From our New Minister
Earlier this year I celebrated my 36th birthday as a Christian and I still remember so much of that Saturday night in Hockley Pentecostal Church in Birmingham when I made a decision to accept Jesus as Lord. Yet my journey of faith began well before I choose to accept Jesus.
It began in a way with Maggie who pestered me about the faith she had in Jesus during my time at Dudley College and wouldn’t let up until I came with her to the Christian Union and eventually a few weeks later to that service.
It involved being sent to Sunday School with my siblings by my non-Christian parents. I wanted to be friends with Jesus then but struggled with the God who called us to turn the other cheek.
After my Ordination my Mom told me it began years before with a prophecy shared over me by my grandparents neighbour who worshipped at the local Methodist Church; she told my mom when I was just a few days old that God had big plans for me, that I would serve as a Minister in the church. If only she had told me when I was wrestling with my call to ministry!
In reality though God has always been in my life. My story above is about how I learned to follow Jesus, but the bigger story is God has always been following me!
The President and Vice President of our Methodist Conference urged us this year to tell our stories. Stories of how you came to faith, and how we have maintained faith and life, and they are without doubt the most prized possession we have. These stories shouldn’t be all about the distant past, we need to tell stories of what God has done lately.
All of us have stories to tell and it is something we will be thinking about again and again this year. For now I wonder if you will accept this challenge?
Will you spare some time to think about and write down your story by answering these kinds of questions;
when did you first become aware of God?
who played a part in making Jesus real for you?
how did you come to be in this Church?
Then try to write a few words about what God has done or hasn’t done
It will exciting to discover what we have written and to see how far our
storytelling can take us in these coming months.
May God’s rich blessings surround you.
Yours in Christ
Rev.d Joseph N Adams
The Corn Song
by John Greenleaf Whittier
Heap high the farmer’s wintry hoard! Heap high the golden corn!
No richer gift has Autumn poured from out her lavish horn!
Let other lands, exulting, glean the apple from the pine,
The orange from its glossy green, the cluster from the vine;
We better love the hardy gift our rugged vales bestow,
To cheer us when the storm shall drift our harvest-fields with snow.
Through vales of grass and meads of flowers our ploughs their furrows made,
While on the hills the sun and showers of changeful April played.
We dropped the seed o’er hill and plain beneath the sun of May,
And frightened from our sprouting grain the robber crows away.
All through the long, bright days of June its leaves grew green and fair,
And waved in hot midsummer’s noon its soft and yellow hair.
And now, with autumn’s moonlit eves, its harvest-time has come,
We pluck away the frosted leaves, and bear the treasure home.
There, richer than the fabled gift Apollo showered of old,
Fair hands the broken grain shall sift, and knead its meal of gold.
Let vapid idlers loll in silk around their costly board;
Give us the bowl of samp and milk, by homespun beauty poured!
Where’er the wide old kitchen hearth sends up its smoky curls,
Who will not thank the kindly earth and bless our farmer girls?
Then shame on all the proud and vain, whose folly laughs to scorn
The blessing of our hardy grain, our wealth of golden corn!
Let earth withhold her goodly root, let mildew blight the rye,
Give to the worm the orchard’s fruit, the wheat-field to the fly:
But let the good old crop adorn the hills our fathers trod;
Still let us, for His golden corn, send up our thanks to God!
by Alan Beesley
In previous editions of our church magazine I have written articles on several hymn writers both past and present. This time I have chosen Horatius Bonar. He was born in Edinburgh on 19 December 1808 and was the son of James Bonar who was the Solicitor of Excise for Scotland and Marjory Maitland. He came from a long line of ministers who served in the Church of Scotland.
Horace – as he was known to his friends – was educated at the University of Edinburgh, and became a Church of Scotland minister in 1837 when he was appointed to the Kelso parish where he stayed until 1843. He then joined the Free Church of Scotland following the Great Disruption which saw the division of the Church of Scotland. Later he became minister of the Chalmers Memorial Church in Edinburgh, and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland in 1883.
He married Jane Lundie in 1843. They had a number of children but five died in childhood. Of their surviving children two went into the ministry. His wife died in 1876 and he died on 31 July 1889 and was buried with her at the Canongate Kirkyard.
He gave instruction that no memoir of himself should be written. This is somewhat strange because over his lifetime he wrote several biographies of other ministers including “The life and works of Rev. G. T. Dodds” and “The life of Rev. John Milne of Perth”. He wrote over 140 hymns and published several collections. Seven of his hymns are included in Hymns and Psalms. Probably the best known is number 207 – “Rejoice and be glad the Redeemer has come”
We will publish the next edition of the Lexden Link when we have enough articles. Please see me or Alan if you have anything you wish to be included.
Christine Beesley – Editor