Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | March 19, 2020

Covid19/Coronavirus update – all Services suspended

Further to the post earlier in the week, Carey is now complying with U.K. Government and Baptist Union guidance and suspending all services.

This means ALL activity at Carey is now suspended. If you need to contact Carey, please email minister@careybaptist.co.uk

Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | March 17, 2020

Covid19/Coronavirus – suspension of activities

Please note that all activities at Carey are temporarily suspended due to UK Government guidance on Social Distancing.

Please also note that this DOES NOT affect regular Sunday Worship at this time (16/3/2020) which will carry on as normal at this time

Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | March 5, 2020

The Strong Word – March 2020

 

Many choose to begin the year by celebrating Veganuary, to abstain from animal based food products, others have gone vegetarian, or alcohol free and some have signed up to the gym to bring some discipline to their bodies after Christmas and New Year festivities.

It is interesting to note a variety of diets on the market. A popular one is the 5:2 diet when for five days normal food levels are eaten then for two days there is a time of fasting.

As we find ourselves approaching Lent as part of the Church calendar, we use this time to prepare for Easter. The Church has for Centuries encouraged 40 days abstention during Lent, a time of cutting out rich food and certain pleasures in order to be better ready for Good Friday and the joy of Easter Day.

Lent has long been this time of abstention, to honour God and prepare our soul. The result is benefit to Body and Soul. To honour God means we also receive a blessing, for God knows what is best for us – body, mind and soul. We have more by having less!

I find it interesting and sad that the world often copies the best of the Christian ways, and makes Veganuary or whatever a secular worldly expression which only concerns the body and mind, neglecting the soul. It is so typical of the modern world, we exclude God from just about everything, then copy his ideas but lack the eternal and the spiritual.

What is more there is a pride in all this. A person can feel so good to do something to make a difference to body or mind or our carbon footprint. It can make us boastful and feel really good about such abstentions, a sort of high, when “I” am at the centre, and the reason for the abstention, not God.

A group of people once asked Jesus:- “what must we do to do the works God requires?” He answered:- “believe in the one he sent” (John 6 v.28&29) believing is the thing. Not doing though, we might encourage faith sometimes by doing or abstaining.

May our Lent season be a time when we do clear space, we do seek the Lord’s face, maybe going without something in order that there can be room for blessing from God himself. The Lord can and will bless us, speak to us, and increase trust in him, he will, for he has promised he will.

 

Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | February 2, 2020

The Strong Word – February 2020

 

We need climate change and we need it now! Let me explain my thinking.

Turn on the TV these days and it is not long before climate change is mentioned. There may be an extreme weather condition reported or climate change protestors on the march, any excuse is used to put climate change in the script of many programmes.

But I am not talking about THAT climate change, I am thinking about the recent general reduction in the spiritual temperature in many lives and communities. From where I stand many have grown cold to the call of God and blessings of the Gospel. The good news of forgiveness of repentance from sin (a turning), followed by forgiveness is now so last century, so old hat. Only some old people and a few odd youngsters it seems, have a balanced climate in their hearts and lives.

The spiritual climate is changing, the temperature is dropping. It will I believe cause as much, if not more, chaos than the increase in the measurable temperature of the world in which we live. God is excluded from so many situations. I have noted these last few Christmases a reduction in the number of those who wish to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Indeed so much of the Christmas celebrations actually exclude our Lord, weird I know.

It came home to me as I wished an old school friend a happy Christmas. His response was he did not wish to have such a greeting, thank you. He offered me a winter festival wish!

He has been through the same school assemblies and Sunday school as me, yet has turned his back, gone cold you might say.

The world is seeking in the new decade to encourage all to make a difference, as we consider our carbon footprint. We can do small things which we are told will make a big difference.

How much more, as Christians, should we seek to do our bit, as it were, to consider our spiritual footprint and the small changes in prayer and commitment to our Lord that we can make each day which will tackle such a serious global cooling of hearts and lives. We are told just a few small actions each day really can make a difference. I am sure that it is true in both climate change areas I have mentioned!

Happy New Year

 

Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | December 2, 2019

The Strong Word – December/January 2019

 

I was surprised recently with the number of people who went to Japan to support the English Rugby team when they found themselves in the final. Perhaps the best example was the player whose twin brother went to Tokyo to offer his support. He just had to be there.

This sort of thing happens most weekends, when supporters travel many miles to watch their team play and offer support and encouragement from the stands. Many would not consider watching the match on TV, despite it being warmer and cheaper! They must go.

They must show their support, in victory or in failure. They will be there.

We are just about to enter the Christmas season when we celebrate, the coming of “Emmanuel”, God with us. That is what, for me, it is all about. God chose to leave the warmth of heaven and come to live amongst us on earth, beginning in a cold stable, continuing in an insignificant town of Nazareth and ending on a lonely, exposed Cross- so he could support us and be with us. He just had to be with us, he could not stay away from our lives.

Jesus arriving on Earth meant the days of issuing commands on tablets of stone to Moses on a mountain top are over. Now the words of God are going to be written on our hearts by the presence of the spirit of Jesus in our lives if we invite him into our hearts, he is there to support and bless us.

Christmas is the sign things have changed. God is with us and that changes everything.

(If God is for us who can be against us?) So are we going to share the good news and welcome the support that comes to us in the form of a baby wrapped in strips of cloth?

This is the Good News that we share at this time of the year.

To me it is such a shame the Good News is so well hidden behind the tinsel, the wrapping and all the trappings of the season. Many will miss it altogether as presents and parties, food and drink obscure the real reason we stop the normal cycle of our lives to take a break.

But this is not just a Christmas message, it is one that we can take into all 366 days of 2020, as we celebrate the God who is with us, offering daily support, protection and advice. The Angels may well be heard singing:- Glory to God in the highest and peace to man on earth!

A Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year to all Carey friends.

 

Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | November 2, 2019

The Strong Word – November 2019

 

Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain…such a sentence enables me, and many others, to remember the colours of the rainbow. Maybe you have your own way? There are similar ways to remember the order and the number of planets between the Sun and Pluto! Useful jogs to our memory.

As we move into November, remembering is usually a significant factor in our nation and churches, culminating on the 11th with public Acts of Remembrance at 11.00am when silence is respected in many places.

All this, with the poppy worn by most during this time, is a help to us remembering the sacrifice made by many in two world wars of the last century, as well as other significant wars since. We recall men and women who gave their lives, and some their health, so that we can live in peace.

Remembering is important as it gives meaning and purpose to our today. I suppose like me, when you hear of the latest fighting in the world, or hear our Politicians speak, or note the behaviour of neighbours and friends, not forgetting our own attitudes and actions, we realise we do need to stop to remember the sacrifice of others.

As Christians we regularly remember the sacrifice of Jesus who counted his life as nothing but gave himself up to death on a cross so that our sins, our wrong thoughts and deeds can be forgiven and the community in which we live in has the chance and hope of a better future. A person once observed to me, it is necessary to become a Christian every day!

Every day we must remember what Jesus has done for us, what he is doing and align our lives with him through prayer, our Bible reading and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. It was Jesus who said, “greater love has no one than this, that they should lay down their life for their friend” John 15.13.

May we truly remember, and may it make a difference to our today, and the today’s of those around us.

 

Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | October 13, 2019

The Strong Word – October 2019

 

Have you ever tried to buy a diary in August or early September? Let me tell you, it is almost impossible, unless you want an “Academic Diary” beginning with the new academic year in September/October. One realises just how orientated our lives are to new starts and new years beginning in the autumn. Since our school days it has always been thus.

So as we open our October Magazine, we too have a sense of New Year, new starts, new things. Our meetings are already back to “normal” again for a year, and our plans and hopes seem to fit the Academic year rather than the calendar one.

My mind turns to promises made in Scripture. Jesus tells us he is with us always even to the end of the age, while the famous Joshua Chapter One encourages us to be courageous and confident as we move into new territory.

Josh 1.9 for instance says:-“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and Courageous, do not be afraid and do not be discouraged, for the Lord is with you wherever you go”.

Surely, even more than December/January this is the time of the year when we recommit ourselves to another year of service to our Lord who has called us to work in Carey Church. It is a time when we prayerfully look forward and seek the guidance and blessing on the future here in Carey Church.

Like the Israelites heading to the Promised Land we recognise we are at a crossroads, seeking the ways of God amongst us. A famous verse of faith and hope is found in Jeremiah 29.11 when God says:- For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.

These are God’s words to us in these days as we move forward in faith and trust, to see and taste the salvation of the Lord. May we expect great things from God as we attempt great things for him. Happy New Year!

 

Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | August 4, 2019

The Strong Word Augus/September 2019

 

Anxiety and stress are issues many people are dealing with these days. I have seen it suggested a quarter of all doctors appointments are about such issues. So it is not surprising to find the scriptures to be ready for such an epidemic with good advice.

The phrase:- “do not be afraid”, or “fear not” appears in the Bible 365 times, one for each day of the year. (I do wonder who counted them and why, and are we allowed to be more worried in a leap year?) Jesus himself in the Sermon on the Mount is good to us when he tells us:- Do not to be anxious about anything……for your heavenly Father knows…..

These are encouraging words to us all, adding to such famous words from the familiar Psalm 23, that even in the valley of the shadow of death we should fear no evil for the Lord is with us…Or Ps 31, my times are in your hands O Lord …

In some ways it is not surprising anxiety has risen as God has been slowly excluded from our world. There is no longer the weekly respite of Sundays being special and different when families gel. Shops are open and the biggest sporting events always take place on a Sunday leaving many with little chance to be still, to step aside and find rest, to enjoy the still waters and the green pastures the Lord wishes to lead us and bless us in.

We cannot save the world, but over these next few weeks, before the busyness of the autumn season kicks in we can begin to practice what we believe. To trust in God for those things we cannot change and take time out, to know his peace and presence in our lives. Maybe delete an engagement so we have some space to seek first God’s Kingdom, to enjoy Sunday worship and fellowship at Carey, or wherever we may be, to see our stress levels reduce and to be those people others want be.

The doctors tell us to reduce our blood pressure we have to change our diet and behaviour, it is no different in the spiritual realm, to change our behaviours and prayer lives will reduce the pressure. As with a diet there is no quick fix.

May we taste and see the Lord is Good.

A Happy August and September to all readers.

 

Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | June 2, 2019

The Strong Word – June 2019

 

A friend of mine was emailed the other day by his boss asking a simple question, “Why did you fill your company car up with petrol on a Sunday?” My friend’s response was blunt, pointing out he had an early start on Monday, and as he is not as young as he was, pushing the company car down the M11 is not as easy for him these days, he finds a tank of petrol to be so much better!

For me such a story sums up the message of Pentecost, a Christian festival we celebrate this year on Sunday 9th June. We are reminded of the day the early church received God’s Spirit for the first time. The disciples were warned to wait in Jerusalem for the spirit to arrive, and not go out on their own without the Spirit. They would not be safe in the world or as effective if they did not have God’s Spirit.

We are not called to push, pull or carry the church, though sometimes it can feel like it! We are called instead, like the early disciples, to be filled with the Spirit, even though we can leak like a colander, we can and must seek God’s Spirit to do God’s work. Because we need the power and protection the Spirit offers to us, we also need the fellowship with God that prevents us from ever feeling alone, and the confidence that comes from knowing we are doing his will.

I was out and about last Autumn, when I noticed a group of people struggling to push the family car down the main road, the youngest and smallest of them was doing the steering, obviously made sense. It looked hard work and many were overtaking, and smiling at them!

I do hope we never find ourselves in that position at Carey, trying to keep the church on the move with our own ideas, strength and resources and for others to be smiling at us! Let us ask God for his spirit, his presence and his power, the God who answers such prayers. See in Luke 11, after the parable of the man going to his friend at midnight for some food, Jesus says, we should Ask, Seek and Knock, for God will certainly give his Holy Spirit to those who ask.

Especially now we have heard from Colin Pye, may we have the power and presence of the spirit amongst us on Pentecost Sunday and every day at Carey. May the Lord bless us indeed with the presence and the wisdom of his Spirit.

Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | May 3, 2019

The Strong Word – May 2019

 

As Christians we live in the light of the blessing of the resurrection of Jesus. No longer is Jesus limited to one place but is available as Lord and friend to all 8 billion people alive today, in every place on the earth. (Even on the moon or Mars should you choose to go there!)

This is a miracle indeed, Jesus has conquered death and now walks with us and talks with us along life’s narrow way, so the chorus tells us! He has done his bit, the heavy lifting, and given his life as a sacrifice for our sin. He calls us to respond, to believe and trust in him.

This quarter’s magazine from Operation Agri has a note from a young person who struggles with the pressure of exams in early summer. She quotes the verse from Proverbs 3.5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding… and he will make your paths strait.”

It is a verse we have mentioned before. The student goes on to remind us of the value of such a promise. She may not know or understand, but she can trust in the God who conquers sin and death. She will believe in his love and goodness for the small as well as the big issues in life, to discover by sheer experience, a trust in the Lord that does work for our best interests. He is the one who makes all things work together for good for those who love and trust in him.

Surely this is what putting the truth of the resurrection into practice involves, allowing God to be God, abandoning our life and times to him, confident he will lead, guide and make things work for our ultimate good and his everlasting purpose. It is certainly not easy and does not just “happen”, but it is a daily exercise we must do if we are to live the victorious lives promised in his word.

We often take on new activities and eating habits to improve our physical health, why would we not lean, rely and trust in God as spiritual exercises to increase our faith, hope and trust in him? We will see our spiritual lives change shape for the better just as those who join weightwatchers see a change. Like any slimmer others will also note the change! They will comment and perhaps even be a little bit jealous!

The truth of Easter is for us and for everyday, may it be so in us.

 

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