Author Archives: adamlaughton

Hope in Hard Times – Sunday Garden Studies

Image courtesy of Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Starting THIS SUNDAY (13th June) – our “Garden Connect” meetings.

J.B. had it all – but lost it all overnight. Wealth. Health. Kids. All gone. In his anguish, how did he cope? The only people left around him were all useless. Where could he turn?

Your life might not be as bad as J.B.’s but you might be looking for some POSITIVE HOPE at the moment. You can find it in the God of love. Why not come along and see HOW you can find hope in hard times?

We’re meeting in our back garden – so please come down the side of the house and in the back gate. If you want any more info, please contact us via the contact form and we will gladly help you any way we can.

Thanks

HOW TO HUG SAFELY?

Image provided by Unsplash. Credits to marco-bianchetti

Why would anyone need advice on how to hug? Ah… but so many things have changed in this last 12 months haven’t they?

** Perhaps you’re excited about meeting (& hugging) loved ones?

** Maybe you’ve already been hugging (we won’t tell anyone!)

** Or are you rather scared about the coming “hug-fest?”

WE ALL WANT INTIMACY… but where can we find it?Of course, if we are blessed with a significant other, we can look to them. But is that enough? Can one other human being really take all the weight of our expectations and hopes? What if they let us down?

WOULD YOU CONSIDER ANOTHER WAY? Perhaps this past year has made you re-evaluate much of what you thought and believed. How about when it comes to a personal, loving, relationship with the Lord God who made you?

Jesus said, “Come to me… all who are weary and heavy-laden and you will find rest for your souls.”

It’s an offer that’s still open to all who are seeking. Could that be you? If you want to ask ANY qns, or just want to find out more about true Christian faith… please get in touch. We’d be delighted to meet (outside for now!) with a coffee and chat!

World Premiere – how on earth did SHE get a ticket?

Image courtesy of “I” on Unsplash – used with permission

She was the last person on earth you might expect to get a ticket to the greatest world premiere ever! And yet, she found herself FIRST in the queue.

And her story offers hope to all of us – because it turns out we can also benefit from this amazing offer.

“When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.”

She probably wouldn’t be our first choice for front row seats at the Resurrection of Jesus – would she? She’s the sort of person we would have crossed the street to avoid, or prayed she didn’t sit next to us on the bus home. Some crazy person. Trapped in a hopeless world – a prisoner of evil forces. Definitely not “A grade” eye-witness material.

But that’s just it – Jesus doesn’t judge people by our pathetically shallow standards. First of all, he RESCUES her – which of course includes forgiveness and restoration to God. Second – he TRANSFORMS her – just see how her life was turned around after this event…

(a) She loved Jesus in his life – she was one of a small group of disciples who travelled with Jesus, sacrificing her own money as well, to finance Jesus’ travelling ministry. Why? Because Jesus had rescued her.

(b) She loved Jesus at his death – she was one of a small group of disciples who were brave enough to stand with him at the cross. When everyone was hating Jesus and his followers, Mary had courage to face the hate and stand up with Jesus. Why? Because Jesus had not given up on her.

(c) She loved Jesus in his resurrection life – she was the first person to go to the tomb. She didn’t yet know he was alive – she was going to wrap the body in linen and spices. One final act of kindness to the body of her Saviour, her Lord, her friend. But in the end, Jesus speaks her name, “Mary!” And she knows – Jesus is alive! Mary becomes the “Apostle to the Apostles,” as she goes off to tell them, “He’s alive!”

WHY DID SHE GET THIS PRIVILEGE? What was it about her that gave her first place in the queue to see Jesus?

The answer is NOT found in Mary. It’s found in the kindness of Jesus. Mary is no different to any one of us – she was trapped in sin and despair and so are we. She was helpless to escape the prison of her own life – so are we. Without Jesus healing and forgiveness, Mary would’ve been lost – same for us.

But Jesus shows kindness again and again to Mary – and so with us.

Do you want HOPE? In the face of Covid? Cancer? Career falling apart?

Do you want a FUTURE? What are you LOOKING FORWARD to?

Only the Risen Christ offers a hope and a future. And he offers it to all of us – whoever we are. He can transform our lives. He can transform yours.

Do you want tickets for the final WORLD PREMIERE? When Jesus returns, he will judge the living and the dead. He will restore all that’s pure and good. He will remove all contradicts him. He will bring all his people into his amazing new world.

You can be there. All you have to do is ask Jesus to let you in. Why not do it this Easter? Find a quiet spot and talk to Jesus in prayer. Don’t worry about getting the words right. Just be honest with him. Admit your sin. Admit that you don’t deserve his kindness. Trust in his death on the cross for sinners to save you. Ask him to forgive you.

If you do – you can have tickets to the great world premiere – when he returns.

Easter Fun 2021

Look out for Easter animals hiding around Castle Hill

To celebrate Easter and to spread some community cheer, we’re hiding painted rocks around Castle Hill. (They’ll start appearing in the week before Easter.)

Normally we’d invite you pop round to our home for extra prizes; sadly that’s not possible this year. Instead, why not post what you find on the Residents Facebook group (@castlehillebbsfleet) or other social media?

On behalf of everyone at Grace Church Ebbsfleet, may we wish you a very Happy Easter!

We have a road map!

Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If we heard that phrase in 2019, we might imagine a family looking for directions, or a couple navigating through a city on holiday! Today, of course, we’re all thinking of the famous, “Road Map out of Lockdown!”

“We’re lost!”

It’s hard to imagine getting lost in 2021. Surely Google Maps and SATNAVs make getting lost impossible? All we have to do is check our smartphones and hey presto – we’re there! But despite our technology, science and vaccines, is life really all that it’s cracked up to be? When we “get back to normal” will everything be great? Or will we still face the same old issues? Why do you think that is?

The Christian message offers us profound hope. But it begins with a wake-up call – we’re lost. We’re not in a right relationship with the God who made us. We all prefer to live our life by our rules. We don’t really give God anywhere near the first place he deserves. We’re lost. Far from home. We need a road map home.

“We’re home!”

The road map isn’t made of paper or pixels – it’s a PERSON – the Lord Jesus Christ. He came from heaven to lead us home. He walked our journey through life and death. But he was never lost. He never failed. He never did anything wrong. He even paid the penalty that we deserved for our failings. And at the end, he conquered death when he rose from the grave on Easter Day.

Right now, Jesus offers a road map home – to anyone willing to ask. To anyone willing to admit, “I’m lost.” To anyone willing to trust him to be their Lord, their Guide, their Saviour. In our forthcoming Castle Hill newsletter you can read stories of people who’ve done this. They’re not perfect people (far from it) – they’re just people who’ve found that Jesus himself is the road map home.

Who do you think you are – really?

To be precise – what does Jesus think of you? Of us? Of his church?

Our new Sunday series will be based around Paul’s letter to the Ephesian Christians – which has lots of amazing things about how precious the church is to Jesus.

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Photo by Cinemanoir Ph on Unsplash

The struggle will soon be over! Maybe by mid-February?

The waiting will end! Perhaps by end of March?

The tears will be wiped away! I can even wait til early April!

When?

When you’ve been vaccinated?

When you get your new job?

When your planned wedding / holiday / house move (delete as appropriate) finally happens?

Actually…

Those might be great… but there’s something far more amazing. Something that fills some of us with HOPE!

EASTER SUNDAY THIS YEAR IS SUNDAY 4TH APRIL! That’s right… the day when Christians recall that there is an ANSWER TO DEATH!

Even when Covid has gone… death hasn’t…

The statistics don’t lie, sadly. 100% of all people die in the end. What happens next? What hope is there? Do we just cross our fingers? Or maybe we laugh at the silly people who believe there might be something? Do we rage against the dying of the light? Or resign to a bit fat nothingness?

I am the resurrection and the life…

That’s what Jesus claims. The answer to death (and life as well). Do you know this hope? Do you understand what Jesus is actually offering? Why not take a fresh look?

Hope at Christmas

Are you feeling Hopeful?

Are you hopeful for Christmas?

It’s hard to say – isn’t it? We all want to see loved ones this year, but will we be able? We all want some hope to see us through into (hopefully) a brighter 2021. But where do we find hope?

Are you hopeful our MP’s can help us? Hmmmmm… let’s ask the USA, shall we?

Are you hopeful our GP’s can help us? Maybe… but aren’t they a bit snowed under?

Are you hopeful our GDP can help us? That really depends on how the economy is doing, doesn’t it?

WHY NOT LOOK FOR HOPE SOMEWHERE ELSE?

Why not look for Christmas hope?

The Lord Jesus Christ came into our world to give us life, love, hope and a future. Have you ever wondered WHY Christians can still be full of hope, despite all that’s been going on? Maybe the answer is easier to find than you think? Jesus Christ is the ONLY HOPE for our world.

Why not read a copy of John’s Gospel (we can give you a free copy if you want).

Why not pray? Just talk to God yourself – and ask Him to to show you where you can find hope?

Why not get in touch with us? We’d love to chat more (online, mobile or landline – or even face to face for a walk outside if you prefer!)

We’re still here – zooming etc…

Just in case you weren’t sure – GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH IS STILL HERE!

We’re meeting online via Zoom –

Tuesdays 8pm prayer meeting (30 mins)

Sundays 4pm Bible study and catch up (50 mins)

If you are interested in meeting with us – please use our contact form and we’ll send you zoom details!

Christmas Treasure Hunt

Keep your eyes peeled for numbered wood slices hidden around Castle Hill

Keep your eyes peeled – and win Christmas Decorations and prizes!

Back by popular demand – our Christmas Treasure Hunt for Castle Hill.

We are hiding numbered wood slices around Castle Hill (like these pictured) – just before the weekend of Sat 21st December. If you find one, please bring it to Nigel & Lucy at 16 Mercer Avenue, Castle Hill – to claim your free prizes.

You can choose from one of our lovely hand decorated Christmas wood slices – suitable for hanging on your Christmas tree! There will also be a chocolate prize as well.

(NB – we have limited stock, so please, just one prize per family – thank you!)