Catch up on the third daily habit

“Being fully present is one of the greatest gifts you can give.”

On Sunday Christoph Lindner spoke about the third daily habit  (One hour with phone off). Catch up on the talk here:

 

 

Bishop of London thanks parishes and public as Covid-19 measures lift

Read the complete article here…

Sarah Mullally, The Bishop of London, has thanked front line workers, parishes, and all who have made sacrifices to help protect one another from Covid-19, as England prepares to move away from ‘plan B’ restrictions on Thursday.

Bishop Sarah, who chairs the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group, was speaking as new advice was published by the Church of England ahead of Thursday’s change of national rules.

She said: “When the first measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 were introduced in March 2020, few would have imagined that we would still be making adaptations to the way we live our lives – including our worship – almost two years on.

“It has been a very challenging time.

“People have made huge sacrifices to protect one another – not only those they know and love but strangers they might never meet. We’ve learnt again as society something of what it means to love our neighbour, as Jesus taught.

“And it has certainly not been without cost.

“The loneliness and isolation many have experienced; the impact on people’s mental health; the lost jobs and failed businesses and strained relationships must not be overlooked.

“Yet, terrible as the toll from this virus has been, and continues to be, the actions people have taken have saved lives and prevented countless infections, with all the potential long-term consequences that could go with them.

“We may never know what good has been done.

“So as we can begin to look forward with cautious hope, we once again thank those who have done so much to protect us all – particularly our NHS, carers and other front line workers.

“I want to thank everyone who has made sacrifices for others. I think particularly of younger people who, though often least at risk, have sometimes given up the most.

“And I want especially to thank our clergy, parish volunteers and congregations for all you are doing – not simply to keep worship going, but to innovate with bold and remarkable new ways of doing so; reaching new people and, of course, serving your communities.

“As ‘plan B’ restrictions come to an end the future remains uncertain and we must continue to be cautious. In our churches government rules have been eased but I would still encourage congregations to consider what mitigation can best protect others.

“As we look now towards spring and the vivid demonstration of new life it offers us, my prayer is that we won’t forget what we’ve learnt; that we take this opportunity to thank others and that we look with hope to the future.”

Avoiding Doom Scrolling

Beautiful weather in Denham on this “Blue Monday”. One thing to stay clear of when you are feeling low: “Doom scrolling”:

Blue Monday: Beating the Winter Blues

Winter can be a difficult season for many of us – especially once Christmas is over.

In our current issue of Denham Parish News (pages 26-27) we offer some tips on how to beat the winter blues…

Click on the link above to read the magazine. The article also contains information about organisations that can help.

 

Here is an excerpt from Ben Palpant’s new book “Letters from the Mountain” (Rabbit Room Press):

EVERYTHING IS GOING MY WAY

An excerpt from Letters from the Mountain.

I’ve heard that we’re born with only two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. If true, this reinforces the very real fact that we accumulate fears over time. We undoubtedly manufacture some, but life experiences saddle us with the others. From worry to severe anxiety disorders, from run-of- the-mill fears to irrational phobias, we all live somewhere on anxiety’s broad spectrum. We fear heights, spiders, bats, public speaking, rejection letters, financial collapse, negative judgments, loneliness, memory loss—the list is endless. And these fears bang incessantly on the tin roofing of our hearts.

And if anxiety were not paralyzing enough, it brings discouragement along for company. We listen to fear’s lies, fully knowing they are lies. We look in the mirror each morning and wonder when fear will finally stop being an unwanted house guest.

History offers a long list of faithful God-followers who fought anxiety or depression, some for much of their lives—Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah, Job, Elijah, Jonah, Hannah. Even King David struggled, as evidenced by his psalms, though he had tasted remarkable courage many times, even defeating a lion, a bear, and Goliath. Charles Spurgeon, William Cowper, G. K. Chesterton, and Mother Teresa likewise struggled. Some suffocated so badly beneath the weight that they entertained suicidal thoughts not once, but many times.

Anxiety does not discriminate. It takes the strong and the weak, the cheerful and the melancholy, the spiritual juggernaut and the spiritual lightweight. And addressing the topic is complicated by ambiguity. The line between anxiety and worry, for example, is not as clear as we would like. When is the brain working improperly and when are we simply fretting? When is panic a biological reflex and when is it self-induced?

Those who have fallen down the rabbit hole of depression know the seriousness of anxiety. They also have learned the hard way that the world is uncomfortably silent or unhelpfully trite on the subject. Even Christians squirm around it. Some people are downright flippant in their judgments, shaming vulnerable people into silence rather than serving them.

In a classic Bob Newhart sketch, a young woman seeks counsel for her claustrophobia. She is terribly afraid of being buried alive in a box. He says that his psychotherapy sessions last only five minutes, and they come with two important words which she is to incorporate into her life: “Stop it!” That’s it. To Newhart’s character, recovery is as simple as that.

Those who have never stood on the edge of a mental breakdown and those who have never suffocated beneath depression’s heavy hand find the skit funnier than those who have. If “Stop it!” were all we needed to conquer the giant, Anxiety, then it would not have so many carcass trophies hang- ing on its wall. And for some strange reason, we still think that anxiety can only be defeated by sheer willpower. Our mortal vantage point is woefully insufficient for helping us deal with our repeated failure to defeat it.

God’s promises provide a new vantage point, a divine perspective that we all need. He says, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10, NKJV). 1 Peter 5:7 says we can cast the whole weight of our anxieties upon God because we’re his personal concern. Romans 8:28 confirms that promise: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose” (MEV).

These are not Pollyanna promises. Nor are they mere talismans against dark forces. In a seismic spiritual earthquake, they are the firm, unshake- able ground on which we stand.

Belief in these promises changes how God’s children hear the every- day question, “How are you doing?” If God is faithful to keep his promises, then in an ultimate sense we can truthfully answer, “Everything is going my way.” He intimately uses my circumstances, even the scary ones, for my benefit. All the time. Guaranteed.

Anyone who answers that way risks sounding pompous, or at the very least presumptuous. But what if we answered that way in our minds? Would we start seeing differently? Would we see opportunity where others see limitation? Would we see abundance where others see scarcity? Would our thankfulness, gladness, and peace grow? No matter the circumstances? Perhaps.

 

Wellbeing Thought for Monday 29th March 2021

Monday, 29 March
Thank you for being on The Wellbeing Journey!

We hope you have found this journey helpful – keep going!

Would you like to keep in touch and get updates from Denham Parish Church? Please fill in the simple form at

https://www.denhamparish.church/new/

To find out more about Denham Parish Church, go to www.denhamparish.church or email our parish secretary Victoria at office@denhamparish.church.

To arrange a personal conversation, please email our Rector Christoph Lindner at rector@denhamparish.church

May you know the joy of the risen Lord Jesus this Easter!

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Wellbeing Thought for Sunday 28th March 2021

Sunday 28 March
Ever-increasing wellbeing

How can we continue to live in every-increasing wellbeing?

(1) Submit to God’s plan for your life. If you haven’t yet made Jesus the Lord of your life, we strongly encourage you to do so.* It will be the best decision you’ll ever make. If you are already a follower of Christ, renew your commitment to put Him first.

(2) Keep renewing your mind with His truth. Consider again the six areas of your life. Reflect on the one thing you think will make the greatest change in your current situation, then persevere in putting it into practice.

(3) Make yourself accountable. We are far more likely to make progress if we write down the next steps and then share them with others. Invite them to ask you regularly how you are doing. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see quick results. As you keep going, you will start seeing a difference.

(4) Give it away. The ultimate purpose of our wellbeing is not just for our good but for others, too.

 

* “Lord Jesus, I admit my need of You and invite You to come and forgive me. I believe that You died and rose again so that I could receive new joy, purpose, hope and wellbeing. Please come into my life and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I commit to follow You and Your ways all the days of my life. Amen.”

If you have prayed this prayer for the first time, please share this with a Christian friend or with Christoph and Edda (rector@denhamparish.church).

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Wellbeing Thought for Saturday 27th March 2021

Saturday 27 March
Promise of reward

How do we keep going in the long run? For Christians, the answer is by living our whole lives in gratitude to the God who has called us, knowing that ultimately He will reward us. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3.17).

In whatever sphere we are functioning, everything we do is to be for the Lord. We live and work with an eternal perspective: there is life after life and when Jesus comes back there will be rewards in the age to come.

We have God’s promise that we will receive a reward for faithful (if sometimes faltering) service. We don’t get everything we desire in this life, but we are storing up great rewards in the age to come, when we will hear the Lord Jesus saying, “Well done – come and enjoy my complete and perfect shalom forever!”

> What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind? How can you make changes to your life, ministry and work? Receive fresh strength and motivation in ‘whatever you do’.

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Wellbeing Thought for Friday 26th March 2021

Friday 26 March
The power of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit acts as an ‘amplifier’ to our gifts, just as a PA system can make one voice heard in a big auditorium. James 5.17 says that Elijah was a human being, even as we are – it was the power of the Spirit working through him that enabled him to have such a powerful ministry.

As Jesus prepared to ascend to heaven he promised to his disciples that the Holy Spirit would be poured out on them. This happened at Pentecost and the same Spirit is still available to the Church today (Acts 1 and 2).

We can we be anointed for our vocation – in our families, our place of work, our local church or community.

> Ask God to fill you with His power in order to help you be more effective in your vocation.
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Wellbeing Thought for Thursday 25th March 2021

Thursday 25 March
Alone or with other people

“How well you do in life and in business depends not only on what you do and how you do it … but on who is doing it with you” (Henry Cloud, The Power of the Other). For the first part of his ministry, Elijah operated as a lone ranger, but during the final phase he had a young friend and successor by his side, Elisha. Jesus supremely modelled the call to work with and mentor others with his disciples. This is a broader principle expressed in the slightly corny statement, “teamwork makes the dream work”.

The more I realise what I’m good at, the more I also find out what I’m NOT good at! Being part of a team is essential!

> Are you functioning as a lone ranger or working with others? How can you grow your investment in other people and your contribution to teams?
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Wellbeing Thought for Wednesday 24th March 2021

Wednesday 24 March
The need for perseverance

Sometimes we lose motivation, focus and creativity and we just want to quit. When our passions and our purpose are aligned, we are more likely to persevere at such times. Sometimes we need help to get back. Elijah came to this point when he said to God “Take my life!”. And God reaffirmed his calling: “Go back the way you came” (1 Kings 19.15), which may well have been an encouragement to return to his original vocation.

While our vocation may stay the same, the way we live it out may well change. If you are heading towards the vocational red zone and feeling like giving up, don’t quit! Keep going on until the end.

> Take time to reflect. How can you reignite your sense of calling and destiny? Re-embrace your purpose and determine to persevere. wellbeing banner with text small.jpeg