This is selected highlights from Lindfield United Reformed Church's
monthly magazine, Good News. It is freely available from the Church
and Lindfield Post Office. The printed edition also contains useful
information regarding local meetings and 'Family News'.
If don't live in the area, and wish to recieve a copy of the magazine,
please Email the Editors.
Contents this month:
in March (Norman Smith)
from the Minister (Norman Smith)
BB Boy to URC
Moderator (Revd David Helyar)
The Ryecroft Squirrel
writes... (Brother Bushby)
Can you hear him
(from an ex-Rugby playing Elder)
One of THOSE days...
COPY DATE for
APRIL edition (dsadsadsa)
Worship in March
First Sunday of Lent
9.30am Communion Peter and
11.00am Peter and Kay McIntosh
6.30pm Mike Gardiner
9.30am James Clarke
11.00am Norman Smith and James Clarke
6.30pm Communion and Healing
9.30am Parade Service
Stuart Dew and Mike Lee
11.00am David Walters
6.30pm David Nibloe and Norman Smith
9.30am Clare Nibloe, Carol Walters and others
11.00am Communion Richard
6.30pm Service taken by the Young People
Personal prayer is available after every service. Prayer requests
and brief statements of praise for answered prayer can be
put in the red book on the concourse table. You can ask the minister
for personal prayer ministry at home or in hospital.
Why is this happening to me?
I thought I had followed the guidance of God,
even tested it by seeking the counsel of others and now I find it
has all gone pear shaped. I can hardly believe it, but
its true. I keep going over and over the events in my head and wonder
why. I talk to God about it and, so far, have not received a definitive
On the one hand, I go on being convinced that I
did get it right, I was being obedient to Gods will, and there
must be some explanation for my current circumstances. Other people
may even say that God is with me in my turmoil, which I am sure
he is, and one day I shall look back and realise the reason! On
the other hand, I think that, in spite of all the pointers to the
contrary, I must have got it wrong. God was not guiding me in this
direction, at that point in time, and he wants me to get back on
That kind of scenario relates to people in marriage,
people in communities, people in work and people in church. Many
people going through a difficult time, especially if they have tried
to listen to Gods voice about past decisions, find it very
hard to get satisfactory answers to their questions.
Whatever our predicament, it is always vital to
appreciate that God never leaves us, and God never lets us down.
If we are upset, angry, hurt, bitter, resentful, he longs to help
us cope with the here and now and encourages us to forgive
any who may have harmed us along lifes road.
During this season of Lent, we will have opportunity
for pondering again and again the cruel, unjust suffering and horrendous
death of Jesus on the cross. We will remember how the religious
leaders despised him and how, eventually, even his closest friends
abandoned him. As his situation deteriorated, he wrestled in prayer,
in a garden outside the city, and faced the fact that what had happened,
and what would happen, was in accordance with Gods will. His
courage and steadfastness must have deeply affected those who saw
it, especially when he prayed that those crucifying him might know
Gods forgiveness. Even one of the soldiers responsible for
carrying out the death sentence was moved to acknowledge his true
May God help us, whoever we are, and whatever is
happening to us, to go on trusting him and go on forgiving those
who, in our experience, have given us so much to be sad and sorrowful
Yours in his abiding love
BB Boy to URC Moderator
The Rev. Bill Mahood, BA, MTh, who is this years
Moderator of the General Assembly of the URC, writes about his Boys
I was a member of the BB from the age of eight
until just after my 20th birthday. Just twelve years and yet I believe
that it has been one of the most important experiences of my life.
It continues to exert its influence on me every single day, even
though it is almost 39 years since I finished in the Brigade, and
I thank God for it.
I was a member of the 76th Belfast Company and
I can still remember the names of most of the leaders during my
time. I have at home most of my certificates and all of my badges,
including the Queens badge. But what is most important is
that I remember what I was taught in the Brigade.
My time in BB finished in 1962 when I left Belfast
and moved to Nottingham to begin training for ordination. Whilst
still at school, I came to believe that I was called to ministry.
I left school and worked for two years in the Northern Ireland Civil
Service. This gave me the opportunity to experience the world of
work in a situation where I was meeting lots of different people.
It also gave me time to test my sense of call. Was being a minister
of the church really what I wanted to do with the rest of my life?
I knew that for me the answer was yes.
Where did the BB fit into all of this? I believe
that it is because I was in the BB that I am a minister today. There,
and in the church where it was based, Cregagh Congregational Church,
I learned the reality of faith. I learned the importance of the
BB motto and that faith is based in a living relationship with God
in Jesus Christ. I saw this at work in the lives of the people who
were leading me in the BB and in the church. I was challenged to
take seriously the implications of being a person of faith and that
included how I was going to spend the rest of my life.
I do not believe that I was forced into faith or
brainwashed into being a minister. Rather, I think that these are
some of the first decisions that I have ever made in my life. But
in the making of them and in following them I received full encouragement
and support. For that I am deeply grateful.
Now I am set on another big adventure. As Moderator,
I am visiting lots of churches in Britain and abroad and represent
the URC at ecumenical, national and international events. It is
a great privilege to do this. I am expecting to meet BB people and
BB companies in my travels. I see it as yet another example of the
strange, mysterious and wonderful ways in which God leads us. I
learned that first in the BB and I am still experiencing it today."
Ryecroft Squirrel writes
Spring is on its way and the regular sight of the
old man watching his missus do the gardening will once again be
a feature of my week. He just hasnt a clue how to garden.
He certainly cant tell the difference between a plant and
a weed and, when he cuts the grass, the one job he does attempt,
the missus has been known to tell him its too short! When
he appears, I would love to say to him "You are the weakest
link, goodbye!" But I guess that is not a particularly
Have you seen that programme on television? I think
it is actually called The Weakest Link. The Smiths have
their tea about the time that it is on, so they sometimes watch
the programme before the news starts. If I sit on the fence, I can
watch too. I am ashamed to say I laugh at that very rude lady who
is so sarcastic. I wonder the participants dont give her a
black eye as they do the walk of shame when they get
voted off! Have you noticed how, at the end of the programme, she
turns to we viewers and gives us a sickly grin and a wink? It makes
my tail quiver!
Although it is only a quiz game, it does reflect
an attitude which is prevalent in todays society. People revel
in being rude to each other and delight in rubbishing their efforts,
and criticising their lack of ability.
It happens in politics and industry as well as,
sadly, in the church.
I am not sure if we are having any babies this
year but, if we do, I must try to keep remembering the damage I
could do to them if I shout them down all the time and tell them
off. Ill resolve to be positive, encouraging and affirming
because that will bring out the best in them and hope the folk who
meet in the building next door pick up a few tips from me, including
the old man!
Can you hear Him calling?
George was as regular as clockwork. He would arrive
at 11.00am each Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, then at 3.30pm
on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. George never dawdled. He would
stride in and smile at the reception staff but never stop to chat.
He knew the keypad entry-code so there was no need for others to
release the door lock. He was always neatly dressed. It was difficult
to put an age on him. He may have been a retired army officer or,
perhaps, even a country doctor. It was his air of confidence that
struck the onlooker.
On the other hand, Angie was so thin. Her dark
hair streaked with silver and her dark eyes showing no recognition
of life. Her clothes were ill fitting and streaked with whatever
food she had last eaten. What age was Angie? Her facial appearance
would make most suggest she was in her 70s, but she was only just
in her mid-fifties. Over a period of a month, Angie had deteriorated
sharply, both physically and mentally. Her balance had gone. Her
legs and face showed dark bruises and superficial cuts, not received
from any mistreatment, far from it. She just walked into things
and fell on the hard floor. So bad was her condition, she slept
on a mattress on the floor of her room.
What disease could she have contracted? Was it
AIDS or some tropical virus. No, Angie was getting old long before
her time. She suffered from premature senile dementia. She could
only be looked after in a community hospital for the aged. All others
about her were 20 years or more her senior.
George always gave the impression when he arrived
that he had few cares in the world, but he covered his personal
tragedy well. George was visiting Angie, his wife. It was he who
had cared for her, night and day, at home until things had been
just too much, even for him and his abundant love for her. George
would visit Angie even though there was no conversation. But Angie
would become less agitated when he came and she stopped her alarming
moans. Although Angie showed no signs of understanding what George
said, he would tell her what was going on in the outside world.
He often brought a book and would read to his wife even if she didnt
seem to be listening to what he read.
It would be far too easy to blame God for what
had happened to George and Angie. Our faith tells us that there
must be more to it all than that. Perhaps this is God calling for
something to be done? But what? Who is God calling, and to whom,
in this true-life situation. Is it to Angie who no longer knows
the world, or is it to George who has had so much to bear? George,
who has suffered the loss of Angie in mind and is now waiting for
Angie to be lost in body too? On the other hand, maybe God is calling
the nursing staff to minister to all those like Angie. Or, possibly,
God is calling for someone else to give support to the nursing staff
who find it so distressing dealing with Angie?
Who is He calling?
(by an ex-rugby player Elder)
Oh! for days of yesteryear!
When I was very young.
Wed play in nearby fields of green,
Whilst skylarks swooped and sung.
Those treasured days so filled with fun,
Remain within my heart.
I wish I could re-live them now,
And so Ill make a start.
No resource did we ever lack,
Anyone we could be!
All came from active limbs and minds,
Not virtual reality!
Span of time nor race nor creed,
Ever held us back.
For we were heroes one and all,
Nothing did we lack.
Soldiers, sailors, cowboys too,
It mattered not at all!
We captured ships and forts galore,
To us they each would fall.
Trees were there to climb with ease,
On every limb wed swing.
And if some fell at any time,
We never felt a thing!
Limbs were supple in those days,
Our energy overflowed.
Nothing stopped us in our tracks,
Until the homeward road.
Streams and ditches close to hand,
With wildlife hard to match.
Frog-spawn, frogs, newts and fish,
Each in turn wed catch.
Serious games so good to play,
Of cricket and football.
Each a famous name were we,
At our countrys call.
No TV games or stereo blast,
To keep us in the home.
We had the freedom of outdoors,
With fields and sands to roam.
No fear of grown-ups crossed our mind,
Whilst we our games did play.
No anxious thoughts within our hearts,
On getting home that day.
I loved those days and thank the Lord,
That I could play and roam,
In those times now long ago,
And safely come back home.
Alas! those days have long since gone,
And houses fill that field.
But they will never hide from me,
The memories Ive revealed.
One of THOSE days
(in the life of Suzy Jacques)
Do you ever have one of THOSE days? The kind when
you just want to crawl back into bed and start again - preferably
tomorrow? Well, I had one today.
I woke up, still feeling tired, not daring to open
my eyes and see the clock, hoping it was still only 3 oclock
in the morning, knowing it was just before 7.00am
alarm went off.
I dragged myself out of bed, then spent an age
trying to find something smart casual to wear to the
office, that didnt make me look like an English pear, but
finally gave up and opted for smart.
I dropped the cereal box on the floor, followed
by my chocolate bar for lunch, cut open the passion fruit Id
treated myself to and screwed up my face when I tasted how sour
With the 8.37am in mind, I locked up the flat,
went down to the door and realised that the light drizzle
I had noticed from my bedroom window was, in fact, rather large
blobs of rain. Back upstairs for my umbrella which was nowhere
to be seen. I grabbed a hat and walked to the station doing a very
good impression of Bill and Ben, got up onto platform 3 and the
Thameslink doors bleeped closed in front of me.
The 8.41am was, mercifully, on time. I got on,
settled down and was in mid-wrestle with my computer bag to get
it to release the book I was hoping to read, when "Tickets
please!" Do they deliberately choose the one moment when you
could not possibly get to your ticket if you tried?
It was then that I really felt like going back
to bed. And it was also then that I finally heard God shouting at
me "Pray to me! Talk to me!"
You see, yesterday I had a job interview and I
had what felt like half of England (and a small part of Germany)
praying for me and, indeed, I even gave God a few more minutes prayer
than usual myself. But today was a nothing day, no huge dilemmas
at work, no need to get up incredibly early, so my prayer time had
successfully dwindled to a thirty-second Selwyn Hughes "Every
Day with Jesus" prayer.
Im personally beginning to have a lot more
faith in the power of prayer, but Im still very much a crisis
pray-er. Oh, not only my own personal crises; Im very good
at being the good Christian, praying for others needs too
but I am just beginning to get it into my thick skull that
God wants more. If all you ever did was talk to your friends about
your own personal problems, or those of your friends, would that
be a good relationship?
This mornings episodes of "Why me?"
were not some punishment for not praying or a reminder to
pray when everything was going wrong it was Gods way
of showing me that he wants a relationship, he wants to discuss
the good as well as the bad, and he wants me to listen as well as
do the talking.
If you have an article for inclusion in the next edition of Good
News, please let me have it as soon as possible and, in any event,
by Noon on Sunday, 11th March at the very latest. Editor