Bible Focus

Bible Focus - 24th January 2016

posted 20 Jan 2016, 08:34 by St.Serfs Tullibody-Clacks

The Light of the World (1851–3) is an allegorical painting by William Holman Hunt,, representing the figure of Jesus preparing to knock on an overgrown and long-unopened door, illustrating Revelation 3:20: 
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me".
According to Hunt: "I painted the picture with what I thought, unworthy though I was, to be by Divine command, and not simply as a good Subject.”
The door in the painting has no handle, and can therefore be opened only from the inside, representing "the obstinately shut mind".
Hunt, 50 years after painting it, felt he had to explain the symbolism.  

You have seen Him.         John 9.

Blind man, Blind man,--- So you can see.!!!                                                                                                                   
He's given you your sight.!!!
You boast a miracle.? Nearer the mark
It's a trick, more probably.
I only know, sir, today is light;
Yesterday was dark

Blind man, blind man,      I call your bluff;
Wasn't it you we saw last week  On the edge of the cliff.?
I seem to recall you saw then well enough.!!!

I saw with a sense, sir, so to speak,
That takes care of me.

Blind man, blind man,  your eyes were bright
That time we met you in town.
You even smiled as you passed us all.
Then, you seemed all right.

The moon is bright sir,    The moon smiles down--
But the moon can't see.

Blind man, blind man,   I put it to you
That you made this up in a bid
To be important for a while.
Tell us is that not true.?

No sir, you're wrong.
But what He did
Made me important in a style;
When all is said and done;
For it opened my eyes to what is hid
from those, I reckon, who see too much;
Yet never feel the healing touch
Of God's own blessed Son.

Roland Portchmouth

(Rev W Izett)

Bible Focus - 17th January 2016

posted 13 Jan 2016, 09:11 by St.Serfs Tullibody-Clacks

Many members at St Serf’s are interested in, and support the work of the Gideons, a Christian organisation promoting scriptures, ( the word of God ) and sharing how, through them, lives have been transformed by “the WORD made flesh” ( JESUS ) 
Today we start a new theme…” In the name of Jesus”, considering some of the biblical names for the Lord, the Word, being the first of them.
The latest Gideon news is to hand.What thrilling testimonies to both scriptures in the hand, and Jesus in the heart.!!!!
Last year in the Forth Valley, and Stirling area, 1,100 New Testaments and Psalms have been distributed to schools, colleges and prison.
An exciting story from Guam tells of a man, once an extremely vile person, whose life was utterly transformed by reading such material, and eventually yielding his life to Jesus.
. The exciting lesson, from the Gideons, for all churches and believers, is that we are not merely challenging people to read the Word of God, but that in introducing them to the WORD made FLESH, lives are truly transformed.
A wayward young man ran away from home and was not heard of for years. Later on hearing of his father’s death he did return home. 
At the reading of the will, all were surprised to hear the lawyer relate in detail, of the wayward career of the runaway son. The boy, in anger arose, stamped out of the room, left the house, and was not heard from for three years. When eventually he was found he was informed that the will, after telling of his waywardness, had gone on to bequeath to him $15,000 
How much sorrow he would have been saved if he had only heard the reading through! Many people only half-read the Bible and turn from it dissatisfied. The word says: "The wages of sin is death," but JESUS, The WORD says, by trusting Him,  " the gift of God is eternal life" (Rom. 6:23).
When we hear of sincere conversions through the warm witness to Jesus, by the Gideons, and balance that by drastically falling rolls in the Church of Scotland, we need to humbly confess our failures and our shame to speak gently and graciously about the Lord who saved us.

(Rev W Izett)

Bible Focus - 10th January 2016

posted 11 Jan 2016, 00:21 by St.Serfs Tullibody-Clacks

“I have a dream”, a man once said,
“where all is perfect peace;
where men and women, black and white,
stand hand in hand, and all unite
in freedom and in love.”

But in this world of bitter strife
the dream can often fade;
reality seems dark as night,
we catch but glimpses of the light
Christ sheds on humankind.

Fierce persecution, war, and hate
are raging everywhere;
God calls us now to pay the price
through struggles and through sacrifice
of standing for the right.

So dream the dreams and sing the songs,
but never be content:
for thoughts and words don’t ease the pain:
unless there’s action, all is vain;
faith proves itself in deeds.

Lord, give us vision, make us strong,
help us to do your will;
don’t let us rest until we see
your love throughout humanity
uniting us in peace.

Words © Estate of Pamela J. Pettitt (1954 – 2005)

(Rev W Izett)

Bible Focus - 3rd January 2016

posted 5 Jan 2016, 00:25 by St.Serfs Tullibody-Clacks

In the order of service for last of 2015, I paraphrased some thoughts from an excellent booklet by Chris Goan in his “Listing”

            I can’t resist offering more of his thoughts for the start of a New Year. The writer talks of a time to build

            In his mind’s eye he sees some of the glorious structures from the past. Grand churches and places of worship;- Great Gothic architecture;- Hanging Gardens of Babylon;- All of them, their “human creators” wrongly imagined were build on firm foundations, and would presumably last for ever.

Sadly, not so!!!

His prayer, with inherent warning, is that we beware lest we try to show off our greatness and end by building another Tower of Babel.

            By way of comparison, the writer asks us to regularly view the majestic works of the great Creator God

            The request is to humble ourselves, seek true visions of what is important in the sight of God, and find ways to build on that sure foundation

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and other things will be added unto you.

Keep praying, that as we seek to be God’s people, He may soon bless us with a new ministry at St Serf’s

(Rev W Izett)

Bible Focus - 27th December 2015

posted 5 Jan 2016, 00:24 by St.Serfs Tullibody-Clacks

An absolute gem of a little book called “Listing” by  Chris Goancame my way recently via a friend.

            Thinking about all the “wastage” to be discarded after the giving and receiving at Christmas, I had planned this end of year sermon on having a “rerr auld redd-up” in a spiritual sense.

            Mr Goan’s book has several poems based on Ecclesiastes 3 “There is a time to…..”  The poignant one for today’s message is…”Time to throw away.”

            The writer begins by searching in all his cupboards, ie A tour of history, for boxes and bags of assorted size and shape.

            He picks out weapons of war and hatred, some used by, some used cruelly against the Christians,…” heathen  skulls, split in the name of Jesus.” He talks of Crusaders hoping to earn a short cut to eternity through such efforts.

            A plain wooden box filled with secret compartments of political power, and promotion gained by twisted truth, is next to head for the garden bonfire.

            The tacky see through plastic box of American show- bizz evangelism, where salvation can be bought from “self declared popes of the airways,” is dealt a scathing blow.

            Every new gimmick from multi coloured cassock to day glow crosses, designed to pack the pews and promote a brief sensation of religious experience, are next to come under the axe

wielded by the Master himself.

I pulled out the parcels one by one, and wondered whether there was anything worth saving, but decided that NOW was the time to throw it all away”

(Rev W Izett)

Bible Focus - 20th December 2015

posted 5 Jan 2016, 00:19 by St.Serfs Tullibody-Clacks

God kept the promise that He made long centuries ago;

And sent the little Heavenly Child to this sad world below;

Two thousand years have almost passed, since, on that wondrous night;

The little town of Bethlehem was bathed in Heaven's own light.

But oh Christ did not come to bring a season  of goodwill;

A time of gifts and greetings, and a children's festival.!!!

He came to bring salvation to a world of needy men.

Salvation that we all need today, As much as they did then.

He wants to dwell within our hearts, Transform them by His grace

Just as He turned a cattle shed into a holy place.

He comes to you this Christmas, seeking still an earthly home;

What will you say ?  ---  "LORD ENTERor will you say ,-- "NO ROOM !!"

(Rev W Izett)

Bible Focus - 13th December 2015

posted 5 Jan 2016, 00:09 by St.Serfs Tullibody-Clacks   [ updated 5 Jan 2016, 00:11 ]

Put peace into each other’s hands

and like a treasure hold it,

protect it like a candle-flame,

with tenderness enfold it.


Put peace into each other’s hands

with loving expectation;

be gentle in your words and ways,

in touch with God’s creation.


Put peace into each other’s hands

like bread we break for sharing;

look people warmly in the eye:

our life is meant for caring.


As at communion, shape your hands

into a waiting cradle;

the gift of Christ receive, revere,

united round the table.


Put Christ into each other’s hands,

he is love’s deepest measure;

in love make peace, give peace a chance

and share it like a treasure.

(The One Loaf)

Bible Focus - 6th December 2016

posted 5 Jan 2016, 00:04 by St.Serfs Tullibody-Clacks   [ updated 5 Jan 2016, 00:07 ]

Being cynical (O yes I am!! O no I’m not!! ), with the words of the Perry Como song, ”Catch a falling star” 

I may just get into Panto mode for a spell (oops sorry for very bad seasonal pun !!!)                            

I presume catching a falling star has something to do with lucky charms or “good luck”. 

Suppose for a moment that we could actually catch a star and put it in our pocket, think of the possibilities.  What happens if we pull it out of the pocket with our hankie? Is it lost and trampled in the crowded street.? What happens to it during the ”washing”

Does the star disappear “down the drain”?  And anyway who wants to rely on mere wishful thinking ?  Who in their right mind wants to anchor their faith or trust in ” a falling star”, or a has- been?

In our Advent theme this year, we are considering scriptures that start with the star over Bethlehem, and ultimately lead us to the place where JESUS lay. We start with a phenomenon in the skies and end at the revelation to our hearts, in the fact of a Saviour Jesus Christ. That revelation and truth has no part in a slap-dash pantomime of light hearted entertainment.

This event of the birth of Jesus is the lynch pin to the salvation offered to the human race. 

Although Como’s song says “For love may come an' tap you on the shoulder some starless nights,” and refers to meeting the right girl and “ you wanna hold her”, there are hints there of deep truths. Our Christmas carols do remind us that, Love all lovely, Love Divine, came down at Christmas.

Jesus, that embodiment of love Divine is certainly no ”falling star”, no mere lucky charm, no fading, failing nor passing fad of chance.  Jesus is not “there” simply as a back-up in the pocket for some rainy day”

Paraphrasing what is said in animal welfare circles about a dog;- “Jesus is not just for Christmas”

The humanist, the secularist, the atheist, may beat their theatrical drum and shout as loud as they like,” O yes He is ( only an appendage to “holiday” festivities. )

In turn, we, as Christians reserve our right to say;- “O yes He is;- God’s greatest gift of love given to a lost humanity.

(Rev W Izett)

Bible Focus - 29th November 2015

posted 4 Jan 2016, 23:54 by St.Serfs Tullibody-Clacks   [ updated 4 Jan 2016, 23:56 ]

Bible focus                Nativity play.

This Year……This year can I be Herod?

This year…..Can I be …. HIM?

A wise man …or a Joseph?   An Inn man…or a King?

This Year can I be famous?  This year can I be best?

Bear a crown of silver, and wear a golden vest?

This year can I be starlight? This year can I stand out?

Feel the swish of curtains, and hear the front row shout

“Hurray, for good old Ronnie; He brings a gift of gold;

Head afire with tinsel.  The greatest story ever told                          

Hurray for good old Herod And for shepherds from afar “                                        

“So ,      please….. don’t make me a palm tree!!!!

And can I be ….. A STAR.

We've all been there, haven’t we;- The ego trip, the journey of pride;- the promotion of self.

            Climbing up the ladder of the rat-race, unconcerned who we knock off for our advancement.

            The footballer scoring the goal, who has to run the length of the park sliding on the grass with arms raised to where his video team are poised.

            The speaker at the stamp club who suggests there are only two known copies of a particular item… and he just happens to have both  ( mind you, not too slow to say they cost an arm and a leg )

            The person who puts little effort into his club, but feels popped if he is not invited to the platform at the prize-giving.

            The bakers in recent crisis who milked the system for themselves and left countless others poorer off.

            The ministry of Jesus, revealed in the Christmas season, is truly one of humility. Jesus the master of humility, though He is God acted as though He was one of us, powerful but allowed Himself to fall under the power of the Romans;- The wisest, but allowed and submit himself to be taught by the teachers;- all sufficient but He borrowed, rode on as an ass and lived a life of material and financial insignificance...

Humility means understanding that the delights, pains and needs of others are as important as our own, even though they dont feel so. When we are humble, we can laugh at our self- importance and sometimes, even, set it aside. We can see our own faults and the strengths of others, and we recognize how much we have been given, unearned.

(Rev W Izett)

Bible Focus - 22nd November 2015

posted 22 Nov 2015, 01:36 by St.Serfs Tullibody-Clacks   [ updated 22 Nov 2015, 14:33 ]

God’s Steadfast Love ~

By Deborah Ann

When sorrow greets me,
upon the break of day
I know God
s love . . .
will take the pain away.

For His loving-kindness,
when I am heartbroken
is filled with the promise
ll not be left forsaken.

When Im discouraged,
before depression sets in
I think about God
s love
living steadfast within.

For His kind-heartedness,
is my souls retreat . . .
where my faith and trust
is made in Him, complete.

When my head I lay down,
at the end of the day . . .
I sing praises to my Lord
for the love He sent my way!

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