Tim Talk for Christmas 2018 (Tim Ford)

At this time of year we can get too much into buying presents and pretty wrapping paper , and we sometimes forget the wonder and hope of Christmas.
I am not saying that buying presents is bad , of course it’s right and nice to buy people things.
However, we need to have the right outlook on this.

We need to fix our minds on celebrating the coming of Jesus , and what fantastic things and people we have.
Jesus cares about what we think about, and how we do Christmas. so let’s make the best of the Christmas Season !

(Tim, a member of Stokenchurch St P and St P., lives life from a wheelchair.)

Harvest (Tim Ford)

Harvest is the time of the year when  we remember and give thanks for the food and the many good things that God gives us.

However,  do we  sometimes  forget to give thanks for what is good, because sometimes we let bad things colour and shape our thinking?

I think that this is not how God wants us to be, because in the Bible God  talks a lot about give thanks for what we have.
Some people don’t have much and some have lost almost everything,  but we can give thanks to our outstanding God for everything that we have.

Harvest is a good time to start giving thanks more!

Thoughts for Lent (Tim Ford)

For a Season I am going to do short talks for this church and my hope is that God and the Holy Spirit will help me to write something helpful.
We are in Lent and I wonder what are we thinking about and are we forgetting that Jesus was in a nasty and difficult place for a time? (Matthew 4:1-11).
He was in the desert without friends and family. However the thing was that God was with him and that was his hope.
He  was having a really, really bad Time but God was with him.
This church is in the desert place of not knowing who will lead us, however we have to remember that God is with us and he will answer at the right time.
Let’s look at what Jesus did:
Like Him, we need to fix our hearts and minds on what the Bible says, and this will help our  church too.
Tim Ford

Planning for the future (David Crozier)

This month some of us are raring to go, full of plans for the year and already making headway, viewing the future with optimism. Tennyson’s words may sit easily with you:

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’ (Alfred Lord Tennyson)

Or you may be among those who already realise that new year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside and it’s difficult to maintain one’s spirit against the variable winter weather and the continual drain of negative news in the media; for others the circumstances of their life may have taken a negative turn and God seems to have turned a blind eye. He doesn’t seem to care because their prayers are unanswered and there is the temptation to feel abandoned by God and alone in the world.

No doubt the majority of us are somewhere in between these extremes. Whatever our personal outlook or circumstance, which can always change, the Christian message is that in Christ we have a firm and confident hope that will not disappoint us. Paul wrote this:

‘We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.’ ( Romans 5: 2-5)

Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? If we hope for what we do not have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8: 24-25).

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12: 12, 21)

Paul and the Roman church had endured suffering and showed perseverance. These words are echoed by Christian leaders and writers who have also found them to be true.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Hope is being able to see there is light despite all of the darkness. (Desmond Tutu)

Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company… You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope. (John Piper)

I trust you have a hope-filled and good year ahead. Originally published in the South Chilterns News, February 2017 By David Crozier

Non-biblical quotes from http://www.brainyquote.com

Fake news (Peter Wainwright)

A few years ago someone coined the phrase ‘being economical with the truth”. It seems that the latest phrase is ‘fake news’. Whatever it is called, deliberately making up falsehoods or withholding information to discredit someone is dishonouring God. It will incur His judgement sooner or later.  Do people need to use ‘fake news’ to keep up with others who are doing so? Or will God honour those who reflect His nature of truthfulness?

The boss of the world’s largest company, Tim Cook of Apple, has called on governments to launch a public information campaign to fight the scourge of fake news, which is (to quote him) “killing people’s minds”. Mr Cook says, further, that the epidemic of false reports is a big problem in a lot of the world. He says that “it (truthfulness) has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public, there has to be a massive campaign by governments”. Whilst he may be correct in his assessment, he does not seem to include in the remedies the prospect of parents passing on to their children the importance of always telling the truth.  As a society we seem to increasingly by-pass the influence in the home, and expect the schools and the governments to sort out social issues.

Mothering Sunday falls on March 26th, this year. The day is a timely reminder each year of the importance of the role of parenting. In Psalm 34 the writer says: (verse 11f) “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.  Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it”. Oh that in every home in the land parents will be showing their children, by word and example, the values of keeping their lips from telling lies. To be effective it would need to be done gently and lovingly without use of force; but if enough parents teach it consistently the ‘tide can turn’.

The alternative, namely a nation growing up without a sense of  honesty in dealing with others, leads to that nation collapsing under the weight of corruption. No nation will achieve 100% honesty and completely root out corruption; but it is a question of the predominant ethos – truth or corruption.  Perhaps there is a ‘tipping point’, in which the prayers of the church in that land has a vital role. God is looking at and listening to the prayers and attitudes of the church in Great Britain, and in every other nation on earth. The issue is, will the church here continue to humble itself, acknowledge its total dependence on God, and cry out to him for mercy for the sins of both the church and the nation? Will the church support parents with prayer in their role of ‘setting the tone of the nation’? What does seem to be clear is that a nation cannot be blessed if corruption and lies are pre-dominant. As God said via the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 7 v 28: “Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips”. I leave you with that as a challenge.

Peter Wainwright

Lent Reflections (Tim Ford)

A reflection at the start of Lent.

We live in a universe where people fight and argue, and this year is no different.

The US president  is throwing his weight around, and things like this are going on everywhere right now.

So I wonder what our outlook needs to be like, when things are looking bad and people are upsetting people?

I think the Easter story can help us out, because for a start Jesus was in a desert being tempted and the enemy was trying to make Him sin, but He said No. (Matthew 4).  He said No because  he knew what the Bible said and he was therefore not scared  by the attacks.

I think sometimes we let the News cloud our thinking and if so, we lose touch with what God is wanting us to remember – like Jesus will come again, and the Holy Spirit is with us now.

There’s another  thing that the Easter story is about – and I think it is so, so key to what is going on right now –  It is ‘love your enemies’-  and at the Cross Jesus did this to bring rest and love back.

It’s really hard for everyone of us to learn, but we need to, in order to bring change when and where we can.

The Easter story is for us now.

(Tim, a member of Stokenchurch St P and St P. Lives life from a wheelchair.)


Hello, I’m Revd Peter Wainwright…

You may have noticed that on the inside front cover of the magazine, or on the service sheets  it mentions “Clergy: Revd Peter Wainwright (acting)”. That must be me! Does it mean that I am permanently onstage acting? Hopefully not: it means that I am a sort of interim locum. Who is this bloke, I suspect a few of you are asking.

Well, my wife (Patricia) and I moved to High Wycombe about 2 years ago, in order to be near to our daughter and husband and the three grandchildren. Since then I have been helping out in churches in the area which do not have a Vicar at the moment. As I reflect on the churches that I have served in since my Ordination in 1975 I see how each has been part of a preparation for my current temporary role.  My first was a two church Parish with a Rector and two curates (of which I was the junior).  The Parish was all of a medium-sized village with a confident and lively sense of community. The two churches were of different traditions –and you had to remember which one you were at so that you wore the appropriate robes! My next appointment was a single church parish with a specific tradition in a large town of mixed ethnic groups. The congregation were a mix of those who lived locally and those who travelled to this church as it was of their tradition.  My last appointment, before moving to this area, was a Benefice of three small village churches. Again, as I travelled from one to another of a Sunday morning, I had to think where I was going as one was very keen on the 2000 Common Worship liturgy whilst another only used the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the Authorised Version of the Bible. Whichever one I was at they each got the same sermon for the day – which was a reflection on all I had learnt from going to Sunday School since I was a small child, and my reading of the scriptures over the years.

Yes, God does prepare us all for what life has yet to hold in store. What will the year 2017 hold for us? Perhaps it is as well that we don’t know – else we might worry ourselves sick!  We all have a fair idea of what we are planning to do in 2017 – where to go on holiday, for example. But all our plans are ‘provisional’; or as folk used to say, ‘DV, if the Lord wills’. This coming year seems more uncertain than usual as regards the political scene, what with ‘Brexit’, elections in several European countries, a new President in the USA and the possible continuation of terrible civil wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. Yet, God is above politics, and the word to us from Jesus Christ is ‘fear not, for I am with you’.

Praying that you all will find God’s blessing in 2017, and beyond.

Peter Wainwright