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Psalm 25 verse 2: "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore."

Travelling I've been conscious of God's gracious love towards me - but also for the need to be 'safe'.....

Security is a big issue today. If you phone your bank, there will be lots of security questions to answer before your enquiry can be answered. There is much talk of national security, security cameras, security codes, etc. People want and need security – it is a desire deep within us. The question is, where can this security be found?

God knows that the desire for security is there in believers also, and has been from ancient times. So he gives to Israel, and to us, a great assurance that they and we are totally secure. He says that he surrounds his people just as the mountains surrounded Jerusalem (v 2). This is the protection the Lord gives his people – the Creator God himself always keeps his people! He wants us to revel in this secure love, which is everlasting.

We want to believe this is true, but how do we feel when so often life seems hard and evil appears to prosper – in the world or even in the church? That sort of reality is faced in verse 3, where we are told that these things are certainly real but have their day – and so the righteous can maintain faith in the hope of God’s judgement.

So we are given statements to believe (vs 1–3), then told to petition the Lord for assurance to accept that he is in control and that the power of wickedness will not prevail over righteousness (vs 4,5). So this song prays for what it first teaches. Trust – and pray for those whose trust is heart-true. It all depends on the Lord and his faithfulness.

Paul Woodbridge


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Sabbatical in summary...

My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.’ 
Oh God, can those words be for me too?
How I long to hear them!
I’m not Moses, but I’m also on a journey – trying to follow Jesus.Some days, life seems like an unmarked wilderness,
and I’m not sure which way to go.
‘My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.’
Yes, I hear you Lord. Help me to trust.Other days, I’m so busy that I don’t stop to listen.
I’m stressed and distracted and frazzled.
‘My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.’
Yes, I hear you Lord. Help me to pause and take time for you.Then there are the days when I do remember.
I walk restfully in your presence.
How different those days are.‘My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.’
Yes, I believe you Lord. Those words are for me. 
Your presence does go with me and give me rest.
Thank you Lord!Amen
Richard England

Fruitfulness on the frontline....

Imagine what God might do if our Mission Area Conference used this resource to think about our mission...
‘6Ms’ of fruitful living:Modelling Godly Character – On our frontline godly character is both developed and displayed. How do we model the fruits of the Spirit where we are day-by-day?Making Good Work – There is dignity and value in the everyday tasks that we do. What would it mean if we saw how our tasks and work can be done with and for God?Ministering Grace and Love – In the light of the grace that God has shown to us, how might we minister grace and love to those we interact with on our frontlines?Moulding Culture -What can we affirm about the way we ‘do life round here’? How can we influence the culture on our frontlines so people flourish more?Being a Mouthpiece for Truth and Justice – How might we become champions of right living and fair dealing on our frontlines and courageous enough to speak up when necessary?Being a Messenger of the Gospel – …