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During this time when the church has been unable to meet, our pastor, Andy, has been writing to encourage us.

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Read a book in a month Challenges

From time to time, our Minister, Andy, challenges the church to read a bible book within a month. This is an archive of all the daily posts.

There is a brief devotional, reading and prayer for each day, along side this you can read and post your own comments. Please select the series you wish to read.

All posts are shown in the grid below, click on the title to see the full post and comments.

May 1st 2016 A Listening Heart

Reading Proverbs 1:1-33 Today we begin our month in Proverbs. Much of Proverbs is written by Solomon to his son Rehoboam. It’s a great name for a future king, it means “The people have grown bigger”, I think Solomon has high hopes for his son as he writes these words; he hopes that under the […]

May 2nd 2016 Treasure Everywhere!

Reading Proverbs 2:1-22 When Mackenzie, my middle son was about six, he founded the Compton CofE Primary School Digging Club. It was an unofficial lunchtime club, he and a few friends ‘borrowed’ parents gardening trowels and during the lunch ‘playtime’ dug holes in the sports field! He and the club found a few scraps of […]

MAY 3rd 2016 Great Generosity!

Reading Proverbs 3:1-35 Generosity in action is a beautiful thing, in this chapter we read of God’s continued generosity. God gives faithfully to those who listen to him (vs 3), and a full life (vs 2) to those who store up the treasures of his word. To those who commit their ways to him he […]

May 4th May the Fourth be With You!

Reading Proverbs 4:1-27 As I read through the Proverbs I’ve often wondered why Solomon takes so long to cut to the chase, my favourite chapters are those filled with his nitty-gritty sayings, but Solomon takes time to get there, nine chapters in fact. Why? I think it’s because Solomon knows that the hardest battles in […]

May 5th Danger, Heart-Break Ahead!

Reading Proverbs 5:1-23 As we approach day five is important to remember that Solomon is talking to his son, Rehoboam. This affects his language, as it is the advice of a father to his son. We know too well, there are men who will take advantage of a women as often as women will take […]

May 6th Spiritual Enthusiasm

Reading Proverbs 6:1-35 In Proverbs so far there have been a number of terms that Solomon has used to express the idea of folly; a fool who is “rebellious” (1:7), a fool who is “stupid”, not in mental capacity but heart humility (1:22), a simple, easily led person (1:22) and a scoffer or mocker also […]

May 7th Making Promises With Our Eyes

Reading: Proverbs 7:1-27 Canadian Inuit’s have an intriguing way of catching wild wolves. They coat a dagger in blood, freeze it, then coated again and again and again. By the time they finish it’s impossible to tell, that, under all the frozen blood is a very sharp dagger. They bury the dagger in the snow. […]

May 8th The Choice

Reading Proverbs 8:1-36 In 1994 I found myself in England having left the Royal Hong Kong police. There was a opportunity for me to rejoin my old police force, the Thames Valley Police. However, I decided that I wanted to dedicate my life, my job and my future completely and utterly to God. I knelt […]

May 9th Eat and Live

Reading Proverbs 9:1-18 Imagine yourself working in a hot dry field. The dust is getting everywhere, under your finger nails in your hair and coating the inside of your mouth. Your eyes sting, but there is so much work to do, the only moisture is the sweat beading your brow. The sun is beating down […]

May 10th Simple Integrity

Reading: Proverbs 10:1-32 Yesterday, in Chapter 9, we read that Wisdom has built her house of seven pillars, (9:1). Seven is often seen as a perfect number throughout the Bible, and speaks of wholeness and completeness. Solomon may be saying that the house that wisdom builds is whole and will never fall down. However, many […]

May 11th I’d Rather See a Sermon Than Hear One!

Reading Proverbs 11:1-31 As we hit chapter 11 we can see, just as yesterday, integrity continues to be a major theme. Vs 1 deals with integrity in business, vs 3 with integrity as a life choice, vs 11 tells us that living in integrity has blessings for an entire city, vs 14 a whole nation, […]

May 12th Short legged Words

Reading: Proverbs 12:1-28 We saw a couple of days ago that there are a number of themes that weave their way through the Book of Proverbs, they may be the ‘Seven Pillars of Wisdom’ (9:1). One of those themes is the way we speak to one another and the words we use. We see that […]

May 13th A Hole In My Holiness?

Reading Proverbs 13:1-25 As we read Solomon’s Proverbs day by day, I am sure that there are some sayings that hit us right between the eyes. They express a truth so beautifully and profoundly that we  just say, “Ahhh I always knew that but now I’ve words to express it”. Other times they challenge our […]

May 14th Find Someone No-One Loves…..

Reading Proverbs 14:1- 35 There is a story told that one day a multi-millionaire asked to see Mother Theresa. He waited patiently while the saintly lady looked after all those around her. Eventually, she spoke to him, she simply asked the man if he would like to see Jesus. “Yes”, he replied. She lead him […]

May 15th The Secret of Contentment

Reading: Proverbs 15:1-33 Envy is a horrible emotion. It’s appetite never seems satisfied. It always longs for more, it holds no satisfaction, no one has ever enjoyed it. Envy is the way of self-torment, self-hatred and turmoil. Solomon writes, “Better a little with the fear of the Lord, than great wealth with turmoil.” (Vs 16 […]

May 16th The Root of all our Problems

Reading Proverbs 16 1:1-33 Day 16, we are at are the half way point of our journey in Proverbs, well done if you’ve kept up! But, don’t get proud, Solomon warns us, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (vs 18). Pride is the first of the ‘deadly sins’. Thomas Aquinas said […]

May 17th Love Justice

Reading Proverbs 17:1-28 There is much about justice in today’s chapter: those who are unjust in the way they talk, (vs 4,5,7,9,14,20) the way they act by giving bribes (8,23) and in miscarriages of justice, (15,26). One of the aspects of God’s character that we can rejoice in is that God is just. God wants […]

May 18th The Power of the Tongue (Our Deadliest Weapon)

Reading Proverbs 18:1-24 Again Solomon reminds us of the power of our words: “From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied” (20). I don’t recommend taking verse 6, “A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating”, too literally, however […]

May 19th Nobody Loves You When you’re Down and Out … ( Maybe there is!)

Reading: Proverbs 19:1-29 In the summer of 1973 one of the most famous, rich and popular men on the planet, John Lennon, wrote “Nobody Loves You (When You’re Down and Out)“. The song is written during a period in which he felt disappointment at the perceived negative reception of his work and was experiencing a […]

May 20th A Gentle Loving Saviour

Reading Proverbs 20:1-30 One of my favourite stories is about two brothers who go to church. They are a couple of scoundrels who go Sunday by Sunday only to put a veneer of respectability over their shady business dealings. When one of the brothers dies, the other brother schedules a meeting with the vicar. He […]

May 21st Listening to the Right Voices

Reading Proverbs 21:1-31 In his book ‘If you want to walk on water you’ve got to get out of the boat’ John Ortberg quotes Theodore Roosevelt’s famous words: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them […]

May 22nd Beware of Angry People!

Reading: Proverbs 22:1-29 Two friends William and Thomas were drinking at an all night-café. They got into a discussion about the difference between irritation, anger and rage. At about 1 AM, William said, “Look Tom, I’ll show you an example of irritation.” He went to the payphone, put in a coin, and dialled a number […]

May 23rd Hungry for God?

Reading: Proverbs 23:1-35 In today’s chapter there is much about eating and drinking. It’s always a surprise to me that in the fourth century lists of the ‘deadly sins’, gluttony used to head the list. It was the most significant! Pope Gregory wrote, ‘Unless we first tame the enemy dwelling within us, namely our gluttonous […]

May 24th Assurance and Warning

Reading: Proverbs 24:1-34 Over the years I’ve been given some great advice on preaching, both from the great preachers I’ve met and the preaching books I’ve read. Such as ‘No such thing as a short, bad sermon’ and ‘preach to the broken-hearted there’s one in every pew’. My personal favourite is, ‘In a good sermon […]

May 25th Destroying Our Enemies …. By Loving Them!

Reading: Proverbs 25:1-28 Today we switch back to the Proverbs of Solomon. Interestingly, these proverbs, we are told, were uncovered and copied down under the orders of the King Hezekiah, Solomon’s great, great (and then some) grandson. There was a great revival under his reign; he returned many lost practices of worship back to the […]

May 26th Spiritual Diligence

Reading: Proverbs 26:1-28 As I read today’s chapter, I see many of the same themes we have considered over the last month. As I reflect I ask myself am I growing in these areas, or, have I stalled? Am I putting into practice what I have learnt? Am I merely being informed by Proverbs or […]

May 27th My Jesus, My Saviour!

Reading: Proverbs 27:1-29 The proverb that captures my heart today is verse 20. “Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man.” There are two deep truths here… First, all things are rapidly moving towards atrophy and chaos, things around us, including ourselves, are rusting and decaying; whether we care to […]

May 28th Soften My Heart Lord

Reading: Proverbs 28:1-28 Verse 14 tells us “Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.” (NIV) To be hardhearted is a very sad thing. Perhaps it started with a shrugging of the shoulders to a friend, or to God: for some of us, it started by […]

May 29th Being Stiff-necked!

Reading: Proverbs 29:1-27 When I think of phases that best describe the opposite of a Jesus filled life, there are few better than ‘stiff-necked.’ It carries such a powerful image of a person who is unable to look up and see God, look around and see others, look backward and evaluate mistakes or even look […]

May 30th True Wisdom!

Reading: Proverbs 30:1-33 The final two chapters are each written by a different author: chapter 30 by Agur and 31 by King Lemuel. We know very little about these two. Some have argued that Agur is a nickname for Solomon, or a descendant of Ishmael or even a gentile from a tribe in Northwest Arabia […]

May 31th Living Faith!

Reading Proverbs 31:1-31 The final chapter of Proverbs are written by King Lemuel, however, the words were spoken and taught to him by his mother. Both John Wesley in the eighteenth century and Eugene Peterson in the twenty-first century, tell us that the greatest preachers they ever knew were their mothers. Just like chapter 30, […]

August 1st The Revelation of John

Reading: Revelation 1:1-8 Today we start a new journey reading through the book of Revelation. The author identifies himself as John (1,4,9;22:8). It is widely understood to be written by the Apostle John, the son of Zebedee, the writer of John’s Gospel and the letters of John. It is written to seven First Century churches, […]

August 2nd Mighty Saviour

Reading: Revelation 1:9-19 This is an amazing passage of scripture. John has been placed on Patmos, a Greek island used as a prison camp. Incarcerated for preaching the word of God. However, his prison becomes an open Heaven as Jesus steps into his reality! I love that even prisons, our places of difficulty, pain and […]

August 3rd Do You Love Jesus?

Reading: Revelation 2:1-7 The first message is to the angel of the church in Ephesus. Paul founded this church in about 52 AD (Acts 18). In approximately 65 AD Paul’s apprentice, Timothy, became the pastor (1 Tim 1:3). Tradition tells us that after Timothy, the Apostle John himself became their pastor. After John, at the time […]

August 4th We Shall Overcome

Reading: Revelation 2:8-11 The second divine message is to the Church in Smyrna. Each of the letters have a similar rhythm:an introduction, a commendation, a complaint or concern and finally a correction. There are a couple of exceptions, Laodicea has nothing to commend it, only concerns and corrections while Smyrna and Philadelphia appear to have […]

August 5th Faith that Endures

Reading: Revelation 2:12-17 The church at Pergamum lived in the midst of a corrosive pagan culture, Jesus goes as far as to call it the city where ‘Satan lives’. Pergamum was home to temples dedicated to the Emperor, the goddess Roma and to Asklepios (the god of healing, symbolised by a serpent), and even a […]

August 6th Being Too Tolerant of Tolerance

Reading 2:18-29 I recently heard a speaker at Parliament talk about the pervasive, current culture we find ourselves in. The speaker’s analysis was that we currently live in a ‘victim culture’: a culture where the majority of people feel they are victims. As a result of this mentality, it could be said that disagreement is […]

August 7th Awake or Asleep?

Reading Revelation 3:1-6 I find the words of Jesus to the Church in Sardis terrifying. “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” (1) In the New Testament Jesus always reserves his harshest words for those who claim faith, and for the religious establishment. He calls the Pharisees […]

August 8th Perseverance and Open Doors

Reading: Revelation 3:7-13 This is the second church that Jesus finds no fault with, the first being Smyrna. Philadelphia was a church who held on to God, despite having a number of circumstances we may see as negative: they had little strength (8), suffer persecution (8) and face opposition from some hostile and unbelieving Jews. […]

August 9th Open Hearts For Jesus

Reading: Revelation 3:14-22 Today we examine the seventh and final church: Laodicea. Perhaps Laodicea has the worst rebuke from Jesus; he labels them the church that nauseates him! (16) Ten miles to the east of Laodicea was Colossae, renowned for refreshingly cold springs. Six miles to the north was Hierapolis, famous for its medicinal hot […]

August 10th Here I am to Worship!

Reading: Revelation 4:1-11 The name of the book, ‘Revelation’, is a description of what the book is: it’s an unveiling, a looking behind the scenes of what is going on in Heaven. We often think of Heaven being the place we go when we die, and I suppose it’s not bad short hand. However, the […]

August 11th The Lion

Reading: Revelation 5:1-5 Chapter five begins with devastating heartbreak. As John looks on the heavenly throne his eyes catch sight of a scroll (1) in God’s right hand. This scroll is obviously very special. It is described as having seven seals and is written on on both sides – normal scrolls could only be written […]

August 12th The Lamb of God who takes the away the sins of the world

Reading Revelation 5:6-14 Having found one who is worthy to open the scroll, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, there is a sudden change. Instead of a lion, John looks and sees a lamb, a lamb that looks slain. Shockingly, where once there was a magnificent, regal and noble lion there is a broken, […]

August 13th Putting Things Right

Reading: Revelation 6:1-17 This chapter does not make for easy reading. It describes the opening of the first six seals of the scroll that Jesus was worthy to open, the same scroll that John saw originally in the hand of God. In the Old Testament Ezekiel is given a similar two sided scroll, in which […]

August 14th Sealed and Safe

Reading: Revelation 7:1-17 Chapter six finished with a question in the light of the catastrophes unleashed by the sixth seal: Who can stand? It seems that the answer is, ‘God’s servants will stand.’ Jesus told us that he had come for the lost sheep of Israel, (Matthew 15:24) here, in Revelation, we see the fulfilment […]

August 15th Silence in Heaven

Reading Revelation 8:1-13 Chapter 8 and some of the following chapters deal with what happens as Jesus opens the seventh seal. The first part of this chapter is encouragement for the church. Their prayers are heard and are precious. There is silence in heaven for half an hour. (1) This is an incredibly awesome thing. […]

August 16th The Trumpet Blasts

Reading Revelation 9:1-21 In chapter 8 we were introduced to the seven angels who are given seven trumpets. (8:2) After the silence of the Seventh Seal there is now a great cacophony of trumpet blasts, each with its own woes and judgements. The language here is highly provocative causing our imaginations to be inspired. Also, […]

August 17th Sweeter than Honey?

Reading: Revelation 10:1-11 Chapters 10 to 11:14 provide a kind of interlude between the sixth and the seven trumpets and we are introduced to another mighty angel. I find John’s description of the angel compelling and resonant of other Biblical passages. There are descriptive links with this angel and God; he has come straight from […]

August 18th Being a Faithful Witness

Reading 11:1-14 Today’s reading is full of symbolism and imagery; there are also similarities between today’s reading and chapter seven. Both of these readings focus on the faithful. In chapter seven they were numbered (144,000) and countless (the great multitude). Here, in chapter 11, the followers of the Lamb are depicted as the temple of […]

August 19th Our Ancient Enemy.

Reading Revelation 12:1-13:1 Today we are given a view behind the scenes of the great battle going on in heaven and earth and are introduced to one of the great sources of evil: the great red dragon sometimes called the ancient serpent, who we know as the devil or Satan (9). John sees the dragon […]

August 20 Mark of the Beast

Reading Revelation 13:2-18 Another chapter full of imagery and symbolism. However, if we hold to the view that Revelation is a drawing back of the curtain on events that have been happening ever since Jesus took the throne in heaven, this chapter becomes much easier to understand. Much of the imagery of this chapter is […]

August 21st I’ll Fly Away

Reading Revelation 14:1-13 This is the fourth of seven visions in this section of the book. John sees the Lamb (5:6) and the 144,000 (7:4). I love the picture of the redeemed standing with their Lord, now participating in heavenly worship. Again we are reminded that when we worship here on earth we are participating […]

August 22nd Amazing Grace!

Reading Revelation 14:14-15:8 So far in our studies we have been seeing events that are happening behind the scenes in heaven ever since Jesus took the throne. As the writer to the Hebrews puts it “After making purification for sin he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high!” (Heb 1:3). However, […]

August 23rd The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath

Reading: Revelation 16 We are moving with great speed ever closer towards the great climax of Revelation. In this passage we see that seven angels are commanded by God to pour out seven bowls of his wrath on the earth. Yesterday we saw that when these seven bowls have been poured out, God’s wrath will […]

August 24th Standing Firm Under Pressure

Reading: Revelation 17:1-18 When I read the book of Revelation sometimes the words are so vibrant that I can see the pictures in my mind’s eye vividly, like today’s. Revelation began with a powerful image of Jesus – one that is both beautiful and memorable. Here we have another vivid picture: the Woman on the […]

August 25th The City of Doom is Fallen!

Reading: Revelation 18:1-24 In his musical work “Unveiled Hope” American Christian singer-songwriter Michael Card sings of this City. In his song “City of Doom” he says of this city it is the ‘queen of every dark desire’. I like that; God’s kingdom can be portrayed as Zion or Jerusalem, whereas the enemy’s kingdom can be […]

August 26th The Wedding Supper

Reading Revelation 19:1-10 Earlier in the Book of Revelation we saw silence in heaven. In today’s verses there is an incredible cacophony of worship. Crescendos of worship are sung and said through out God’s throne room. First a large crowd (1-3), then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures we met in chapter 5 […]

August 27th Satan is Defeated – Forever!

Reading Revelation 19:20:15 Wow! These words are AMAZING. In a nut shell – The Lambs wins! Satan is bound then defeated forever! Dead followers of the Lamb are resurrected. Satan and unrepentant sinners are doomed to eternal destruction. The Lamb wins! Satan may be a powerful foe, especially for those living in the shadow of […]

August 28th Every Tear Wiped Away!

Reading: Revelation 21:1-4 At Welcome Baptist Church, I have been privileged over the years to work alongside Mary Dicker, a Christian Counsellor, who specialises in working with children and teenagers. We often ‘hot desk’ my study and over the last 17 years I have found her a constant source of encouragement and wisdom. Knowing today’s […]

August 29th Making All Things New

Reading: Revelation 21:5-27 Chapter 21 is one of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible, our tears are wiped away and all things are made new. The New Heavens and the New Earth are completed and God’s dwelling is with humanity. He is our light, our source and the relationship broken in Genesis is restored. […]

August 30th Paradise

Reading Revelation 22:1-6 In AD 70 the earthly Jerusalem was destroyed at the hands of the Romans. In Chapters 21 and 22 we are given a view of the new, everlasting, true Jerusalem, of which the earthly one was but a dim reflection. Here, in the new Jerusalem, God lives with his people, and because […]

August 31st Come All Who Are Thirsty

Reading: Revelation 22:1-21 The overriding theme for me in this book is that of the Lamb. In the final chapter we have the final picture of him, having won. We see him enthroned, with the waters of life flowing from his throne, with the tree of life from the original garden standing on either side. […]