church of promise

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OVERFLOWING WITH ... CORNFLAKES!!!!

March 2015

by Margaret Steedman, a leader of the Church of Promise

Usually 9 am phone calls to our house involve some amount of stress as it is most likely to be someone in a panic needing something now. This morning the phone went at 8.30 am, and yes, it was someone needing something we can't do within 2 hours, but then the phone rang again at 9 and it was Sarah, from a Lincolnshire church, working with Kelloggs on a 'give every child a breakfast' initiative. She had found us on the web and realised we might be able to help.

We love to help our community and one of the ways we do this is with the local Foodbank. Our church family is strongly connected to Newark Churches Together and the FoodBank is a practical way to help. Sarah said she had some boxes of cereal that are to be given away free to families... but how many could we take?!!

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A room full??!

She explained she was coming through Newark that same day, and could we help? I obviously said yes, and then asked if she realised Newark had a foodbank. She did, and had phoned the Newark Foodbank hotline a few minutes previously but had no reply. I assured her we could pass some on to the foodbank as the co-ordinator was a member of our church. Then I asked could I clarify the criteria because I actually work for a children's charity and could they be given away to any family? There was a moment's silence, then Sarah burst out, 'oh wow, yes, I knew you were going to be the right people. This is brilliant, just give them away to families, oh wow, how many can you take?'

 

The End result is there are 64 crates of rice crispies and cornflakes at our house and some are already on their way to families in Newark with love from the Church of Promise!


To find out more about this God of love, why not come and join us at 10.30am on Sunday mornings - be assured a warm friendly welcome awaits you!

 

BAPTISMS - DECLARING THEIR LOVE FOR JESUS

March 2015

by Lewis Lack, a leader of the Church of Promise

One of the special events for a New Testament church is when one or more of their Christian brothers or sisters decides to follow Jesus' command to "Be Baptised". This is a special because that decision is one that needs the person to consider very carefully how much they love Jesus and if they really want to follow Him through their life. So when 2 of our church family members, Sarah and Mandy, decided to be baptised, we were excited as this would be our 1st baptism as Church of Promise.

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So on Sunday 22nd March we gathered together with friends and families of Sarah and Mandy to listen to their stories of how God had led them to this point and to celebrate God's love as they were baptised.

Click here for video presentation:

 

 

 

 

After the service we shared lunch together and there was exactly enough food for everyone.. well maybe a few baskets left over! What an amazing day.


To find out more about this God of love, and why people get baptised, come and join us at 10.30am on Sunday mornings - be assured a warm friendly welcome awaits you!

 

GOD ANSWERS PRAYER AND CHURCH OF PROMISE MOVES!

September 2013

by Lewis Lack, a leader of the Church of Promise

Over the past 7 years Church of Promise has moved their meeting place a number of times as God literally opened doors for us to meet in specific buildings. Whilst we have been very grateful to the hosts who made their building available, it became clear in 2013 that God had a bigger plan and this involved two church communities and a building!

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What became clear is that God had been speaking to the Winthorpe Road church family and their pastor, Julie Knighton, approached our pastor, Robin Steedman, to explore the possibility of our churches combining.

As we began to pray and consider this option, another pastor in Newark, Carl Meacham of the Evangelical Church, mentioned in a passing conversation that perhaps Church of Promise should consider combining with the Winthorpe Road folks. He had no idea that this was an option we were already considering! God used him to confirm that this was definitely on God's agenda!

So over the summer of 2013 we met on alternative Sundays for a shared worship service and what we found was God confirmed again his plan as we found this process very relaxed and we soon connected with each other as God's children.
On 15th September we met as one church family after having agreed in our separate congregations to combine and also working with the Baptist Union to work out the official details. We were delighted to have Pastor Carl Meacham to come and preach on that same Sunday and that was not planned - another sign of God's blessing on us.

We are full of thanks to our amazing God who has again shown his love to us in providing an opportunity to come together with our Christian brothers and sisters to share God's work in the local community in the Winthorpe and York estates as well in the wider Newark area.

To find out more about this God of love, why not come and join us at 10.30am on Sunday mornings - be assured a warm friendly welcome awaits you!

 

FOOD AND ANSWERED PRAYER!

March 2013

by Lesley Marshall, Foodbank Coordinator

The Newark Foodbank was opened a few weeks ago to the people in Newark and the surrounding area with a lot of prayer and support from the local churches. As well as giving our the basic essential food to clients, the Foodbank team also want to bless them with 'luxuries' such as toiletries and toothpaste and brushes which in fact are not really 'luxuries'! But if you have no money for food then you are not even going to think about whether you can afford to clean your teeth, are you? But how much more dignity and self respect would you have if you had had a shower and been able to wash your hair or if your teeth felt minty and fresh? So we wished and sighed and hoped and prayed that we could bless our clients with more than the basic essentials. God was listening!

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Well a week or so ago, a lovely man popped his head around the door and asked for help in bringing in some donations.

But of course we could help him bring in some donations! And in we brought some donations of......can you guess!!...yes toothpaste and toothbrushes!!! These brushes were all individually wrapped with a tube of toothpaste, some for adults and the children's ones also had a little egg timer in each packet so the children cleaned their teeth for the right amount of time. How marvelous is that! We thank the LORD for answering our prayer.


Oh but wait, I didn't tell you how many there were. There were four cardboard boxes full - enough for many many many families. Not only did God answer our prayer, but He answered with abundance!
Oh but wait, there's a coda! That same afternoon some clients came in.
Have you guessed what they were really short of - of course, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Did our clients feel blessed? Absolutely
- they couldn't believe the kindness and generosity

This shows so much of our God's love - even to provide a toothbrush for the needy in our community and the Foodbank is just one of the ways the local churches are supporting the local community, blessing them in the name of the God of love.

To find out more about this God of love, why not come and join us at 10.30am on Sunday mornings - be assured a warm friendly welcome awaits you!

 

AN OPEN DOOR - CHURCH OF PROMISE MOVES

January 2012

by Lewis Lack, a leader of the Church of Promise

Meeting in the afternoon has been a sacrifice for some of our church family and in fact some sadly found that just too hard and moved on. The leaders of Church of Promise asked God to open up a way for us to meet in the morning and the whole church joined together to seek God. Well clearly God had a plan and we have moved...

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What we did not know is that God had prepared the way for us to use a building in Newark that was not so obvious! Merkur House is a warehouse with a number of internal rooms. One of our church members is part of a team that already use the warehouse bit but did not need all the internal rooms. So after a look around, some discussion and of course prayer, it was agreed by all that this could be a new meeting place and that God was opening a door literally for us.

After a few weeks of hard work by the church family cleaning and painting, the building was ready. We were even given chairs and tables to setup our main meeting room, and curtains and shelves for children's The Ark club room. So on Sunday February 19th we met at 10.30am in Merkur House for the 1st time for our Sunday service.

God also provided a few other things at just the right time such as a communion table and chairs that became available from a local Baptist church that closed. This church also donated plates, glasses and cutlery as lovely gesture towards our new church.

As we approach our 5th Birthday this Easter, we are so grateful to God for His love shown towards us as we have followed Him on our journey from Coddington Community Centre, to The Congregational Church and now on to Merkur House. We are excited to see what He will do next!

Come and join us at 10.30am on Sunday mornings - be assured a warm friendly welcome awaits you!

 

FROM DEATH'S DOOR TO FRONT DOOR IN 6 DAYS - THE STORY OF AN AMAZING HEALING

December 2010

by Lewis Lack, a leader of the Church of Promise

On Tuesday 7th December 2010, a daughter of a Church of Promise family was found at home unconscious by her sister, having gone into a coma due to her diabetes. She was rushed to hospital and the doctors found her blood sugar levels were 80. They told her family that it was unlikely she would recover as most people die when blood sugar levels go beyond 70. In addition, the doctors said that her body had been subjected to ketone acidosis for over 12 hours and was not responding to treatment.

Late in the same afternoon on the same day, the family asked their Christian friends to pray.

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Her mother later said that when she got to the hospital and asked which bed her daughter was in, the nurses pointed to a bed but it didn't look like anyone was in it. Her body was so dehydrated that she had become very thin.

So we prayed straight away and then continued that same evening as we met for our regular prayer time together. On Wednesday her mother visited again and found that her daughter was responding to her voice. The doctors said this was a amazing but not to expect her to speak again as the brain damage would be so serious.

By Thursday she asked her mother for a glass of water. By the end of the week she was having a conversation with her family ... and the doctors said this was a miracle! Every symptom they had observed suggested this person was at death's door, and about to go through it. The God who raised his Son (and a few other people) from death, had another plan though!

The latest news is that the daughter was discharged from hospital on the morning of Monday 13th, just 6 days later, and went out in her car to do the food shopping in the afternoon! This despite only being allowed off the ward in a wheelchair the day before as she was so weak.

The daughter continues to improve and we give God all the praise and glory for His healing touch.

 

THE MIRACLE OF OUR NEW MEETING PLACE AND TIME

June 2010

by Lewis Lack, a leader of the Church of Promise

On Sunday 20th June 2010, we will meet for the first time at our new meeting place, the Congregational Church building on London Road, at 2pm. How this has come about is a miracle in itself. This church building is one of the few church buildings that our Pastor, Robin, has not been in since he arrived in Newark over 20 years ago. We have been looking for a new more permanent home for Church of Promise for over a year but had never considered this building.

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Just before Christmas 2009 we were given a very specific promise that God would provide a new meeting place by Easter 2010. In human terms there was no way we could raise funds to do this unless God provided. At one point we thought that God was opening a door to use another empty church building in the town but this did not work out. Late in March at a "chance" meeting between Robin and Bob Franklyn, Mission Support Worker at The Congregational Church, Bob told Robin that God had been speaking to him about sharing their building with Church of Promise. It was at the end of the Easter March of Witness that Bob sought out Robin in the crowd to tell him that the Congregational church were willing to meet Church of Promise to discuss how we might share facilities.

 

  Since then we have met with a group from the Congregational Church to discuss the arrangements and practical things. A week ago the the Congregational Church gave unanimous support to offer Church of Promise the use of their building for meetings. So with grateful hearts and excitement at what God will do next, we will meet in the Congregational Church building for the 1st time on Sunday 20th June at 2pm. If you are looking for a church in Newark, we would love to see you on Sunday afternoons at the Congregational Church on London Road.

 

HOW DO YOU SEE GOD?

June 2008

by Margaret Steedman, a leader of the Church of Promise

I'm sitting in the front room of a delightful cottage in Edinburgh writing this. The cottage is surrounded by the most overgrown garden you've ever seen. There are roses that, so I'm told, are seriously old. Some of them are older than me and I'm no spring chicken! Bluebells are growing in every little crack they can find, even in the middle of the path. There are Rhododendrons, Broom, Michaelmas daisies, ferns and even rhubarb and chives!

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According to my husband there are cabbage-type plants growing up one side of the path that when past their best apparently straggle all over the path. Now this puzzled me for a while: although the garden is well stocked with many things I don't know the names of, I was pretty sure there were no cabbage plants. Cabbage plants in the front of a Victorian rose garden? On arrival I checked, and, for those of you that are gardeners, they're actually Elephant's Ears. And for those who aren't, they have large green leaves with pretty pink flowers. Good job I didn't spend the journey looking forward to cabbage! It reminded me of something my grandson told me. The other day when we were shopping, he said you have to be careful of jam doughnuts. Not frightened, he explained, just careful. This was a new thought to me.

 

I have always been very wary of anything that remotely looks like custard, but jam doughnuts? Apparently ring ones are fine, but the jam ones, well, they can just explode! If you're not careful they go whoosh! I shall never look at a jam doughnut in the same way again, nor a cabbage, come to that. It all depends how you look at things, doesn't it? One person sees a cabbage plant and another sees Elephant's Ears. One sees a doughnut and licks their lips, while another dons protective clothing and calls for their grandma. It's like this amazing garden: some people say they are closest to God when in a garden. Me, I'm closest to God walking along a beach.

 

The vastness of the sea makes me think about how great he is. I can't see the end of the water, and that's how I feel about God: no matter how much I read my Bible, or go to church, I never get to the end of him. I can't control the strength or the frequency of the tides, nor can I tell God what to do, or how. Once he divided a sea, parted to make a path for those fleeing persecution, and the God that did that loves and knows me. Loves and knows me so well that he says he even knows how many hairs I have on my head. My God amazes me. What would you see? Cabbages or pink flowers? Doughnut or potential mess? An amazing God who loves you, would part a sea for you or, well, you need to fill in the gap. How do you see God?

BLACK AND WHITE, WORRY AND PEACE

May 2008

by Lewis Lack, a leader of the Church of Promise

Black and white, light and darkness, hot and cold. You can only appreciate fully these opposites when you have experienced both of them. If you lived in a black dark cold place you might never realise what it meant to be in a white, light and hot place. You might also be quite contented with your situation and not realise the benefits of experiencing whiteness, light or warmth.

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Anxiety stress and worry are often the realities of life these days. There are many things that drive us down a path of misery, despair and even depression. These include: keeping the kids occupied in half term, the price of petrol and whether we can afford to use the car, mortgage and loan payments, job security and pension provision. I am sure you can add many more. The headlines of the daily papers are a record of the things that cause millions of people to worry.

Christians talk about having peace. In fact Jesus said to his disciples "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives." it was a big stretch for them to understand what he really meant. Heavenly peace was not something they had experienced before.

Yet the reality for many Christians including myself is that God takes away the anxiety and worry about all these life responsibilities. Yes we still have to face them, but we know that God will take care of them ... after all He has the master plan. Jesus gave some very wise advice to the people he met "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?"

He went on to tell them that our priority should be to seek after God who knows what we need and will take care of us and give us His heavenly peace. Instead of worry, He gives us faith as we learn to trust in Him and enjoy his heavenly peace. So next time you find yourself worrying, why not ask God to help and give you His heavenly peace. (you can read about this in Matthew 6 verses 19-24 at http://www.biblegateway.com)

HEART SURGERY

February 2008

by Margaret Steedman, a leader of the Church of Promise

I'm writing this the week I get married. By the time you read it I will have taken my vows, eaten the cake and paid for the reception. The best man will have made everyone laugh at the expense of my new husband, someone will have got the time wrong arriving either too early or too late, and I will have remembered that one last thing I wasn't supposed to forget but far too late to do anything about it. And, most importantly, I will have given my heart to someone.

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Funny things hearts. When you see a real one it doesn't look anything like the red, perfectly shaped ones you see on cards or chocolate boxes. Real ones are far less picturesque! The dictionary defines 'heart' as the centre. The very core of me, in fact, the bit that makes me me.

The Bible says hearts can be hard or soft, a bit like eggs really. Apparently they can faint, be kind or wise. It says that all of us look at the outside, how good looking someone is, how fashionable etc. whereas God, well, he looks at a person's heart, what they are really like. The Bible also says hearts can be broken. Mine has been.

Do you know why Jesus came to earth? In Isaiah it says he came to 'heal the broken hearted' and that 'a bruised reed he will not break'. So if you're hurting, in emotional pain, feel rejected or bruised and had enough, Jesus came for you.

Over the years I've known people say that they're not good enough yet for God, he wouldn't be interested in them, apparently their lives are too much of a mess. And yet, actually, he would say that those are just the people he's come for. He says he's come to give them hope, and a future - that's in the Bible too. And, of course, as I already said, he's come to heal the broken hearted.

Is that you? It's been me many times, I'm not ashamed to admit it. The only difference between us might be that at those broken times I knew how to trust God and let him heal the brokenness and perhaps you've never done that. I think it starts in the mind, just a thought that maybe he's real and maybe he cares. And then somehow it travels down to the heart, realising he does love you and he is here, and he does want to do something about your pain. That's how it was for me. To those who will let him, He's the repairer of broken hearts. Even yours.

HOW LONG IS ETERNITY?

January 2008

by Lewis Lack, a leader of the Church of Promise

How long is eternity? Now that is a big question! Most of us live for 70 to 80 years and so it is very hard to get our heads around the idea of eternity. Many trees have much longer lives than humans. Locally, the Major Oak is estimated to be 1000 years old. Some years ago I had the opportunity to stand at the foot of a Sequoia tree in the Sequoia National Forest in California. It was an incredible sight to look up at these gigantic trees that were young saplings when Jesus was alive around 2000 years ago.

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So how about living for eternity? The bible tells us “God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Think about the best days in your life … days when the sun shone, life was definitely worth living, maybe you were falling in love or you had a wonderful time with some friends or a fantastic holiday. If you are like me, you wish these days would "last for ever". Some people even go to extreme lengths to extend their lives and slow down the ageing process.

Christians believe that our lives on Earth are just the start of an eternal relationship with a loving personal forgiving God. So for a Christian, every day on Earth is another day to get to know God better in preparation for eternity with Him. I have met Christians whose lives on Earth were drawing to a close. What struck me most about them was their peace and readiness to move on to the next part of their eternal life with God. For them God was no stranger or remote being, but rather a close personal friend, someone who they trusted, whose promises were always kept, and with whom they loved spending time.

At the beginning of a new year, maybe all we can think about is the year ahead of us. But our lives are finite. This might be our last year. All the things we accumulate in life are of little value in eternity. The rollercoaster of stock markets and business, mortgages and jobs will continue. That our bodies and all we own will return to dust is perhaps the only certainty in life. My invitation to you is to start to get to know God personally and invest in eternity. The Bible invites us “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart” (Hebrews 10v22). And God’s invitation to you and me is so simple “Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4v8).

DON’T LEAVE THE BABY IN THE MANGER

December 2007

by Lesley Marshall, Leader of Children's Team, Church of Promise

When our youngest daughter was asked in Nursery School what she would like to be when she grew up, she replied that she wanted to be a sheep!! As parents we want the best for our children and are often ambitious for them. Yet, although we guide them as they grow up, we don’t often choose what they will do as adults. Hopefully, we don’t force our children into doing something that they are not suited to. And hopefully as parents we were not planning what our children should do before they were even born!

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But that was not the story for Jesus. It was foretold in the Bible, in the book of Isaiah chapter 9 what Jesus was going to do when he grew up – even before he was born. “For to us a child is born….and he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…..He will reign on David’s throne….establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever.” Mary and Joseph, his earthly parents, were told of their son’s destiny (ie what he was going to do when he grew up!) by the Angel Gabriel even before Mary became pregnant. That Jesus was going to change the world! Isn’t that awesome? And also a very good reason for using Christmas as the time to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, don’t you think?

But let’s not leave it there. Let’s make it an even bigger celebration – because Christmas is about how much God loves us. So much that he planned for Jesus to be born a baby, in order for him to grow up and bring us freedom from our sins and eternal life with God, by allowing Jesus to die in a terrible and brutal way by cruxifiction. That is not a job that I would like to have to do. All that pain and suffering – for people I didn’t even know, or like! Even Jesus had a moment of doubt, a moment when even he did not want to do this job and asked God if he really did have to! But God told him that he had to, so Jesus was obedient to his Heavenly Father.

I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel really really thankful. Thankful because I am so glad that my parents didn’t make me do what they wanted me to do (that is, be a social worker – not that I’ve got anything against social workers at all…!) And I am certainly glad that I don’t have to help my youngest daughter fulfil what she wants to do! And so thankful to God for giving His son such an immense destiny that affects me personally, giving me such a wonderful life.

You can share in Jesus’ destiny – in fact we all have a destiny, because God has a plan for all our lives. If you haven’t already, I urge you to talk to God, and ask Him about the destiny He has for you. One of the things God will say to you is “For I know that plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. Now, don’t you want a destiny like that?

Office, Church of Promise, 23 William Street, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 1QS - 01636 671016
http://www.churchofpromise.org.uk/newark-on-trent-church.html

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