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10:30am every Sunday

at The Golden Ball – Home to the work of Poplars Church

A morning with

Dr. C Baxter Kruger

Author of The Shack Revisited

Sunday 15th October: 10.30am

Alpha Course

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please talk to Forrest or Karen

Blog

22nd March 2017…Something I’ve been pondering

Posted by Pete Hardy

11am - Wed 22 Mar

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Something I'm pondering and I hope that it can touch you and bless you.Pete

Posted by Peter Hardy on Wednesday, 22 March 2017

22nd March 2017…Sharing the journey

Posted by Pete Hardy

11am - Wed 22 Mar

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I think that I dreamed that I might share something of my journey of healing. I wanted to say a huge thank you to so many people. To my wonderful wife Ruth. To my amazing family, my church family and to the incredible prayer warrior army of allies from around the world who walk with us each day. Our health care team is second to none and I give thanks many times a day for the treatment I receive.I am so very grateful for my Heavenly Father who caresses me every day, to my wonderful saviour, healer, deliverer and friend Jesus, and for the ever resent fire breathing Holy Spirit.Be blessed.There is great hope for you.Pete

Posted by Peter Hardy on Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Casting My Cares

Posted by Matt Bellingham

10am - Tue 7 Feb

Blog

On Sunday we sang a new song during our worship time, a song called Cast My Cares by the amazing Tim Timmons. (If you don’t know his music and story I would highly recommend checking them out!)

 

In the week I came across Psalm 55:22, which says “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (NIV)

Instantly I was struck by the use of the word ‘cast’.

Every Monday, my wife looks after our niece at our house, which means that our son has to share his toys for the day.

Have you ever watched a toddler ‘share’ their toys?

There is that awkward moment when they pass it from one to the other; when both have a hold of it and neither want to let go of it.

Often this is how I feel when I hand my burdens over to God.

I know deep down that it would be better to give them over but somehow, I convince myself, that if I just hang on to them a little bit, I will still be in control. As the idiom says, it’s better the devil you know…

For a long time I was reluctant to let anyone pray for my asthma because I wasn’t actually sure that I wouldn’t rather put up with having asthma, and the inconvenience that comes with it, than have to figure out how to live if I didn’t have it anymore! Sometimes I’d rather hold on to the burden because it is safer to have it than to not.

But the Bible tells us to “cast our cares on the Lord”

My uncle enjoyed angling and used to compete for Hampshire in long distance casting competitions.

When I looked up the definition for ‘cast’ it says: “to throw something forcefully.” The world record for casting a fishing line stands at around 300 metres.

God doesn’t want us to half hand over our burdens to him while we hang on to them just a little bit.

He wants us to throw them forcefully to him.

To give away all control of them.

To find out what it might be like to have them truly taken away from us.

To not hang on to them for just that little bit longer, as my son would say “just five more minutes, Daddy.”

To be totally free.

Morning All…

Posted by Pete Hardy

2pm - Mon 16 Jan

Blog

trust

Morning All, Monday 16th January, 2017

How I love the “tap tap” of God! He aims and puts two shots of his love into the target almost without drawing breath.

The story of my life since April of last year has been “tap tap”…”Tap tap.”

In April, twice I had people speak to me of the years I have spent encouraging and investing in the young and that I still had many years left to invest. This came just before and just after a diagnosis of cancer.

How those words have sustained us! And yet they were only the beginning.

Many times over, the same words would come in pairs.

At Christmas the word “trust” was brought by two people who had never met each other. They came within 10 or 15 minutes of each other. The second person I see only rarely and she burst into my office demanding the see me with this word. This must have taken so much courage and a real sense of the importance of the moment.

Over a month before the diagnosis, a friend brought me this from Psalm 94 v 18: “When I said, “My foot is slipping”, your unfailing love supported me.” On the morning I was taken into theatre for a fairly serious operation, the Bible App on my wife’s phone threw up the verse for that day: “When my foot was slipping…” Tap…Tap.

On Sunday 15th January I preached in the morning on trusting that God means what He says. In the afternoon I found myself in a home-group meeting near Uttoxeter, a home-group for Portuguese speaking Brazilians (we have one beautiful example in the church at Poplars.) Andrea so much wanted me to meet one of the Pastors and so I did. Leandro spoke for a short time from Luke 1 and made a point of emphasising Luke 1 v 37 (“For no word from God will ever fail.”) He then asked if anyone had any needs. I was put up in front of him and immediately he commanded my healing in the name of Jesus. We woke this morning to the Bible App’s word or the day. Luke 1 v 37, “For no word from God will ever fail.” Tap…Tap…Tap…Tap…

This week we see my specialist and my Research Nurse team at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield. Words cannot express the wonder of having these two remarkable people on board with us on this journey. Chemo will kick in next week or the week after and we set out on this part of our walk with these words ringing in our ears:

“For no word from God will ever fail.”

Wherever you are, and whatever you face, there is for you the “Tap…Tap” of God and the reassurance that he is not a man that he should lie and no word from God will ever fail.

Be blessed.

A Position of Power

Posted by Matt Bellingham

9am - Tue 3 Jan

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Power can be a dangerous thing.

In the hands of Hitler, power led to World War II.

In the hands of Nick Leeson, power led to an £800million debt and a crashed national bank.

In the hands of too many sports people, the need for power has led to doping scandals which seem to never end.

It doesn’t matter whether we are a world leader, financial trader or sportsperson. At whatever level we operate, power can be a vehicle for destruction. I imagine that this is the reason that so many people in a position of power hold on to their power so tightly; if we control the power surely we can guard ourselves from it.

It is also why I find Jesus’ approach to power so unusual.

Think about when he met the Samaritan woman at the well.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink? (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) — John 4:v7-9 (NIV)

I find it interesting how much Jesus shocked the Samaritan woman with such a simple question; it shows us a lot about the culture of their society.

Society saw Him as a man and her as a woman, who were deemed less important, so Jesus would have been in the position of power.

Society saw Him as a Jew and her as a Samaritan, who Jews looked down on for the way they worshipped God, so Jesus would have been in the position of power.

But when Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, He started the conversation by turning the table and putting who society called his enemy in the position of power. By asking her for a drink he was putting himself in a place where she had what he needed first, not the other way around.

A quick Google search lists hundreds or thousands of self-improvement articles which aim to help you ‘reclaim your power’ – yet Jesus was happy to give his power away freely.

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Why would he do this when he knows that really He is the one that has what the Samaritan woman needs?

Can you imagine how the Samaritan lady would have reacted if Jesus had just walked up to her and offered her his living water from this position?

Firstly, by putting the Samaritan woman in the position of power Jesus was showing her that he didn’t see her in the same way that society saw her.

Society lessened their identities to ‘Jewish man’ and ‘Samaritan woman’.

Jesus saw their true identities as so much more.

The difference here is that the Samaritan woman focused on the things that separated her and Jesus, when Jesus came to unify these things.

There are a couple of lines from the Godfrey Birtill song, Two Thousand Years Ago, which I love:

Now every distance has been cancelled in Christ,

And separation’s an illusion a lie

So great is the love that He’s lavished on us.

Also, by breaking down the barrier between them, Jesus put them in a position to build a relationship, which would later lead to her life, and the lives of many people in her town being changed by their encounter with Jesus.

I’m sure Jesus knew that power could be dangerous, but he also knew that power could be life changing.

Whatever area in our lives we have power in, whether it’s at home, work, in church, or in the community, we could hold onto it tightly and use it to keep us in a safe, secure environment.

Or we could hold it loosely, give it to others and empower them to reach situations they otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach.

It might be more dangerous, but it also has the potential to be life changing.

The Gospel According to Harry Potter

Posted by Forrest Malloch

12pm - Tue 29 Nov

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I have enjoyed the Harry Potter series of books and the world created by J K Rowling.  The new film “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them” is funny and scary at the same time.

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Some folk have been put off by the fantasy nature of the stories, but they are good moral tales where good always triumphs over evil in the end.

The nature of evil is clear – power like the wizards have is easily corrupting – but in the end, it is love that wins because its power is stronger.  One of the strongest evils in the books are the Dementors, who are the prison guards at the wizarding prison, and are let loose by the real baddie, Voldemort.

The nature of the Dementors is such that it is a close parallel to the Christian concept of a personified evil (Satan – the accuser).  The Dementors’ kiss is such that it sucks all the joy out of your life, leaving only despair leading to death.  Interestingly, the spell which counters this effect is the Patronus Charm, which very few can produce.  The essence of the Patronus Charm is that it represents the real person or core of the person producing it.  Harry’s charm is a stag, Hermione’s an otter and so forth.

One of the best counters to depression and gloom is an awareness of who we are in God.  Many Christians seem to be unaware of their status as saints even though it is the biblical term for all who are in Jesus.  We don’t appreciate how much we are loved and approved of.  We need to spend time with our heavenly Daddy (abba) and let him love us to the point where we really know we are loved and precious.

Blessings!

Forrest