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Showing posts from June, 2018

Renewed Strength and Hope

Isaiah 40:31  But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
When we carry all the worries and struggles of our life and those around us, when we watch the news and take on fear, it’s exhausting. It drains our energy, lowers our mood and makes us feel anxious.
When our hope is in the Lord, we can stop trying to do things in our own strength, we stop trying to fix things or hurry things up. 
Eagles don't exhaust themselves flapping their wings all the time; they soar, almost floating in the air (have you watched the Red Kites soaring in the sky?).
In the same way we can rest in God, not racing around anxiously. We can choose to allow God to be in control, we can choose to trust Him with our future. 
Take time to rest while you are at REAL. What worries or fears do you need to hand over to God? Ask Him to take them and to give you renewed strength and hope for the journey ahe…

An Anchor for the Soul

Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain
Anchors don’t prevent storms from coming. They stop ships from being washed away by the wind and waves. When our hope is anchored in Jesus, it doesn’t mean that difficult times won’t come, but that we have an ‘unbreakable spiritual lifeline’*, tying us directly to Jesus, who keeps us secure through the storms of life.
In the Old Testament, the inner sanctuary of the temple was where the presence of God rested. It could only be accessed through a curtain, by the High Priest once a year. When Jesus died on the cross, He tore down the curtain, giving us direct access to the presence of God all the time. This means that we can come to God anytime, we’re not dependent on a human priest, or an animal sacrifice. Instead we can depend on Jesus, our High Priest who died as our sacrifice. 
Whether or not you feel like you are in a storm right now, anchor yourself in Jesus, spe…

Hold on

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Hold on tightly to your hope in Jesus. This may be a daily or hourly choice to trust God with your today, to live in this moment, not fearful of the future. Choose what you spend your time thinking about today and who you will choose to listen to, so that you don’t lose hope.
What God has promised, He will do. He is faithful, He won’t change His mind.
Look back at what God has already done in your life and the lives of those around you. Remembering his faithfulness will help you to believe that God can do it again; this song is a great way to do that - Do it again by Elevation Worship https://youtu.be/0B_lnQIITxU
If you have come through difficult circumstances and experienced God’s faithfulness, then ask God to show you how you can use your experiences to encourage others and build their faith (2 Corinthians 1:4). What could be your first step today?
At REAL we'll hear stories of hope from w…

Choose to Hope

Romans 4:18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Abraham knew that the promise that God had made to him wasn't physically possible (he and his wife were too old to have a baby), but he still had hope that God would fulfil his promise. 
The Bible tells us that nothing is impossible for God (Matthew 19:26), so we know that when God makes a promise to us, He will fulfil it. But sometimes the answers to our prayers don't seem to come quickly enough or come in the way we thought they would. Sometimes, like Abraham and Sarah instead of trusting God, we try to take things into our own hands (you can read about this in Genesis 16:1-4).
Have you tried to make things happen by yourself? Do you feel like you've exhausted all your options? Maybe now is the time to give your situation back to God, choose to hope against hope that God will do what He has promised.



Prepare our Hearts

As we prepare our hearts for REAL, welcome to the first of 10 "Thought for the Day" devotionals all about HOPE. Thanks to the lovely Susannah Mills for writing these for us - we pray that they will bless you, challenge you, and encourage you to pray and prepare for REAL . He's a faithful God of great love - let's raise our expectations of what He's going to say and do in every one of us!


1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
We were born separated from God. We could never do anything to bring ourselves back to God. But because God loves each of us so much, He sent his son Jesus to die on the cross in our place, so that we could be given an opportunity to choose to follow Jesus, to be born again, to have a new life in relationship with Jesus; with the hope of an eternity spent in Heaven with Jesus.
Maybe today you need t…

Fran's Reflections

For five days In May, five women from Kerith lived in Skopje, Macedonia, supporting our friend Marija Vuletic, leader of VREDNA Women's Conference.   It's such a privilege to serve the ladies in Macedonia - an area of Kerith ministry that we call "International REAL" and is financed by the women at REAL giving each year to support these conferences in eastern Europe.  We had a wonderful time - it wasn't without its challenges (running for a flight and a lost case anyone?!) but a time full of blessing from God, where we learned to lean and depend on Him. The team were so great - you'd have been so proud of them all. Each one rose above the challenges and gave themselves to the women and to all I asked them to do (!) with grace and faith. Let's hear from one of the fantastic team - here are Fran Harrison's reflections.

How was Macedonia, my friend?
This question got me thinking back to those brief days in Skopje, and as I reflected, I was humbled once again…

Glynne's Story

Last month a team of us from Kerith went to Tirana, Albania for a women's conference. Called UNIKE,and now in its 4th year, it's led by our friend Miranda Ajeti. God birthed UNIKE through REAL! Miranda was visiting the UK for REAL one year, and heard the Interviewer ask me what my dream was? I answered "to speak in another country", Ann Bothamley nudged Miranda and so a plan was hatched! Miranda is a fantastic leader, and a good friend. We share our lives and our prayer requests via monthly Skype chats :)





Iris, Glynne and I went to support, pray for and contribute to the conference - me through preaching, and the ladies through prayer and sharing testimonies. We had a wonderful time together, this being Iris' 4th time, and Glynne's 3rd, so they were really reconnecting with friends - and that involved many hugs, kisses and warm embraces! 

Every week since last year's trip, Iris and Glynne have been faithfully meeting to pray. God has really touched their he…

Chris' Story

I lOVE to hear women's stories (I'm pretty nosey!)
I particularly love hearing how God has impacted someone - the circumstances and people He uses, and how kind and loving He is - bringing us to repentance, helping all of us find our way back to Him. I recently heard Chris Barber's story, and asked her to share it here with us. God spoke to her through REAL2017, and in particular  Emily’s preach "God can do what He says He can do" and the words: “I do believe, help me in my unbelief" It's a great encouragement to trust God ...and that there's no retiring for the Christian who wants to follow God! Oh yes, and it's a wonderful plug for this year's REAL - come and hear God - He will be there, He will be speaking, He is ready to transform us from the inside out - come and position yourself in a space where the Holy Spirit is moving and speaking.
I would love to tell you my story of how it all started.

It was on a sunny Wednesday morning one June and I…

You too?

One of our distinctives at Kerith, and therefore also at REAL is that we love to work with friends! We choose to work with friends, and so love to invite those we already have a relationship with to speak into our community and stand alongside us. We share ethos and values...and we have fun! 
Last year at REAL we were so blessed to have Cathy Madavan with us - I know that God used her words in a really significant way for many women. In fact, one of our small groups has been studying her book Digging for Diamonds this last year, and have really loved it! They also highly recommend her James Devotional  Simon and I visited Cathy and her husband Mark (who leads Locks Heath Free Church) in their beautiful home this last Tuesday evening, and shared a really lovely evening together, devouring the largest pan of Paella I've ever seen, plus stories, laughs, friendship, wisdom and honesty - it was so good to be with friends.

On Thursday I had a great time chatting via FaceTime with Kemi Kole…

Hello again :)

Long time no see!!!!
What to talk about after so long an absence?!?!

I've had so many wonderful experiences and opportunities recently, and so I can't wait to tell you the stories of my travel to support women's conferences in Albania and Macedonia. 

God was so good to us, and it was such a privilege to travel there with our wonderful Kerith women, to pray for the Balkan women and to stand alongside them as their sisters, encouraging them in their faith. 
We had adventures; new experiences; thunder storms and sunshine; lost luggage and unexpected gifts. We saw salvations and re-commitments; we prayed for women of all ages and backgrounds; some of us were more successful at mastering the language than others, but we had a go! We sang worship songs in a mixture of "have-a-go-Albanian" and the few English lines we could remember (and just kept repeating them!) 
We gave away what we had in terms of our faith and trust in God. We know that we received so much from being th…