Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

6th October 2018

This month, lets spend some time reflecting on Families, and how we are connected to them.


Have you ever stopped to think why you are where you are?

Or have you spent any time thinking about why the people around you are there?


The worlds view might be that this is all just a random co-incidence, just one of those things; But as a Christian I think there is so much more to it than that.


Do you believe you have a caring, loving and compassionate Father in Heaven looking after you?


Lets look at the time you were brought into.


Our Father chose just the right time to bring us into His wonderful world. He made us for this time. He equips us for the times we are in. How do you think you would like living 200 years ago, when the daily routine was so much more about survival and daily chores. How do you think you would fit in to a time so much more restricted and harder than now?


What about living 100 years in the future? Would you be equipped to cope?

I was close to my granddad, and I see him as a patient, caring and loving family man. He cared for his family very much. He was a great engineer in his time. I remember one day when I got a new car and we went out to look at it. He asked how big the engine was, and when I told him, he equated it in his language as 20 horses. That was the world he understood. In my world, it was more like 125 horses because of the technology that was under the bonnet. I think as we grow older we do the same. We fit the things we see into our understanding which I think moves slower than the world around us.


Maybe take some time to think about the time our Father has given us to live in.


Lets look at the family we were born into.


Have you ever stopped to think, that out of the whole world, our Father in Heaven, God chose to give you your mum and dad? Whatever your experiences were during your bringing up, remember your mum was a broken person, trying to make her way through life without even knowing how to bring up a child. She did the best she could in her circumstances. She tried her best, but remember none of us come out of childhood without carrying hurts from our bringing up. None of us! We need to ask our Father in Heaven for healing, for understanding, and for

grace to forgive our parents for the mistakes they made. The same for your dad. Children don't come with instruction books or guides or a wiki page to help. Each of us are so different being a parent is not an easy job! And we all get it wrong! Sorry Angelica.


But here is a fascinating thing, whatever our hurts are, they provide experience we can help others with. God is bringing good things out of the hurts we have through the knowledge we have so we can help others.


What characteristics did you pick up from your dad? For me it was patience and calm. This has been such a gift that has helped me through so many situations. I know my dad loves me, but it took so many years to realise this because he doesn't know how to show his love in traditional terms.


What characteristics did you get from your mum? For me it was a loving a caring nature. This has equipped me well to look after my own family and care for those around me. Gods love extends this so I can be caring and compassionate with those that aren't my immediate family.


Why not take a moment to think about where your characteristics come from?


Just keep in mind your parents did they best they could in their circumstances; None of us can walk in our parents shoes or understand what they faced themselves, or the hurts they were carrying, but we can forgive them, and have compassion for them and show them so much grace.


It might help to think of them for a minute as children. What do you think they would have been like? Then as teenagers, then as young adults. What hurts are they carrying from growing up and from life's experiences?


Remember that when life's pressures and struggles are taken away, your mother and father love and care for you very much. You are very special to them. You are very individual.


Remember as well this is a 2 way street. Your mum and dad, with failings and struggles stripped away by your grace are very special and precious to you as well.


Your mum and dad have been specially chosen for you and are such a precious gift from our Father in Heaven!


What about our Church Family?


If I was asked to say what I thought our Church was best known for, I would have to say its welcoming and loving congregation. There are so many who are willing to get by the side of someone who is struggling with an issue or a going through a season. There are some who are great at welcoming new faces into our Church and getting them connected. There are those that are great at walking with others, trying to share their load and encourage them. There are those with practical skills that help out. There are those that help behind the scenes to help make the Church possible. But I think first time visitors would always say, this is a warm, welcoming and loving Church.


Lets think for a minute, that our Father God in Heaven, put us in this Church for this season to support us, encourage us, teach us and show us His perfect love. He chose this Church and these people to help you and support you. To be there for you. To pray for you and help you. To provide love and support, teaching and encouragement. This is His family He has put around you, to help you in this season.


I think our Church family at Mount Zion is amazing, but it goes further than that. If you go abroad, and meet other sincere and active Christians, it is like meeting a brother or sister or mother or father you didn't know you had. Right from the word go, there is a special connection between Christians, even those that don't speak the same language. That is the love of our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ at work, being family and caring for you, because of our Fathers love for you.


Our Father put you in our Church family because He loves you so much, he doesn't want you to be alone and He wants you to feel at home in His home!


Lets take some time to think about our family, lifting them up in prayer for a touch from our Father and Lord Jesus.


Then lets take some time to think about our Church family, starting with Mount Zion, then thinking about our Family in Heaven, Father God, Lord Jesus, the saints, the Angels, and the one thing that ties us all together. Our Fathers love for us.


Father God, Thank you so much for all the love you have sprinkled on each of us and our families. Thank you for providing and protecting us. Please help us to care for our families the way you car for us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.