Church Link News: January 2014
Welcome to the January edition of the Church Link News. This different edition is written specifically for the churches that support us.
A Word from our Senior Chaplain, Jonathan Martin
After much thought about what I could share with you this month I decided that another one of our reputable Chaplains could do it better. Liz Bateman is one of the very first chaplains I met when I joined a year ago.
In October we put our house up for sale and within two weeks had sold it, found a bungalow we felt would make a good future home, in a place we both liked, and surreally we found ourselves on the move. In a world where change is all around us, and yet to sell your house could drag on for 6-12 months, we were shocked to find ours selling so quickly. The conclusion we came to was that this was God’s plan for us. Whilst we are excited about the changes, we are obviously sad to find we are leaving relationships old, and more recent ones too, that have shaped who we are. To move onwards in this journey we have to put ourselves in the hands of a Mighty God who is able to keep us under the protection of His wing, but who gives us the courage and favour to fly with Him a little further, a little deeper by letting go of some of the known and tested friendships of the past, and forge a way that is currently unknown into the future.
Now the old year has ended, we can take the experiences of 2013 and make them relevant to our future walk by gathering all that is good and turning its wisdom into a faith walk that is new. It will have many unsettling changes about it, but as we face the new year with all the fragilities of life we can be sure of one thing. He, Jesus, will never leave us or forsake us and He invites us to “Rise up, and come away with Him” into a new and closer relationship. It doesn't have to be as drastic as moving house to do that, but it does mean to want Him more than anything else in my life up to this point, to want to see Him more really, be in His Presence more, to see what He sees, and to learn how to appropriate greater wisdom and revelation as a Gift in the world around me. To increase in living with supernatural qualities, and to see into Heavens realms of angels and their purpose in assisting our ministries here on earth. I want to grow in understanding all these in order to develop a greater awareness and insight of my purpose and His Presence within me, and that this will overflow in a vibrant expression of the Love of God in actions, simple and yet profound. The loving ways of God should be evident as I administer perhaps the greatest gift at my disposal, the Gift of Time. I only have it for what is left in my lifetime. It will be irrelevant to me thereafter! It’s time to be wise, to develop our own individual calling, and to take a great leap of faith into the quality of wisdom.
Proverbs tells us to how to rule our relationships with righteousness and justice, so that others will take notice. “Prov 2 v 1-9 My son, if you receive my words and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding; Yes if you cry out for discernment and lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright. He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.”
My encouragement for all staff, volunteers and trustees of Alabaré is to urge you all to supernaturally seek Wisdom. She may seem hidden, but as you search you will hear her voice crying out to you. “Prov. 1 v 20 Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open square.” Seek and you will find and will be enabled to be a world changer! What are you desiring to seek in 2014?
Written by Liz Bateman, Chaplain, Trowbridge
We pray God’s blessing on her and husband Michael, as they prepare to move. Liz has served as a volunteer chaplain at the Trowbridge drop in. She has faithfully visited staff and services users, and offered her help in very practical ways to those we are called to serve. Though she leaves her voluntary post with us early in 2014 , she will remain on our list of On Call Chaplains.
With blessings, Canon Jonathan Martin, Senior Chaplain
In January, we reflect on the last year and look toward a future that is full of potential;
Lord our God, before you there are no secrets;
nothing is hidden from your eyes
and nothing happens without your permission.
Grant me the happiness of beginning this trip
entrusted to you;
permit me to go and to return in peace and tranquillity,
in your infinite love and mercy.
Accompany me with your loving security
and direct my footsteps
with the steady love of your heart,
keeping me always close to you, Lord.
May I see clearly the obstacles
of my journey,
and may I keep safe from affliction and despair,
thanks to your blessing and care.
Blessed are you, O Eternal God;
you have protected me in such a way
that by the light of your presence
I shall always find new roads
and fulfilling answers to my yearnings.
We are fortunate enough to be starting our 23rd year in our new building, with our new website, and with renewed energy to support more people to enjoy a fulfilling life.