November 2023

‘Broken Signposts’!                                                                 Wednesday 1st to Saturday 11th November

‘These are three things that will endure – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.’ 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)

Tom Wright, theologian, remembers being on holiday touring through narrow country lanes and discovering that many of the signposts were broken! He uses this illustration to suggest the Bible gives ‘signposts’ that will give fullness of life and salvation to all creation, the world, its nations and us – however, the culture and practices of our world have broken the signposts! Paul directs us to 3 signposts. The first is: ‘FAITH’!  What Paul means is that those who trust (have faith) in God implicitly and wholeheartedly will endure through every circumstance of life – and keep us in fellowship with God and His ways! However, today it seems, what matters are ‘faiths’ rather than ‘faith’! This leads to discord, argument, mistrust – and the world sets about destroying itself. Faith is a trusting personal relationship in which we encounter God and His salvation – not a tradition, or argument or community identity!

Pray for our world of competing faiths and doctrines! Pray for the world to seek God, His ways, and His saving grace, rather than the pursuit of power, with weapons that destroy neighbours! Pray for spiritual renewal and revival and for the people of every nation to be led by the Holy Spirit to seek and accept the salvation God provides in Jesus.

Hymn: ‘Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him, How I've proved Him o'er and o'er,
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, Oh, for grace to trust Him more.

I'm so glad I learned to trust Him, Precious Jesus, Saviour, Friend,
And I know that He is with me, Will be with me to the end.’

Think about your own faith and trust in Him. Give thanks for all His goodness and mercy towards you – and pray for faith to trust Him more!

Pray for the peoples of Israel and Palestine. Pray that world leaders will focus their efforts, not on recriminations and arguments over rights and wrongs, but on the overwhelming need for an end to the violence and bringing aid to those who are suffering, on whatever side of the conflict. Pray that the value of every life will be recognised, and the human rights of every person respected.

Pray for the people of Cambusbarron and particularly those who are struggling with health issues or financial problems. As we move towards winter, let’s pray for the Hub and for those who come seeking warm shelter or the warmth of company. Pray for those who provide this service – pray they may be blessed. Pray for happy times of fellowship and pray that meaningful conversations will bring faith as well as comfort to those who attend. 

Hope!                                                                                       Sunday 12th to Saturday 18th November

These are three things that will endure – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.’ 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)

If there is one theme everyone agrees is needed – it is HOPE! Yet, the signpost is broken! Hope has been turned into hoping – without any foundation or real prospect. Indeed, for so many – hope has died! Hope has been turned into reliance that one side’s weaponry is more powerful than the other! Everyone knows the signpost is pointing to destruction! It does not have to be this way; God is in charge of His creation and our salvation! ‘I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For He has dressed me in the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness……The Sovereign Lord will show His justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise Him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, filled with young plants springing up everywhere.’ Isaiah 61:10,11. Let us pray to God with real hope – expecting! Not hoping!   Hymn: ‘My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. …..When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found; In Him, my righteousness, alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.’

Remembrance Sunday – ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow, we gave our today”’.
Was there ever such an act of faith, hope and love? Pray with a heart and mind full of thanks for the sacrifices made to secure your freedom, your hope and a brighter tomorrow for us all!   

Let’s remember the people of Ukraine. There are many who have been in Scotland for more than eighteen months now – relieved to be here but missing other family members and wondering if they will ever be able to return to their former lives. For many who remain in Ukraine, life is bombardments, shortages of everyday needs and fear. Ukraine is a nation that believes in God - pray they may put their trust in God who is with them now, and in their brighter future!

Let’s pray for those affected by Storm Babet pray none will lose hope! Pray they will see beyond today and find encouragement in support from family and the community and pray there will be funding to help people to rebuild their homes, to replace lost possessions and to recover their peace of mind. Pray also that they will be kept safe for the rest of this winter.

The Christmas Shoe Box Appeal boxes will now be well on their way to people in Romania, Albania, Moldova, Bulgaria. The recipients live very poor lives all year round and are so grateful for the gift of a shoebox full of presents from someone they have never met! Let's pray for those people all year round and not just at Christmas. Most of all, let’s pray they may find the gift of salvation through Jesus who came to save them!

Love!                                                                                         Sunday 19th to Saturday 25th November

These are three things that will endure – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.’ 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT) ‘” You must love the Lord your God with all thy heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: “Love your neighbour as yourself”’ Matthew 22:37–39 (NLT).

LOVE! This ‘greatest’ signpost is the most ‘broken signpost’ of all!! When asked about the most important commandment, Jesus directed the Pharisees to love for God and love for your neighbour! Very few of the latest generation (called generation Z) know anything about God and the Bible and therefore few ‘love’ God! Far from ‘loving your neighbour’, so many nations are at war with their neighbours! Far from loving each other, there is far too much violence – social media is awash with hatred, intolerance and threats of violence and abuse such that the world is alarmed at the state of our culture! Broken signpost’ indeed!

God’s way (direction) is the way of love – love for God, love for neighbours, love for each other, and love for our enemies!

Hymn: And can it be that I should gain, An int’rest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be, That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?’

Give God thanks for His love, such love! Meditate on His sacrifice that gives us salvation – such love! Ask God for the strength to show His love in all we do! From the Hymn:When I needed a neighbour were you there, were you there? ... I was hungry and thirsty, were you there, were you there? ..I was cold, I was naked, were you there, were you there? …When I needed a shelter were you there, were you there? ..And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter, Were you there?’

Pray over the challenge to show His love in our lives each day – to all those in any condition and in need of any kind! Ask God to show you personally each day, those you should love more. Ask Him to direct you to those you can help today!

Knit & Natter Group – give thanks for the faith and fellowship in this group and for their work for Remembrance Day and for Christmas. Pray they may continue to be blessed in their time together. Pray for the newly formed Scripture Union meetings in the Primary School. Give thanks for the volunteer team leading in this work and pray they may be encouraged by the attendance and pray their work will bring faith, hope and love to the hearts of young people – and staff!

Pray for Graham and for Angela – we are now deep into the autumn programme and as winter approaches there is an ever-increasing burden on fewer and fewer workers and helpers. Pray for others to come forward and assist. 

Christ the King!                                                                       Sunday 26th to Thursday 30th November

‘This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honour at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any power or leader or anything else in this world or the world to come. And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the Church.’ Ephesians 1:19-22 (NLT)

This is Christ the King Sunday. It is the last Sunday of each liturgical year and the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, or Christ the King. It celebrates the certainty that Christ will return to reign and His order and rule will be such a wonderful blessing for His people throughout eternity! Selection from Hymn:

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun, Doth his successive journeys run;
His Kingdom stretch from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

People and realms of every tongue, Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim, Their early blessings on His name.
Blessings abound where’er He reigns: The prisoner leaps to lose his chains,
The weary find eternal rest, And all the sons of want are blest.

Given the state of our world today it is so easy to fill these pages with the troubles and disasters caused by humanity – so let’s reflect on all that is good and give God thanks for all His goodness to us and let’s look forward to the reign of Christ! Take a few moments now to thank God that we live in peace; that we have as much water as we need, we have food and shelter. We have access to doctors and hospitals when we really need them. We have freedom to worship as we wish. We have freedom to travel. We can generally meet with friends and relatives when we wish. So many things we take for granted! It's almost impossible to imagine what it would be like to have all those things taken away. But one thing we have above all else, which no-one can take away: we have hope. The certain hope of God's love for us and of our salvation. That's surely our greatest blessing!

Give thanks for the leadership in our Church in Cambusbarron. Give thanks and pray for Angela and her work amongst us which is appreciated by so many and very valuable. Pray for Graham and Angela as they tend to those nearing end of life or those reliant on care support and needing the help of the church community. Pray for Graham there are so many unfilled jobs in the church and Graham is often left coping with matters that others should do. Pray Graham may be guided in how best to offer Bible Study to as many as possible in the coming months. Give thanks for his ministry and pray he, and us, will be encouraged over the coming Christmas period.