Hawkinge Baptist Church

Hawkinge Baptist Church (May 2014)

I have recently come back from a few days holiday which I thoroughly enjoyed. I went to visit my parents who live in Northamptonshire and one day we went and visited a National Trust Property in the county, called Canons Ashby. I do love visiting such places because they give us a wonderful glimpse of this country’s history and I love imagining what it must have been like living in these properties over the last few centuries. But for me it is always a little bit more special going to Canons Ashby because I have a family connection to the house. My Grandmother and Grandfather both worked for the family who owned the house during the 1930’s. My Grandmother used to be a kitchen hand and my Grandfather was a gardener. It was where they first met and where they worked after they were married. My Gran used to talk about the house and about the one tap that was in the property from which she used to have to take water all around the house. To be able to stand in the kitchen that she worked in and to see the sink and the tap that she must have turned on hundreds of times was really special. It somehow made me feel closer to her and I feel I now know a little bit more about her and maybe understand her a bit more.

One of the things that is so special to me about God is that He understands what it is to be human, He knows what it is to walk the paths of this earth, because He has experienced human life through his Son, Jesus. For some people God is seen as a distant being, unable to understand what it is like to be human, to feel what we feel, but the Bible shows us that in fact the exact opposite is the truth. God knows exactly what it is like to live on this earth, through his son Jesus. Jesus knew what it was to be hungry, to laugh, to cry, to feel pain, to be emotionally hurt, to feel loneliness and joy. He knows what it is to see the beauty of the world and also to be shocked by the way people can treat others sometimes. So you see instead of believing in one who doesn’t understand our life, when we trust in God we are putting our trust in one who truly understands and who wants to help us and rejoice with us and weep with us. And for me, that is a truly wonderful thing.

For more information about the church or if you ever want to talk about Christianity then please contact Ali on 01303 487452 or at aliboddington@yahoo.co.uk. Or you can always come to one of our services on Sundays at 10.30am in the Community Centre. We would love to see you there.

Hawkinge Baptist Church (February 2014)

Recently I saw some photos of a place entitled ‘one of the most dangerous restaurants in the world’. This was not because the food was really, really bad or the Chef was really scary, but because of the journey you had to take before you even got up to the restaurant itself. This once Taoist temple, now tea shop, is situated high up on the cliffs of a mountain and to reach it you need to walk along some wooden planks that stick precariously out of a sheer cliff. You then need to climb up the rock using some chains and footholds that have been worn away over many years and then finally you have a vast set of steep steps to conquer. Now I love my tea, but I think even I might draw the line and have a glass of water instead! As one of the congregation said as I was telling them about this tea shop, ‘I pity the milkman’! But these wooden planks, jutting out of the rock got me thinking about the aspect of trust. To use them , I would need to trust that those planks would not splinter or break away from the rock as I was walking on them, and personally I don’t think I could.

Trust is something that is very important in our lives. Who or what do we trust? When we are making big decisions, when we are given conflicting advice from people, when we are not sure which way to go next, when we are feeling vulnerable, who do and can we trust? Well, there are many people we can trust, though we have to make wise decisions about that as we make our way through life, but I also believe there is someone else we can trust, and that is God. And unlike those planks of wood sticking out of the cliff, I believe we can have the assurance that God is one in whom we can fully trust and one who will not fall away when we lean on him. In the bible there are so many examples of God being trustworthy and faithful towards his creation. He is described as a rock and a fortress, because he never waivers and can be a constant in our lives when all else might be shifting. He is also described as true to his word and one who cannot lie, these are very important characteristics in someone you trust. So if ever you need someone to trust, can I suggest looking to God because ; ‘when you trust in the lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, and acknowledge Him, He can and will make your paths straight’.

Hawkinge Baptist Church (August 2013)

Over the last couple of months I have been spending quite a lot of time in my new garden, as all the plants that were dormant for so long suddenly sprang into life and they have been growing quickly ever since! I really enjoying pottering around the garden to see what plants there are, and trying to work out which are classed as weeds, and which are expensive plants that have been carefully cultivated over many years….and sometimes I must admit I find it quite hard to tell! I like this poem I once found in a book…

The things I sow, somehow don’t grow, I’m sorely disenchanted.

But, oh, what luck, I have with stuff, I never even planted.

But one of the reasons I love spending time in the garden is that it speaks to me of God the creator. I look around at all the variety, colour, the different shapes of leaves and flowers and it reminds me what a wonderful, creative and loving God we have. A popular hymn starts with these words.

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder,

consider all the works thy hand has made

I see the stars I hear the mighty thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to thee, How great thou art.

That’s how being in my garden makes me feel. What about you? What do you see when you go into your garden, or when you visit a friend’s garden, or as you see the countryside on your way to somewhere? It’s worth thinking about the next time you find yourself surrounded by flowers, or weeds, or even a lawn that’s grown up to your waist!

For more information about the church please speak to Ali on 07584 062866 or at aliboddington@yahoo.co.uk

Hawkinge Baptist Church (March 2013)

Winston Churchill arranged his own funeral. There were stately hymns in St Pauls Cathedral and a beautiful order of service. When the congregation said the benediction, Churchill had arranged for a bugler high in the dome of St Paul’s on one side to play ‘Taps’, the universal signal that the day is over. But when that was finished, there was a long pause and then a bugler on the other side played ‘Reveille’, the signal of a new day beginning. It was Churchill’s way of communicating the Christian belief that while we may be saying goodnight and farewell to our earthly life when we die, a new and glorious eternal life is just beginning. It is not the end.

We read in John 11: 25 that Jesus said ‘I am the resurrection and the life; those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.’

At the end of the month, Christians celebrate Easter, the time when we remember and give thanks that Jesus, the Son of God was willing to die on a cross for all humankind. But his death on the cross was not the end of the story because three days later He rose again and was seen by hundreds of witnesses before he ascended into heaven.

Christians can trust the promise given to them by Jesus in the verse I quoted above because he has done just that. He has died and has risen again. And this is something to celebrate at Easter. This is why Easter is such a precious time for Christians, because it speaks of the fact that Christ died to take away our sin and therefore we can live our earthly life knowing that we have been forgiven by God and been set free, but Easter also gives us a wonderful hope for the future, that this life is not the end.

If you would like to know more about the truth of Easter, or the Christian faith, why not join us on a Sunday morning at 10.30am, or come along to one of our Easter services. We will meet at 10am on Good Friday (March 29th) and then on Easter Sunday at 10.30am. We would love you to join us.

For more information about the church please speak to Ali on 07584 062866 or at aliboddington@yahoo.co.uk

Hawkinge Baptist Church (February 2013)

Over the Christmas period I spent a few days up in Llandudno in north Wales. This seaside town has a rather long and impressive pier and on one bright but cold day we decided to go for a walk down to the end of this great structure. As well as the day being bright but cold, there was also rather an impressive wind blowing in from the sea and the further we walked down the pier, the stronger the wind got. In fact it got to the point where you felt you were going backwards rather than forwards and it was a real struggle to even put one foot in front of the other the wind was so strong. By the time we reached the café at the end of the pier we had been buffeted about and looked like we had been dragged through a hedge backwards. I think it is what people describe as ‘bracing’!

It made me think of different times in my life when everything felt like hard work and I sometimes felt like I was probably going backwards rather than forwards! At those time you can feel rather buffeted and bruised and wonder if you are ever going to reach a place where you can just stop and rest. I don’t know how you get through those times, we all have our different ways of coping, but for me it is at those times when I am truly grateful for the love and faithfulness of God. However hard it gets I know that I am not alone, and just as my family were there beside me on that pier helping me to keep going, pulling me along, then I know that at hard times that God is with me, helping me through, giving me the strength to keep going, He is the rock onto which I can cling. I also know that He is always there through the good times and the bad, a constant, unchanging figure in my life who will never leave me, who will never change.

I don’t know how life is for you at the moment. Maybe everything is going well, or maybe life is feeling tough and hard. Whatever your situation, please never forget that God is there waiting and wanting to be part of it, you just need to call on Him.

If you ever want to talk about Christianity then please contact Ali on 07584 062866 or at aliboddington@yahoo.co.uk. Or you can always come to one of our services on Sundays at 10.30am in the Community Centre. We would love to see you there.