belonging : we are the body of Christ
Finding our place in the Community of faith
These are not natural talents merely, but gifts imparted by the Holy Spirit to fit the believer for his place in the body of Christ. They are like pipes on a great organ, permitting the musician wide scope and ranged to produce music of the finest quality. But they are, I repeat, more than talents. They are spiritual gifts. [A W Tozer]
watch Heather Holsworth Teach
1 Corinthians 12 [NIV]
Concerning Spiritual Gifts
12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b]
11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Unity and Diversity in the Body
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
And yet I will show you the most excellent way
- The Corinthian church were confused over how they were to function. Find 3 or 4 things that were disturbing Paul about them? (12 verses 1-3) How might these traits impact their times of worship together?
- Paul punctuates this chapter with three statements about God and the origin and purpose of spiritual gifts. He shows us God’s intention for their use in verse 13, 18 and 24-26. Rewrite the statements in your own words and choose one word to summarise each.
- verse 13
- verse 18
- verses 24-26
- Who appoints members of the body to their positions? Why is this significant? (12 verses 28-29)
- Why do we need one another at Carrubbers (12 verse 13)? How would you describe what Paul is getting at here?
- In 12 verse 7 and more in Ephesians 4 verses 11-16, Paul spends time looking at the reason for the gifts. What is their purpose?
- Why shouldn’t all Christians perform the same function? (12 verse 19)
- How can we encourage one other to discover and use our gifts?
- Kelly has been told she’s gifted in teaching but people are struggling to stay awake. But when she comes alongside someone who is hurting, her faith in prayer for them is life-giving and transformational. What do you do if you see who is not gifted for the work they are doing? What do you do for Kelly? (Are there Bible passages that inform your actions?)
- What could you do to ensure that you are using your gift for the building up of the body?
Plan of action
What can you do this week to help yourself or a close friend grow in/discover her spiritual gift?
Without love even the most radical devotion to God is of no value to Him. Let me make sure that sinks in … You can gain all the spiritual gifts in the world. You can take the most radical steps of obedience. You can share every meal with the homeless in your city. You can memorise the book of Leviticus. You can pray each morning for 4 hours like Martin Luther. But if what you do does not flow out of a heart of love – a heart that does those things because it genuinely desires to do them – it is ultimately worthless to God. J D Greear
The Benefits of God’s Gifts: You will be satisfied (you understand your unique ministry/purpose & are better able to discern the will of God at various points in your life). Others will be edified. God will be glorified
Passages on the gifts of the Spirit – 1 Corinthians 12-14, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4v10
Roundtable discussion: Spiritual Gifts in the Church, Josh Patterson and Matt Chandler
There are numerous spiritual gift surveys online
The Pursuit of God – A W Tozer (available free online)
Conformed to His Image – Kenneth Boa
W2W October 2021
We are Saints
Watch the talk and testimony here
1 Corinthians 1 (ESV)
1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
From the overview of how holiness is revealed to us through the bible story… what stood out to you?
How do you feel about being holy/ being a saint? Is that an identity you can relate to? Why/ why not?
We will be looking at a passage from 1 Corinthians, When you think of the church in Corinth, what do you know about them? Why was Paul writing to them?
What does Paul emphasise as he greets the church in Corinth?
What does this passage say about the Corinthian believers’
Are these all true of us (and any believer at any time)? How do you know that?
Which one do you particularly need to be reminded of today?
Holiness is a now and not yet thing – in what ways are we already holy and in what ways do we need to grow in holiness?
To what degree is holiness Gods work and to what degree is it our own?
Holiness is primarily a description of God’s essence (not a mere action or a set of behaviours)- how can we set ourselves apart to reflect God’s holiness in the way we live?
When we see people as holy/saints we see God’s image in their lives. It’s not something we always see in ourselves so need the encouragement of others. How can we speak to/ pray for others in a way that might help them grow in holiness?
(OR What does it holiness look like in the lives of others? How do we encourage others in this?
Holiness is a community project – how has God used others in your life to help you grow in holiness?
Personal reflection: Is there a person you might need to ask for help from in a particular area where you need to grow in holiness?
Look for the word saints in a concordance
A place to belong- Megan Hill
Identity Theft – Megan Kruger
Thirty one truths: who I am in Christ – Bible App plan
Holiness video – bible project bibleproject.com/explore/video/holiness/
W2W June 2021
As we reach the end of Marks good news account of Jesus Christ the son of God, we need to weigh op what following him looks like in our lives and if it's worth it! Tonight we will see what it cost Christ, as well as how those watching the death and resurection responded to the costs involved for them.
But first a testimony of what following Jesus looks like in the life of one of our church family.
Listen to Naomi Sutton's testimony
Read MArk 15:33 - 16:8 again
Jesus chose to give his life. He died voluntarily… breathing his last with a loud cry was not the normal way for a man being crucified. The Centurion and Pilate were both surprised by it but arrived at different conclusions. What surprised you most about Jesus death? Or what is it about Jesus death that causes you to wonder afresh about who he is and what he has done?
- Mark focuses our attention on the Women (mentioned in the death, burial and resurrection passages) Why might he have done that?
- Mark tells us a lot about Joseph, what do we know about who he is, what he did and why is this significant?
- Mark’s account of the resurrection is brief but it has many many reassurances for us in our faith. What are some of the areas we need reassurance in surrounding Jesus death and resurrection? What evidences does Mark give to reassure us?
- Why does Mark make mention of Peter specifically and what do these two words add to our understanding of the gospel.
- Mark finished the book abruptly… what impact does this have on our reading of it? (see notes below if you are left a bit unsure)
- What does following Jesus look like for you just now?
- Mark 8:34 “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.35 For whoever wants to save their life[b]will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” What do you find hard (or unexpected)about following Jesus? We all find things hard at times so be honest and let others in the group encourage and pray for you in this.
- What difference(S) does the it make that the death and resurrection REALLY happened? in what ways can that affect how we view the challenges of the week ahead? (if time be specific about a challenge what is coming up and what truths will help you with it)
Notes on the end of Marks gospel
We saw in the passage today that after Christ is risen. The women who have witnessed all that has happened, are told to go and tell the disciples the good news. And they don’t. they run away in fear.
If I was writing a book about Jesus…. I would have done it very differently… I would have had a nice wrapped up happy ending… Jesus is risen… theres a big celebration… everyone is tweeting the news and sharing selfies with the risen Christ. But that isn’t how Mark ends his account…. And not just because he lacked the technology. He ends his account of the GOOD NEWS with belwildered women too scared to share the news of the empty tomb and the risen Christ.
We need to ask Why?
Why is there no appearance of Jesus mentioned and no great commission like the other gospel accounts have?
As Mark’s account was copied and shared among the early church … they also asked why he ended the way he did? they were unsatisfied… and they added the section we see at the end of our gospels…. Most bibles say that verse 9 onwards was not part of the original manuscript. It reads in a different style to Marks and summarises what happened next from the perspective of those familiar with the other gospel accounts. If Mark didn’t write that bit, why then did he choose to finish so abruptly? Did he die? Did some of the original ending get lost? We don’t know for sure… but we do know that God, and maybe Mark too… intended us to see that the account Mark wrote finishes with an abrupt ending.
My own view and that of many commentators is that Mark leaves us hanging on purpose. We’ve seen all through the book that Mark focuses on people’s response to Jesus; those who you expect to get it don’t, and other maybe more unexpected followers emerge. I think we are left hanging because Mark wants us to think about how we should respond ourselves to what is undoubtedly the BIGGEST event in history.
We begin this month with a testimony from Sue as she shares what following God looks like in her left
Watch Marian share some insights from Mark 14-15:39 before you think thrrough the Questions
Questions for discussion
In your groups go through the passage Mark 14:1 – 15:39 and ask these questions.
Q1 What people do we encounter in this passage?
How did they respond to Jesus in this time of crisis?
How did their response fit with how they had responded to Jesus earlier in His life? Think back over the previous chapters of Mark that we have studied. Are their responses consistent with how they had responded to Jesus before? If they are different, why is this?
Why is it significant that the only people to recognise Jesus for who He is was a woman and a Roman soldier?
List some of the words that describe some of the responses to Jesus. What does this tell us about how they saw Him?
Q2 What can we learn from Jesus as He faces his trial and death? What other passages can tell us of His attitude? How was this seen by the woman who anointed Jesus and the Roman centurion who watched Him die?
Q3 How does the number three feature in this passage?
What does this tell us about God ?
How can we be encouraged by this?
Q4 Look back over the last year, as we have seen our own time of crisis, on what and on whom have you relied as a Christian? Is it God and His word? Is the church and its structures? Is it other people and their teaching? Is it ourselves and our own efforts? Is it the world and all it offers? Is it a combination of all of these?
How much refining do we need? What sort of silver and gold does the Lord look for? What does it look like in our lives?
Q5 How can we help each other bear the ‘refiners fire’? How can we encourage each other not to stumble in a time of crisis? How can we be prepared?
Pray for each other in the light of these responses and ask for the Lord to refine us into gold.
Women to Women April 2021
Mark chapter 12
Before we look at the passage, Lorna Nunn will share a testimony about what Following Jesus looks like for her.
Lydia Hardesty will introduce the passage to us and then we can look at the following questions together
Give to God what He is due because of who He is.
Remember that as Jesus interacted with the religious leaders, He saw and spoke to the heart behind the questions more than He spoke to the questions themselves. As we study these passages, it is important for us to do the same. Let’s take a step back and look at the passages in context, in light of the parable and it’s application—“Give to God what He is due because of who He is.”
Read vv. 13-17
- In Greek, the word hypocrisy illudes to actors in a drama—people who behave differently than they believe. What is they “hypocrisy” Jesus speaks of in v. 15?
- Caesar’s “image and inscription” was on the denarius. Who/what bears God’s “image and inscription?” Look at Genesis 1:26.
- What was the heart-issue of the religious leaders that Jesus pointed out and spoke to? How does this relate to the tenants in the parable?
- What would it look like for the religious leaders to give God was He was due? What does it look like for you and me to give God what He is due?
Read vv. 18-27
- If the Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection (didn’t believe in anything beyond this life on earth), why would they ask Jesus about marriage in Heaven; what was the heart behind their question?
- What was the heart of the problem that Jesus pointed out and addressed?
- How do the Sadducees relate to the tenants in the parable?
- Who does Jesus reveal God to be in vv. 26 and 27? How does this speak to the Sadducees’ heart problem?
- There are many people today who don’t believe in life after death. How does this affect their understanding of who God is? How does this affect how they live? Can they truly give God what He is due? Why or why not?
Read vv. 28-34
- According to these verses, what is God due?
- Jesus partially commended the scribe. But Jesus said that he was not far from the Kingdom of God—not that the scribe had entered the Kingdom of God. What did the scribe get right? Read Hosea 6:6. What was the scribe missing? John 14:6.
- What is the consequence today of trying to obey God without knowing who He really is? Can you think of an example of when/where this happens?
- Is it possible to give God what He is due (love Him; obey Him) devoid of Jesus? Why or why not?
This month at W2W we will be looking at the three time Jesus announces that he will die and rise again.
Join Liz as she shares her testimony of followingJesus
Listen to Kaete introduce us to the passage
and then take some time to think and chat through these questions below. (bold ones are the priority if you are short on time)
Zoom link for the 7:30 W2W meet up is found here
W2W Questions for March Meeting 2021:
Passages: Mark 8. 31-33, Mark 9.30-35, 10.32-45
A few general questions to kickstart:
1) Have a quick brainstorm! In what ways would you say that Jesus’ way of defining greatness is counter-cultural?
2) Just considering these three passages, why do you think Jesus tells his disciples in advance what’s going to happen to Him?
3) What do you make of Peter’s response to rebuke Jesus? Why do you think he does that?
4) We aren’t told what Peter says. But how might we infer that he was setting his mind on man’s interests, not God’s?
5) What do you make of Jesus’ response? What does he mean by calling Peter Satan?
6) Are there times/situations in our lives when we might be tempted to rebuke God? How can our understanding of who God is steer us towards a different response when God does things/says things we don’t quite understand?
7) Personal reflection question - are there areas in our lives where we are ‘setting our minds’ (eg focussing our thoughts, attentions, worries, concerns) on our own interests, not God’s? Here’s an even greater challenge: are we letting these things so distract, so preoccupy our minds, that they inhibit our ability to hear the Lord? Is our fixation on some concern so consuming that there’s just no space to hear from God?
Mark 9. 30-35
8) So often in the Gospels (following the example of His heavenly Father throughout the Hebrew Scriptures), Jesus asks his followers questions, even when He already knows the answer. Why do you think he does that?
9) Why do you think the disciples are afraid to tell him what they were discussing on the road? Are we ever afraid to answer God?
10)Why do you think the Kingdom of God functions this way - first being last, last being first, greatness = serving. What does this kind of greatness look like for us -
individually, but also as a church? More importantly, what does this teach us about our King?
Mark 10. 32-45
11)What do you make of James and John’s request? Why do you think they asked this?
12)V41: Why does James and John’s request upset the other disciples? If you have time, take a quick look at James 3.13-18. Contrast the fruit of the ‘wisdom from below’ versus the ‘wisdom from above’!
13)Jesus concludes his point about Kingdom greatness by referring to his own coming suffering. Why do you think he does this? How does that encourage us, as His followers?
14)Heart check - what preoccupies your thoughts? What do you ask God for? How might Kingdom-mindedness transform some of those things?
Women to Women
Listen to Ruth and Lesley share a testimony and introduction to the passage this week
Who do you say I am?
The disciples accompany Jesus and witness his many miracles and his teaching with authority. They see Jesus calm the storm, walk on water, raise dead people, free the demon-possessed, heal the blind and the deaf. Mark carefully reports the feedback and sentiment of the crowd and the disciples in response to Jesus’ actions (chapter 1-8): amazed, terrified, completely astonished, overwhelmed with amazement. However, the disciples witness the opposition against Jesus, too. Jesus’ family want to take charge of him because they think he is out of his mind (3:21). The teachers of the law proclaim he is possessed by Beelzebub (3:22), Pharisees confront him on eating with sinners and tax collectors (2:16-17), picking corns on Sabbath (2:24-25), criticize his disciples for eating with defiled hands (7:2). People ask Jesus to leave because they incur a financial loss (drowned pigs) while Jesus performs a miracle. Residents in Jesus’ home town take offence at him because they know his family and assume he thus can’t be anyone special.
Through his private and public teachings, Jesus poses the same ultimate question to the people around him and to us: Who do you say I am and what will you do with it?
Read the story of Syrophoenician woman, Mark 7:24-30.
- What does the woman’s reply reveal about her attitude towards Jesus and why was she commended for it by Jesus?
- What does it teach us about the kind of attitude that God is pleased by?
After this healing, Jesus heals a deaf and mute man and is about to dissolve a large crowd that gathered around him in a remote place.
Read chapter 8, verses 1-4.
- The disciples are confronted with the need of the crowd to eat. What does their initial reaction show us?
- In times of need, does our reaction resemble that one of the disciples or the one of the Gentile woman? How would we like to react in the future?
Read verses 10-21
- Why did Jesus sigh deeply at the request of the Pharisees for a sign?
- In what ways can Spiritual blindness be seen in these passages?… what is spiritual blindness? Who is most blind? (Gentile woman, Disciples, Pharisees, etc) and in what way are they blind?
7. What is the cure to spiritual blindness? How does the two stage miracle help illustrate this? v22-26
See also Eph 1:17-18..
8. In verses 27-30 Peter seems to finally get Jesus identity. How has he come to deduce who Jesus is? Is he now seeing something or seeing everything?
Are there any aspects of the Christian life, Jesus’ character, etc… that you feel blind to? Pray with humility that God would open your eyes?
Think of anyone who you know is not yet able to see that Jesus is the Son of God? Pray that God would open their eyes?
How might God use us to do this?
Women to Women December 2020
Getting down to earth
–– Gardening tips from Mark chapter 4
Heather Holdsworth Mark 4 verses 1 - 20
Define and give examples of
- the cares of this world
- the deceitfulness of riches
- desires for other things
from verses 7, and verses 18-19
Next steps for weeds
- How can we help clear the weeds for each other? What has helped you best when things have gone awry?
- Write down what you are going to do this week to act on what the Lord underlined tonight.
Next steps for good soil
- Our spiritual lives flourish as we meditate on the word. Think about a verse that has brought solace, correction or help. Share about the circumstances that made it meaningful.
- At home this week, take Don Whitney’s first 5 meditation methods and enjoy thinking more deeply about your verse.
17 Methods of Meditation
Donald Whitney (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 2014)
- Emphasize Different Words in the Text
- Rewrite the Text in Your Own Words
- Formulate a Principle from the Text—What Does It Teach?
- Think of an Illustration of the Text—What Picture Explains It?
- Look for Applications of the Text
- Ask How the Text Points to the Law or the Gospel
- Ask How the Text Points to Something About Jesus
- Ask What Question Is Answered
or What Problem Is Solved by the Text
- Pray Through the Text
- Memorize the Text
- Create an Artistic Expression of the Text
- Ask the Philippians 4v8 Questions of the Text
- What is true about this, or what truth does it exemplify?
- What is honourable about this?
- What is just or right about this?
- What is pure about this, or how does it exemplify purity?
- What is lovely about this?
- What is commendable about this?
- What is excellent about this (that is, excels others of this kind)?
- What is praiseworthy about this?
- Ask the Joseph Hall Questions of the Text
- What is it (define and/or describe what it is) you are meditating upon?
- What are its divisions or parts?
- What causes it?
- What does itcause; that is, what are its fruits and effects?
- What is its place, location, or use?
- What are its qualities and attachments?
- What is contrary, contradictory, or different to it?
- What compares to it?
- What are its titles or names?
- What are the testimonies or examples of Scripture about it?
- Set and Discover a Minimum Number of Insights from the Text
- Find a Link or Common Thread Between All the Paragraphs or Chapters You Read
- Ask How the Text Speaks
to Your Current Issue or Question
- Use Meditation Mapping [ie, mind-mapping]
Women to Women October 2020
The Good News is Coming
“Who is Jesus?” is one of the most important questions we can grapple with. What names or characteristics come to mind when you think of Jesus?
Mark 1:1-8: The Good News is coming
- Mark, the prophets* and John the Baptist all tell us something about the one who is coming. What do we learn from them about Jesus? (* The quotation is credited to Isaiah as major prophet but is actually combining a quotation from Isaiah and Malachi)
- Before Jesus even arrives on scene, expectations are set… but are they accurate? Have you ever had wrong or misplaced expectations of Jesus? Either who he was or how he might act? Discuss these and the importance of knowing Jesus as the bible reveals him.
- Baptism is mentioned for the first time tho it has its roots in OT Jewish purification rituals (see Lev 13-15) why do you think this is part of the preparation for Jesus’ arrival?
Read again Mark 1: 9-13
- Given what we’ve just said about baptism, why do you think Jesus chose to be baptised?
- Where in these verses can we see the humanity of Jesus, and where do we see his deity?
- Is there anything that intrigues you about how Jesus is both fully God and fully man
- Jesus is tempted. While Mark doesn’t say much about this experience compared to other gospels, what do find encouraging about it being mentioned here?
Read again Mark 1:13-20
- Jesus teaching is defined here in verse 15. What does repentance and faith look like here in Mark and what does it look like in the daily life of the believer?
- What does following Jesus look like in these verses?
- What have you seen in these verses about Jesus that has caused you to praise/ wonder/ think or act differently?
Womwn to Women November 2020
Read Mark 2:1-8:
1. Discuss what it would be like to be in the shoes of various people in the passage. For example one of the crowd, one of the friends or the owner of the house. Think of where they are, what they would be thinking, and the impact Jesus would have had on them after these encounters. Who can you relate to most in the passage?
2. Jesus commends the courageous faith of the friends, they know their paralyzed friend has a desperate need ...and that Jesus was the one who could meet it.
a) Who in your friendship circle or family do you wish knew Jesus? What are the barriers to bringing that person to Him?
b) Jesus saw two great needs and answered both. What needs do you think your friend will find answered in Jesus?
3. Do you recognise the title Son of Man? Why does Jesus use this title of himself?
4. Following Jesus would have been a huge life style change for Levi. What does it look like to follow Jesus in your life? Discuss either changes in your life when you first became a Christian or ways that you could or do live differently now because you follow Jesus
5. How do you think the pharisees reacted to Jesus’s statement in v17 And what does it make you think?
Pause to Pray as a group
The Women's Ministry Team at Carrubbers oversee women's ministry and Women in ministry in Carrubbers under the delegated authority of the elders. We aim to do this in many ways; supporting Karen in her role as Pastoral Assistant for Women, supporting the elders in their responsibility for pastoral care, encouraging and facilitating One to One discipleship and taking a lead role in the flagship women's bible teaching ministry - Women to Women.
The Women to Women ministry comprises of both Evening and Daytime groups all studying Gods word together, encouraing teaching and bible handling gifts, and praying for one another
The women currently serving in a variety of roles, leading groups, serving, writing studies and teaching include:
we'd love to invite you along ...
FRIDAY 4TH JANUARY 2019 @ CCC - 7pm for 7.32
Our heads tend to spin at this time of year as we rattle through responsibilities and delights. 2018 with all its drama is closing as we get set for the many expectations of another one! But before we jump in, there is a pretty special chance to begin 2019 with a bit of intention...
At significant points in their Sinai peninsula wanderings, the Hebrew people set up camp.
They stopped trekking.
They paused from pressing on to the next thing.
They pondered the mystery and majesty of the Holy One they followed.
They focused on a central tent and on the rhythm of their lives, represented there.
They were reset.
On 4th January at 7pm (for 7.32 pm start … coz it might stick in our heads better!) we are going to do likewise. The lower part of Carrubbers is being transformed into that central tent, the tabernacle. We will take time on our own to walk though each section of the tabernacle. To focus on connection with the Holy One we follow. To pause. And breathe. To give Him a chance to finish his sentences! To reset our hearts.
Am a little bit excited at this!
PS Just so you have a little bit of extra confidence, this has been run a number of times in different settings before. It’s been hugely beneficial for those who’ve engaged with it. It’s a little bit exciting too!!!
Good afternoon ladies...
We are REALLY looking forward to starting off our new series in Titus next Wednesday...
We'll be digging into God's word together to encourage each other to grow in godliness in the midst of the culture we live in and church family we belong to.
Come join us for dinner in the cafe at 6:30pm Wednesday 3rd October (email email@example.com to let us know you'll be there) or join us at 7:30pm in the lower hall as we get together around God's word. Please use the side door to access the cafe.
Looking forward to all God will teach us in the year ahead
love Karen x
Life can feel like a mess
Have you ever felt overwhelmed with the messiness of life?
The tensions of world politics, the differing views on gender and sexuality, the breakdown of relationships, health issues, family issues, the striving after money, happiness, grades, status…
... and then we look inside and see the mess our own lives are in… our frustration with people we love, our dissatisfaction with our identity, the mistakes we make and people we hurt… and then there’s guilt when we think about our relationship with God…
Life can feel like a mess…
Genesis three tells us exactly why life is such a mess and despite in some ways being the darkest chapter of the bible, it offers two incredible hopes
- God has a solution for the mess we are in
- God helps us live well despite the mess we are in
Do come and join us as we look at this remarkable chapter on Wednesday night. We’d love to encourage you and each other to see the hope we have no matter what the mess is that we are in right now.
Women to Women, Wednesday night, 7:15 for 7:30pm
Really looking forward to seeing you again on Wednesday coming when Debbie will be bringing us some throughts from Genesis 2 on the purpose of our lives... there is so much on that passage from what it means to rest, to work, and why God made men and women....
Do plan to come early - from 7:15 - for tea and coffee and some fellowship before we get into the word together... if you would like to get to know some people better still, or are coming from work and need to eat first... then a group of people are meeting before hand in Pizza Express for dinner. If you'd like to join them, email Eilidh and let her know you're coming.
Meantime, why not reflect on the passage so you'll get even more out of our time together:
Looking forward to seeing you, Karen x
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Adam and Eve
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.)13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animalsand all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature,that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Discipleship is something we talk about in church a lot but what does it actually look like?
Here are some pointers about how you might get involved in discipleship from the “9Marks” people which I found helpful
- Join the church – sounds obvious but plugging in and being accountable, joining a homegroup and plug into Women to Women where you’ll meet Christians of other ages and varying maturity is a key way to get involved in discipling
- Arrive early at church gatherings and stay late. Intentionally make time to meet and connect with people.
- Practice hospitality with members of your church.
- Ask God for strategic friendships.
- If necessary, budget for the time you’ll spend with fellow Christians so you can afford to have people over or meet up with them in coffee shops or restaurants.
- Schedule regular breakfasts, lunches, or some other culturally-acceptable social engagement with teachable women. Depending on the person, you may decide to meet once, indefinitely, or for a set number of times. If you and the individual share a pastime, look for ways to share that pastime together.
- Ask them about themselves. Ask them about their parents, spouse, children, testimony, job, walk with Christ, and so on. In asking questions, however, do so in a manner that’s appropriate for your cultural context (don’t scare them!).
- Share about yourself.
- Look for ways to have spiritual conversations. Maybe decide to read the Bible or some other Christian literature together. Talk about the Sunday sermon and how you are applying that.
- Consider their physical or material needs. Would they benefit from your help?
- Pray with them.
- Depending on your home situation, invite the person to drop by your house or spend time with your family. Let them watch you live life.
Discipleship happens at many levels in many ways across many types of relationship but the more intentional you are about getting alongside someone, sharing the truth of God’s word together and walking with them as the Holy Spirit does his work in their lives, the more you will see God at work, growing you both into Christ likeness together.
“Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 1 Thes 2:7-8
Andrea Morris writes...
"For where two or three are gather in my name, there am I with them" Matthew 18:20
I have had the joy and privilege to be involved in a prayer triplet for over ten years now.
We began as part of a larger group of about 8-10 praying women in Carrubbers. This group began following conversations in church and in our women to women ministry. As we spoke, we realised there were many issues to pray for that were common to our lives at the time. We met in flats around the city straight after work time, sharing our lives and praying for each other and our church. Precious times to stop, take stock and pray in the busy week.
Eventually seasons changed in this particular group, and we became our group of three. Three seems to work well for us in terms of accountability and balance of characters and life experience.
We meet when and where we can, often combining the occasion with food (scones are a unanimous favourite) Of course, over the years, our meeting together has fluctuated due to the seasons and rhythms of life. Times of life including work changes, study schedules, marriage, relationships, family, illness, travel (we have recently increased our skill set to involve Skype prayer meetings).
But, we have never stopped, we keep on meeting all these years later....
There are many aspects of the group which have made it a spiritual strength to me over the years. These include trust and confidentiality, compassion, honesty, accountability and unity of heart and purpose. We come together to pray just as we are. I feel these women are always there for me to fight the spiritual battle alongside me in prayer.
I have learnt many things from praying together over the years:- First of all, the absolute need for prayer, not just for help and guidance in my time of need, but for the relationship with our Father that comes from talking with Him. To hear another heart poured out to God beside me I find inspirational and it deeply touches me.
I have also learnt from the example of one of our group about coming to Him in worship first, before anything else...it grounds us, focuses us, humbles and quiets our hearts before Him.
We have grown a habit over the years of using His Word in prayer. Standing on it, clinging to it, acknowledging His Truths back to Him in all the circumstances and struggles we bring before Him.
Finally, the closeness and fellowship experienced through the deep bonds of prayer with these two sisters in Christ is precious, even more precious as the years go on. There is a deeper, eternal resonance to our friendship through praying together. I am so very thankful to God for our prayer triplet.
"Trust in Him at all times you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge"
In the image of God
On Wednesday night we explored how God has revealed himself to us as he intentionally and lovingly created the universe. In completing his work, he created mankind in his own image to rule over the world.
Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
This is the start of a big theme in the bible which is core to us understanding who we are and why God made us. The image of God helps us think about what it is to be human and what it is to be Christian
All humanity is made in God’s image
All have dignity and value as all alike are made in His image
Male and Female both have a role in reflecting God’s image
As God is relational so we are made relational
All have capacity to reflect Gods characteristics in the world – to love, to create, to forgive, to be generous and merciful etc
All are given responsibility in the world to care for and rule over the planet as God’s delegated authority
Not all humanity is able to reflect God’s image
When Satan tempted Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit he said they would be like God… ironically that’s exactly what was lost as they sinned… As sinful human’s we can no longer perfectly reflect God’s image in the world.
Only one sinless human could bear the image of God to the world… Christ himself is the image of the invisible God…
When we confess our helpless sinful state, and trust that Christ died in our place on the cross, we can again bear his image and reflect God to the world around us.
1 Cor 5:21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God
We are now "In Christ" – the image of God in us is restored.... This is true now and will be even more clearly seen in us when we are made fully perfect in the new creation...
Take some time to think about the privilege of being created by God as his image bearers
If you'd like to hear the talk from Wednesday night do email me and I'll send you a link.
Unveil: Behold: Transform
As we prepare to begin our Women to Women journey back to the beginning – to God’s first words to us in Genesis 1 – I want to share with you a few thoughts;
- These are God’s first written words we will be looking at… familiar perhaps but also profound and foundational… so come ready to hear them again - as if for the first time.
- They were originally written to a group of refugees who had escaped an oppressive dictator, crossed through a treacherous river and were making their way to the promised land. How encouraging it would have been to have received these words from God himself as he tells them who he is, who they are, and what his plans are for them and the world.
- These words are equally meant for us as we get to know our creator and see where we fit in his world. They will help us make sense of the world we live in.
My prayer for us as we look at Genesis is that
- God will UNVEIL the truths from his word to our hearts
- We will BEHOLD God in his Glory
- And that we will be TRANSFORMED as a result
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” 1Cor3:18
Have a wee look at this overview of Genesis 1-12 on you tube for a wee insight into what’s coming this term
And we’ll look forward to seeing you on Wednesday night- 7:15 for 7:30