What would be your name?

Names are given sometimes just because we like them or sometimes because they mean something. Often in history, you will read someone’s name and in brackets it says (Jacob which means Israel) or (Peter meaning Rock). It’s become quite a popular idea lately to call pets by the name of people- old fashioned names that aren’t used for children such as George, Brian or Frank. Whereas years ago, a pet’s name would have been something more like Felix, Bounce or Sooty…

Even with children’s names, there was a time when Susan, Roger, Leroy and Pearl were popular names for newborn babies; but now-er-days people are going for names like Boaz, Felicity, Jack, Poppy, Britney and Zac.

I was listening to the radio in the car on the way to work this week and I heard an interesting name given to a racehorse. Its name was Lord of the Storm.

I wonder why they called it that? It’s not really a pet’s name.

I think I heard somewhere though, that these aren’t really the names of the horses, it’s probably called Ned or GG in the stable, but horses are given names like this, at the races to make them stand out more.

Well this horse that was tipped favourite for one of the races that day, but its name got me thinking. I wondered what made someone think of that name? Out of all the odd name’s horses get in the races such as Red Rum, Raffle King, Hidden Stash – Lord of the Storm; was quite thought provoking…

The Lord Jesus was given other names as well as Jesus. He was called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. He is called Saviour and friend. Immanuel (meaning God with us). He is also often referred to as the Lord over all. He is faithful in times of trial -in the storms of life. He can be relied upon, Jesus can be trusted.

What do people call you? Not just your first name; – but what do people say about you? About me?

Am I/are you reliable? Forgiving? Dependable? Trustworthy? Faithful, kind, generous? If you were to be summed up, how do you think people would describe you?

He loves me, He loves me not…?

Pastor Tim’s New Year thoughts…

The new year is well underway and things are settling down after the festive period. It’s strange to think that all the efforts that went into Christmas are in the past now and life is just as it was before we all started feeling Christmassy!

However, Christmas isn’t such a blessed time for everyone, and some people even struggle with the whole thing. For some people, Christmas conjures up sad memories – bygone times of joy that these days reiterate the memory of loved ones who are gone. Others dread Christmas for the stresses that come with it- the fear of family rows or worry about financial difficulties.

For varying reasons, there are many people who will look back fondly over the past few weeks yet there will also be many people within our communities who will be glad to see the back of Christmas altogether.

In the Bible, we read that Jesus had time for all the people he met. He came to seek and save the lost and he showed love and compassion to the broken hearted. He instructs his disciples to do the same- not out of fear to keep in his good books, but because we love him. He says to his disciples, “If you love me, obey my commands.” He doesn’t say he will love us if we obey him- he loves us anyway; so much so that he willingly went to the cross at Calvary to take the punishment we deserve because of our sin so that we can be reconciled to God.

This new year has started the way last year ended. We are still helpless sinners in need of new life from the Saviour.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean there won’t be disappointments or suffering anymore, but it does mean we can rely on Jesus for strength in those times and He said in Matthew’s Gospel 11:28, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Also in chapter 6, Jesus teaches us to seek him first and all the other things will fall into place so do not to worry about tomorrow.

At SPC we are committed to sharing the love and good news of God with you. We would be delighted to tell you more about Jesus and perhaps this year, 2017 would be the year that you come to know Jesus for yourself – your outlook on life will be different, you will receive his peace and forgiveness and will know the blessings of the Christian life. No fear about the future because God has you in his hand, no worries about being alone because he promises to be with you until the end, no fear of condemnation because God removes your sin as far as the east is from the west. You will be adopted into his family and you will be assured in your faith because God has a plan and a purpose for you.

He restores families, he heals the sick and he binds our wounds. God gave Jesus to the world in love, his name means God with us, not for a little while, nor is it performance based; he will never forsake us.

Look out for various events at SPC in the coming months and let’s enjoy a happy new year together!