond to someone annoying, someone you know who is living the wrong way or how you are, around different groups of friends and family. Is your life consistent with your new life in Christ?


Are you truly an image-bearer of God or the culture around you?


Rev'd Darren

St Andrews Church

Kinson, Bournemouth

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Ramblings of the Curate!!

Heart Matter


1 Samuel 15:22 is one of those verses that helped me as I began my walk with God.


But Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams."


This is the difference between knowing the path and taking the path. Head knowledge, rather than faith being actively lived out in a way that not only transforms you but also builds up others around you for the sake of God's kingdom.


Jesus said this against the Pharisees in Mark 7:6:


He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me".


We all wear masks and only reveal the things to others that we want them to see. We often live one way that looks like we have it all together, or we have the head knowledge. We know what we are supposed to do and, with our lips, we say the things that sound good whilst in our hearts we live the old life. We leave church with not godly thoughts but ones that are negative.


We need to be transformed within our hearts, God does not care about what outward actions or words of praise are made because we know we ought to, but He sees what is happening in our hearts.


1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”


We might be able to deceive others and ourselves but we cannot hide away from God. The things in our heart are what shapes us, it is what we desire and chase after. It is what we are committed to, it becomes what we give our time to and what we allow to prioritise our lives around.


God does not care about the doing, but would rather have you come to Him in obedience. So that your heart can be transformed as you discover not only who He is but who you are in Him. Then once that has been established, the way you live your life, the motivations behind your actions will be transformed from the things of this world to God's will.


The question I ask myself is who or what is in my heart? Do I find excuses not to spend time with God by saying I'm too busy or will do it later? On Sundays does my heart groan with the idea of getting out of bed and making the sacrificial action of going to church. Is being tired or grumpy the right reason for not coming to church?


If the answer is yes to those or I'd rather stay at home and watch t.v is a clear indication that my heart is not in the right place. I may know scripture, I may pray beautifully in Hebrew and Greek (I can't) but if my heart is not in it I'm not living it and I am in the danger of living as if I'm saved by works and not by faith.


As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not love, I am a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. Brothers if I feed one hungry person or a thousand and I did it out of duty or obedience to the law it is as if I did not do it at all. The motivation was not from a heart that was transformed by the Gospel and from a relationship with God but from my own achievements and what I think I ought to do.


I like to use the last verses in Psalm 139 as a way of meditation on God's will and repenting.


Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


I like to leave you with a reminder, there is a difference between knowing the path and walking it.


Rev'd Darren

St Andrew's Church

Kinson Bournemouth.

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Ramblings of a Curate!!

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?


Rev'd Darren

St Andrew's Church

Kinson Bournemouth

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Ramblings of a Curate!!

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.


Rev'd Darren

St Andrew's Church

Kinson Bournemouth

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Ramblings of the Curate!!

Seasons


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?


Rev'd Darren

St Andrews Church

Kinson, Bournemouth

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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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