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Our Living Hope

Not sure what happens with my blog...or me writing my blog! Can't believe I've been away from it for almost two months. Oh well, no condemnation! Let's pick it up and start again :)
Yesterday was a great day in Church! I was so challenged and encouraged - I love Sundays and all the different ways God shows His love and who he is to us. Natalie Jones preached at both our morning meetings in Bracknell , she gave such a good message on generosity, be sure to catch it when the podcast comes on our website, but for now, watch a summary of Natalie's preach
At the 6pm meeting, we had Paul Manwaring sharing about culture : the 4 Gamechangers - again, a really challenging message to check out if you didn't get to hear it live.

I wore my HOPE earrings yesterday - sometimes I deliberately choose to wear them as a practical symbol that I am choosing HOPE - that I choose Jesus, I choose trust, I choose hope.
I'm so glad I did, as throughout the day I felt God speak to me about …
Recent posts

3 Little Bottles

Thought I'd mix it up today and do something lighthearted here.

I popped into town this morning (as an aside, anyone else still incredulous that "new Bracknell / The Lexicon is so great and that it's really here to stay?!) 
Anyhow, I popped into town for a quick wander and bought 3 "essentials" I'd run out of, so I thought I'd share them with you - and of course I'd love to hear about your 3 recent essential purchases.



1 Contact lense solution
I've worn glasses since Secondary school, and contact lenses since I left Uni. Gas permeables - great for me - slightly perilous in swimming pools / the sea / other people's sinks (£80 to replace). They work for me - and so a couple of bottles of solution each month keep me going.I ran out a couple of days ago, so it was £4.70 well spent for clean lenses and clear eyesight.

2. "Buffet" by The Ordinary
This was a new one for me, a present I received last Christmas. I LOVE it and can't recommend i…

Encouraging Myself

'The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.'  Isaiah 61:3
What do you do when you're feeling a bit low?
Well, I haven't mentioned the "M" word on here before, but I've found that with the menopause has come some occasional low moods.  No logical "reason" for it, and nothing to sort - so instead I'm learning to accept it and finding some ways to manage it. 
The first is to not beat myself up about it - remind myself it will pass; remind myself that God doesn't love me because of what I do. Thinking of others helps, as does gratitude.  Like David, who "encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God", I especially love to worship and find it really helps. When we praise and worship, we're reminded of so many wonderful truths - not least that God is bigger than the situation we face. We sing about Jesus and what He has done for us, how He's changing us, and how He loves us - great medicine!
My two current favourit…

Paula's Encouragement

I love a podcast!
Podcasts get me through situations where time might drag, or perhaps I've got some time to myself - I'm think a bike work-out at the Gym; a long car journey; or food for my mind and soul whilst I'm cooking.

I've just got back from holiday, and having missed a couple of Sundays, I have caught up with Kerith podcasts, listening to three outstanding preaches from Ben Pocock and Ben Oliver in Bracknell; and Heather Pocock in Sandhurst - I found myself wanting to join in with a few loud "amens" this morning at the gym!

What about you? Let me know when and where do you listen to podcasts?

Our guest contributor today is the wonderful Paula Ridgway - with her large heart , great enthusiasm and infectious faith, she is such a huge blessing to many at Kerith. 
Over to Paula for her encouragement to simply gather a few friends, to listen to a podcast together and then talk about it and see what God is saying. 

"Podcasts are great if one misses out on a …

Clare's Macedonia reflections

You'll remember that in May I went to Macedonia? 
I took a team of wonderful Kerith women, and together we supported Marija Vuletic as she led the Vredna Conference in Skopje (the capital city) Macedonia. It was such a rich time (challenging too at times!) we gave, but we also received so much. It was a real privilege to stand alongside these wonderful women - our sisters in Christ.

Here are Clare's reflections of our time together.

Spending time with the women in Macedonia spoke to me so much about our world-wide family in faith. God really is bringing people from every people group into relationship with Him! We were joined by women from Serbia and the Roma community. I think joy in hardship sums up what many of the women are experiencing right now. Some have only been believers for a very short time, but their joy in belonging to Jesus and being on a journey with Him was so clear. I spent time talking to some of the youngest women at the conference. A few of them feel the strugg…

Iris's Albania reflections

In May this year I went to Tirana, Albania to support Miranda in leading UNIKE - her women's conference. This was her fourth year and it was so good - God was with us, and we felt led and blessed by Him as we ministered to the ladies. I was accompanied by a couple of wonderful, faithful Kerith women, Glynne and Iris. You may remember an earlier blog when Glynne shared her highlights? Well now it's Iris' turn (read right to the end for the most wonderful phrase!)
So Iris, how was Albania?

I have loved being part of the teams going to Albania for the past 4 years. It has been a great privilege to do this.
The love that the ladies and girls show you makes you feel really at home. You are always greeted with hugs and  3 kisses!! ( I love it) Over the years I am aware that the Holy Spirit is moving and that the ladies are expecting to be moved and it moves up a gear each year.
One of the biggest things for me is the Worship!! The worship music starts and I think..”OK I know this song…

Lithuanian ladies

It was so great at REAL to be joined by 4 lovely ladies from City Church Klaipeda, Lithuania. 
This picture below shows our very own Daiva Johnson (who is Lithuanian, and soon to be launching Kerith Windsor with her husband Leon) , Ocean (who we borrowed from Lithuania for the Academy year, but she is soon returning) Lina, Donalda, Ramonda, Svetlana and our lovely Marija McKean (also Lithuanian, soon to be leaving Kerith to be part of Flow Church with her husband Jamie) 



Simon was recently in Lithuania to speak at City Church (remember he also ran a 10K the same day?!?!) and whilst there he connected with Lina and Ramonda who are both part of the worship team . They've been here for REAL and to also connect with our Kerith worship teams. 

Svetlana and I are good friends - we don't let a little thing like a lack of a shared language come between us!!! We've been so blessed by the lovely Donalda translating our conversations and the conference content during this time in the UK…