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Showing posts from July, 2010

Beautiful Bows for Annie

Last night around 20 women, teenagers and girls had a great  (and very productive) time together as they made 350 beautiful bows for Annie's thanksgiving service next Monday.  Lorraine led the charge; and our daughter Alice was there. It seems that it was one of those "more than" occasions. It was so much more than "just" cutting and sewing bows. It was being together - grieving, remembering, laughing, telling stories. It was community.

Forever His Love Endures

We have found our hope We have found our peace We have found our rest in the One who loves He will light the way He will lead us home as we offer all to the One who saves His love endures Forever His love endures Forever His love endures Forever and ever

Love is on the way

Well, another fantastic day as we gathered as Church. Simon started the day with a phone interview for Radio Berkshire. He was great - talking about all that we are able to do to bless the local community. Then the two morning meetings were wonderful as Amanda and the team so briliantly led us to worship Jesus in the midst of our pain and perhaps confusion. What she said about not allowing fear to creep in to our everyday lives - especially fear for our children, was so right. Simon talked about heaven. It's true isn't it, that we probably have all sorts of mixed-up theology regarding heaven and what happens when we die. If you weren't there, then do listen to it online. He is so great - my very favourite preacher and I'm so proud of him! Last night Canon Andrew White spoke to us about "walking through the valley of the shadow of death". It was a fantastic evening, with great responses for prayer. He even had (and used!) a bottle of anointing oil that had
Today has been a wonderful day in Church. Amazing to gather together and to collectively choose to worship God - for who He is and who He will always be. We sang and proclaimed truth. We were led magnificently. Simon spoke with grace and clarity about "How to cope when bad things happen". There were tears of course as we worshipped, and as we reflected on Annie's life and death. I was reminded of PJ Smyth's blog . He has recently been diagnosed with cancer, and he writes about "Learning to cry well" - it's a wonderful perspective on crying - and crying publicly. I found it both challenging and humbling. Hope you enjoy it too (and pass the tissues please) x "A fair few tears flow daily in the Smyth home at the moment, especially Ashleigh’s and mine. They can break out at almost anytime prompted by gratitude to the kindness and close presence of Jesus, or thankfulness to the kind words and actions of friends, or at news of the suffering of other

The Lord is Close to the Brokenhearted

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, Psalm 91 For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13 These are beautiful visual images of how our God cares for us and comforts us. In mourning Annie and just feeling so incredibly sad about her- and thinking especially about Anne and Bill's loss; and also of those closest to her - I find myself just praying "Jesus Jesus Jesus" over and over again. There often aren't any other words. Only He can help and bring comfort and strength - it's not humanly possible without Him - "only through the cross can I stand in power". "Jesus Jesus Jesus amen"

This is Church

"Don't bear trouble, use it. Take whatever happens - justice and injustice, pleasure and pain, compliment and criticism - take it up into the purpose of your life and make something out of it. Turn it into testimony" (E Stanley Jones - Missionary to India) "What do people do, if they don't know God?" was one of our children's questions yesterday, as they reflected on responding to /dealing with /adjusting to the sudden and tragic death of Annie. Annie was a beautiful girl - always cute and smiling - to know her was to love her. She touched so many lives. As over 200 of us met last night to pray, I could just imagine her walking in and laughing, incredulous that we had all gathered for her! We know for certain that she is in a better place. At the same time we are so very sad; and we especially pray for God's comfort, hope,peace and strength for her parents and brothers. Since hearing the terrible news, both Simon and I have been so proud of our

My Friend Sue

Me and my friend S ue Ranger Part of the joy for me in leading the Real Conference is that I was able to work alongside some wonderful people - I love the team element and the "we got to do this together" moments! Funnily enough one of my favourite moments from the 2007 Conference was when it was all over t hree of the team were working together, cleaning the decorations off the windows in the "V" at Kerith corridor - chatting, celebrating and hanging out together with the very same women who had worked tirelessly to prepare for the conference. This time round my running partner was Sue Ranger. She hates (hated?) having her photo taken, but has recently given in to my pleas to "mark the moment". So this is the only photo that got taken on my camera at the conference! I'm so glad it's of us two. Sue is the Church Events Manager. She's worked hard and brilliantly to organise Real - as a first K erith Conference. She has a great ability to or

Only Through the Cross Can I Stand in Power

Well I've been pretty exhausted this week - back in work straight after the conference and with Simon away in Brighton it's been a little tough. H owever , trailing just behind my fatigue has been the constant refrain       "Only through the Cross can I stand in power"       and so I am thankful to God for all He accomplished through us ; and I'm thankful it's Friday and I've got through the week and Simon's home tonight hoorah ! Well, this time last I can't really believe that REAL 2010 has been and gone already! We had an amazing e vening and day together with over 300 women (337 to be precise!) gathered. I was so proud of what we put on as a Church - and by that I mean all those many individuals - some volunteers, some working for Kerith - some giving a few hours on the day, many sharing in the "living and breathing it" run up of months weeks and days before the conference. Thank you to the elders who had the vision an

326 Women in Bracknell for Womens Conference tonight!

The Stage is set..the K erith Centre is looking vibrant and pretty...prayer area and shopping areas are is arriving...there's a buzz in the Kerith Centre! So, today's the day that REAL starts! Can't wait for tonight to start - if you are coming for the whole conference you will be able to register when you arrive, receive your programme, find out what seminar you're in etc. If you're just able to pop along for tonight, then come straight in a nd enjoy the evening on us! Last night I had the privilege of being in on the worship rehearsal - it sounded amazing! That team have worked so hard and they are sounding good - they are so ready to lead us all to worship Jesus tonight and tomorrow. So come ready and expectant - no distractions, so don't hold back in worshipping our Saviour. Can't wait to hear the sound of over 300 enthusiastic women worshipping! see you tonight x PS: Don't forget to join in our social action initiative and buy your

312 Women in Bracknell for the REAL Conference

So exciting to see that women are still booking in for the REAL Conference this Friday evening and all day Saturday - it's not too late to come and join us http://www. kerith .co. uk /Publisher/Article. aspx ?ID=200612 We're busy busy busy preparing for you all - bring it on! Last night I had the privilege of meeting up with Donika , Ornela , Valentina and Bardha from Albania and Marija from Macedonia who have all come over for the Conference. We were also joined by Mrs Leah Mutala who is our key contact in S erenje Zambia. We had a great time getting to know one another- realisi ng that women (and children/teenagers it seems!) are the same the whole world round. We didn't get to talking about husbands...maybe next time?! It's so exciting to hear their stories of what God is doing in their lives and their Churches. I've been thinking about the theme of the conference being "Real" - that we'd live authentic lives of faith, allowing God into e