Crindau is still not in a position to open for our regular Encounter services at this time.
Please see below if you would like to read previous devotions.
Encounter Devotional 9.8.20
By Jon Hill
Can we start by spending time listening and meditating upon this prayer.
It’s title “shalom” the Blessing of Shalom….In Israel, when you greet someone or say goodbye the word is “Shalom.” “Shalom” is much more than a casual social greeting – it is a prayer, a blessing, a deep desire, and a benediction. It is a word that is packed with the full blessing of God.
The world craves for that “shalom peace” but can’t seem to find it, as believers we recall the scripture verses such as “my peace I give unto you”, “a peace that passes all understanding”, “Let the peace of Christ rule our hearts” and one of my favourites “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
As we continue to worship, may His shalom continue to fill our hearts and minds each day.
Be Still – https://youtu.be/TAPpunj-dMM
Faithful One – https://youtu.be/tum3U_28Xc4
What a Faithful God – https://youtu.be/4fo1UV9pfrs
I Stand Amazed – https://youtu.be/hoV4koFy-Is
Encounter Devotional 2.8.20
By Julie Luff
John 15 : 12 – This is my commandment, love each other in the same way I loved you.
It’s so easy to love those who are easy to love but how do we respond with people, who in our minds, are more difficult to love.
In the scriptures it’s clearly a commandment to love each other.
When I Survery the Wonderous Cross – https://youtu.be/FhvXOIVsRv4
ENCOUNTER DEVOTIONAL 26.07.20
by Daniel Bickerton
To encourage you this morning, two verses from Hebrews 13:
v 8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
v 15 – Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
God’s love never fails. His mercy endures forever. He has been, is, and always will be an awesome, all-powerful and compassionate God. Crindau Community Church is starting to reopen its doors. Of course, ‘church’ has not been closed for the last few months – we have been very much serving and worshiping Him together when we can thanks to the wonders of technology and He has been with us – we know this because He has promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us. We cannot flee from His presence. Our intention has been for Christ to remain at the centre of ‘it all’. Yes, things may be a little different physically for the time being as we emerge into the post-Covid-19 world, but our God is the same today as He was before Covid-19 and deserves our every breath returned to Him in praise. Even when music may be stripped away from us (as we honour and pray for our government, just as exhorted to do in Scripture), He delights when we worship even in the simplest of ways as long as we do it ‘for His glory’ and nothing of ourselves. Every blessing to you all.
When the music fades – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD4tB1o6YLw
Jesus, lover of my soul – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD-ZdMOx_HY
Jesus at the centre – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7DtpqfMU5s
ENCOUNTER DEVOTIONAL 19.7.20
This has been a little something that I’ve been thinking about this week and the importance behind a name; in this case, there have been two names in particular that have truly caught my attention when I think of our Saviour, Christ Jesus: The Lion and The Lamb.
It sounds very oxymoronic when you first think about it – two animals, complete polar opposites in almost every way imaginable:
You have the lion: representing the idea of power, of strength, of being one of the world’s most powerful, majestic, and fearfully respected. A creature that none can withstand and, in turn, unyielding to anything or anyone.
Then you think of the lamb and all it represents: meekness, gentleness, the docile nature and the purity that it suggests. Vulnerable, weak, innocent. But most important to us as Christians – a sacrifice.
We know that Jesus was the perfect Lamb that was sacrificed once and for all for our sins and our salvation. Without blemish, without fault, and without flaws. The final sacrifice to end all the many thousands of years that came before. Yet, in the same aspect, He is the Lion that conquered the grave. Unyielding to the powers of death and satan. Rising victorious from the grave to show that they had no power over Him and that He reigns forever.
So often we make the mistake to only see Jesus in the “Lamb aspect”. Which isn’t a bad thing but we do need to take the time to see Him through the “Lion aspect” too. Yes, He was helpless and vulnerable when He died on that cross. But even then… Jesus still had the strength to minister and even forgive one of the thieves that was crucified with Him! He isn’t only a gentle, loving Saviour that is tender in heart and compassionate to all who follow Him. He isn’t just a fierce, strong Saviour who protects you, and fights for you every single day. To discipline His children so that they may blossom and grow in His footsteps. He is both: Christ Jesus is both the Lion and Lamb in equal measure!
Revelation 5v5 – “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Isaiah 53v7 – “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.”
I have chosen four songs that I feel captures the weight behind these two names and have really settled in my heart as I’ve shared this with you:
Lion and the Lamb: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMTfj4xOjZk
Is He Worthy?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c6pl6CaiD0
Worthy is the Lamb: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCPP-qovLtI
ENCOUNTER DEVOTIONAL 12.7.20
As I listened to a friend playing the piano to some worship songs, I was drawn to these verses that once again challenged me:
Philippians 2.5-11 – ‘In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’
Jesus is the ultimate example of humility. We are told to have the same mindset as Christ Jesus – what a challenge this is for us, but this is a choice that we have to make if we are to be obedient. Also, the reading says ‘He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross’ – for us, for me. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and we should too. He is so worthy of our praise. Worthy of every song that we could ever sing, Jesus, the name that is above every other name, open up my eyes in wonder.
Build my life – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLSDBG1OcGE
Unbroken praise – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXRv9l1SFe4
What a beautiful name – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUBBIddm_rM
Light of the world – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MmRGSEG2LM
ENCOUNTER DEVOTIONAL 4.7.2020
by Owen Jones
What do you find challenging? For me waking up early in the morning is at times a challenge and I’m sure there will be many more in years to come. I always picture a challenge like climbing stairs – some stairs are steeper or longer but when you climb stairs you see how far you’ve come and how high you are. That’s life and sometimes we might make mistakes and we trip or fall, but there’s always something we can hold onto: the rail. God is like the stair rail; keeping us secure, upright and with it, we can climb ‘the stairs’.
If life was easy we would go up an escalator or elevator but as Christians those are ‘out of order’ and we have to take the stairs. The question is: do you trust the rail? God is always with us, He never leaves us or forsakes us. The next time you see your stair rail in your house or even the ones at church, think of these verses:
Deuteronomy 31.8: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Isaiah 41.13: “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
Ephesians 2.10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
In Christ Alone – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16KYvfIc2bE
You are my vision – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMmSPOF-6Xo
ENCOUNTER DEVOTIONAL 28.6.20
by Mark Taylor
THE LOVE OF GOD
A medieval monk announced that he would be preaching on “The Love of God”. As the shadows fell and the light ceased to come through the cathedral windows, the congregation gathered.
In the darkness, the monk lit a candle and carried it to the altar. He illuminated the crucifix that stood there. First of all he lit the crown of thorns, next the wounded hands and feet, then the spear wound.
In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left. There was nothing else to say.
This morning I want us to go back and think of the moment when we first realised that when Jesus dies on the cross at Calvary He did it for each one of us – when we were able to say for the first time “He died for me.”
“I believe in a hill called Mount Calvary” – https://youtu.be/OPByLTzkctc – Southern Gospel may not be your taste, but take time and consider the words.
“The Love of God” – https://youtu.be/NUy3yaSd9b0
“Anástasis – O Praise the Name” – https://youtu.be/LqBpifDpNKc
And finally a beautifully simple song – just immerse yourself in the words and let them flow over you – “Give me Jesus” – https://youtu.be/VrvvxAW6C6w
ENCOUNTER DEVOTIONAL 21.6.20
by Lynnette Bickerton
I have recently been enjoying re-reading the story of Esther in the Bible. It is always wonderful to be reminded of occasions when God’s timely plans come to fruition, demonstrating His faithfulness. We may not necessarily realise it at the time, but looking back, we can testify to the wonderful hand of God orchestrating things for our good.
Mordecai (Esther’s cousin) remained steadfast in his desire to worship God and refused to bow down to Haman who had recently been promoted by King Ahasuerus. He got no immediate gain for uncovering a plot to murder the king but by remaining faithful to God, God was faithful to him and he was rewarded.
This reminds me of 1 Corinthians 15v57-58:’But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.’
Esther was a Jew living in a Persian Empire but despite this, she became queen. Her bravery and courage entering into the king’s presence without a royal summons eventually resulted in God preserving not only her family but all the other Jews too – another testament to God’s faithfulness. I was particularly struck by the words of Mordecai in chapter 4v14 suggesting that Esther was made ‘for such a time as this.’ God’s perfect timing!
We may be struggling to understand why we are experiencing the hardships that Covid-19 presents us with, but let’s rejoice in the knowledge that God’s hand is still at work ‘for such a time as this.’ We can be assured of God’s faithfulness today and indeed every day. Hebrews 10v23 reminds us:
‘Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Forever – ‘Forever God is faithful’ https://youtu.be/d6xxWGWpaUQ
Lord I come before Your throne of grace – ‘What a faithful God have I’ https://youtu.be/4fo1UV9pfrs
Covenant of grace – ‘Your faithfulness remains’ https://youtu.be/E1S4lU7GsZg
Goodness of God – ‘All my life You have been faithful’ https://youtu.be/-f4MUUMWMV4
Here’s a little extra video for your kids (and of course the young at heart!) https://youtu.be/5WdfGluE4po
ENCOUNTER DEVOTIONAL 14.6.20
Psalm 95.3 – “For the Lord is the great God and the great King above all gods.”
I love the Frosties cereal. Remember the catchphrase it’s going to taste “grrreeaatt”? Our Lord is great, He is our rock, He is our peace, He is our salvation. Sometimes they change how cereals taste. Our God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and is always great. Here are some songs displaying His greatness:
1. Great is Thy Faithfulness – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErwiBz1QA4o
2. How Great is Our God – https://youtu.be/3-YTD8YRp10?t=39
3. How Great Thou Art – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_dtbmVdQY4
4. I look upon you and all else starts to fade – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsrQ8ygGB68
ENCOUNTER DEVOTIONAL 7.6.20
Jon & Josh Hill
I have to say from the off that these are not my words, but something my son Josh wrote this week. I asked his permission to use his words as our Encounter devotion.
This is probably my favourite quote of all time and think is it very applicable at this moment in time: “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So, do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we must decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Hope is the anthem of my soul; that hope is in Jesus and one day I do believe that evil, whether it’s racism, violence or hate, will one day be destroyed forever. But that does not mean we should stand by and let injustice and hate win; we must do our part in making the world a better place. It is everyone’s job to join with those who have been hurt or are hurting from injustice and evil and to stand with them to stop it, but not with a raised fist but with grace, forgiveness and humility.
Psalm 9.9: “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”
Genesis 1.27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Ecclesiastes 10.4: “If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offences to rest.”
Isaiah 41.10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
1 Corinthians 12.15-27: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+12%3A15-27&version=NIV We are called as Christ’s ambassadors and together we serve the body, our community and those God put before us, so that the power of the gospel might be witnessed to those who seek Jesus. As we worship, may these songs comfort and strengthen you, and help you focus on Christ alone.
1. You Never Let Go – https://youtu.be/NM14VZVu0og
2. Blessed Be Your Name – https://youtu.be/du0il6d-DAk
3. Shine, Jesus, Shine – https://youtu.be/J3iB30gCqAc
4. Lord, I Lift Your Name On High – https://youtu.be/COQ6cni_TG8
ENCOUNTER DEVOTIONAL 31.5.20
by Daniel Bickerton
We have enjoyed another week of beautiful weather. I have had the opportunity to sit outside and ‘work from home’ several times this week and have noticed the varied choruses of birdsong at different times of day. Creation is singing God’s praise and He created us to do the same. Psalm 8.1 “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_dtbmVdQY4
I have been particularly touched by this song that Howard introduced to our church a few weeks ago – not just a wonderful tune, but the words are incredibly profound and although time may be ticking by and we perhaps spend moments reflecting on times gone by, or the changes that have happened in our lives over the last few months, one thing remains: God is the same. He will never change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is forever mighty, forever true and we can totally depend on Him. “I will trust in His name; He is here with me and I am not alone. His love is sure and He knows my name, for my God is the Ancient of Days.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPpGphzScjA
I have also spent time reflecting on some of the challenges that are yet to come. We have found this period incredibly difficult but we must remember that the greatest battle has already been won – our precious Saviour, the Lord Jesus, is wearing the Victor’s Crown. “At the cross the work was finished, Jesus was buried in the ground but the grave could not contain Him because He wears the Victor’s crown. Hallelujah! Jesus has overcome the world!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2nBOGA6X2g
Who better to have in your life than Jesus – when we stumble and fall, He will pick us up; He is my light, my strength, my song! Acts 4.11-12 “Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” God bless you all! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U
ENCOUNTER DEVOTIONAL 24.5.20
by Julie Luff
READING: 1 Corinthians 12.12-27
One Body but Many Parts
This is one of my favourite chapters in the Bible. We can sometimes think in churches for example that the person leading out the front, the speaker, people in the worship group are ‘more important’ and thus feel insignificant or unimportant. We are ALL equally important and uniquely created by God who gave us different gifts to be used. We’re not to think ‘I should be like him or her’ because God made you – YOU. How wonderful that God didn’t make us like robots.
I often think of an orchestra; each member is so different playing an instrument that they desire, but each instrument played is just as important as the next in order to create beautiful music together. Imagine if each member wasn’t unique and everyone wanted to play the same instrument; you’d loose that full sound that the orchestra makes. We all play a part in church life, not one person being more important than the other. We are to be together and united but having our different roles.
I’ve chosen three songs this week, all from Songs of Fellowship, book 1:
1. We Shall be as One – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPvr-KzjyA0
2. Bind us together – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emCaGJfM0gs
3. Let there be love shared among us – https://youtu.be/zEuS7Ut7kqI?t=4
ENCOUNTER DEVOTIONAL 17.5.20
by Josh Lamsdale-Lloyd
It’s a concept that can sometimes be lost on us all. With the current situation we find ourselves in, and to our nation as a whole, there is a feeling of hopelessness. I admit that I’ve struggled with the idea of hope; hoping that things would soon get better, perhaps allowing myself to fall into the tricks of the world and the evil one whispering lies into my ears.
But I was struck by a song that holds sentimental value for me: Living Hope (included in my playlist today). My surrogate sister was baptised to this song last year and I was blessed to have performed it during her baptism. It moved me to tears.
I was reminded how we don’t have to remain in fear. We don’t have to bind ourselves with the confusion and the despair that we often find ourselves in. “When satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within; upward I look and see Him there, who made an end of all my sins.”
The Name above all names. The Risen Lamb. The Lion of Judah. Perfect and Spotless Righteousness. Our Living Hope.
1. Jesus –
2. Before the Throne of God Above –
3. Is He Worthy? –
4. Living Hope –