Always Look On The Bright Side

The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church at Corinth and spoke of the "God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles." As we face the worst national and global crisis most of us can remember it's easy to be overwhelmed by bad news and forget that so often hardship and difficulties can bring out the best in people. The purpose of this page is to lift our spirits and bring comfort to us so that we may comfort others.


THIS WEEK FROM POSITIVE NEWS. I love this website. If you get your news only from the mainstream providers who all compete with each other for the latest sensational headlines, you could be forgiven for thinking the only news is bad news! But the reality is rather different. Click to follow this link for a piece titled 'Bouncing Forward. Why the pandemic could make our communities stronger'.

WOULD YOU GO TO STARBUCKS IF IT WAS LIKE THIS?  PROBABLY NOT.

OK this is very American - but are there lesson for us?


Kindness v Coronavirus: how altruistic acts are helping people cope. In the face of the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have taken opportunities to help others and found it rewarding for themselves too. You can find this story and others at a website called POSITIVE NEWS. Click here for U.K. stories.

smiley Positive News, as the name suggests, focusses on good news from the U.K. and around the world. There are sections on the Environment, Lifestyle, Economics and many others. There is an interesting feature which includes the story of a 62 year old gay Catholic man from Northern Ireland headed 'I don't feel like God is going to exclude me because I love my partner.' More from this site in future weeks.


Here is a superb rendition of 'Majesty' (Maranatha! Music) one of the hymns suggested for use in worship this week. The arrangement is a little different, but you won't be able to stop yourself singing along with it!

 

7 Year old Veronica sings a stunning version of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujiah'. Guaranteed to lift your spirit!


CLICK HERE TO SEE MATTHEW'S MESSAGES OF HOPE

For families with school-age children                    for young people

                         for church leaders                                         for the whole church


Does God love really love everyone? 

                     Yes, but he prefers fruits of the spirit to religious nuts!

The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose

                     Mosquitoes come close though!

Who was the first tennis player in the Bible?

                     Joseph - he served in Pharoah's court!

How does Moses make his coffee?

                     Hebrews it - obviously. 

Did you hear about the free helpline for atheists?

                     It rings and rings but no-one answers!

And finally, one to make you think....

A new minister in a small English town spent the first four days making personal visits to each of the members, inviting them to come to his first services.    
      The following Sunday the church was all but empty. Accordingly, the Minister placed a notice in the local newspaper stating that, because the church was dead, it was everyone's duty to give it a decent Christian burial. The funeral would be held the following Sunday afternoon, the notice said.   
      Morbidly curious, a large crowd turned out for the "funeral." In front of the pulpit, they saw a closed coffin, smothered in flowers. After the Pastor delivered the eulogy, he opened the coffin and invited his congregation to come forward and pay their final respects to their dead church.   
      Filled with curiosity as to what would represent the corpse of a "dead church," all the people eagerly lined up to look in the coffin. Each "mourner" peeped into the coffin then quickly turned away with a guilty, sheepish look.
       In the coffin, tilted at the correct angle, was a large mirror


This great video from Bethany Baptist Church, Pwllgwaun, Pontypridd shows what Church might look like when our buildings re-open!

 


A song which could almost be a modern equivalent of the 1872 hymn by Annie Hawks 'I need thee every hour.' This is performed by Chris Tomlin and written by Christy Nockels, Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, and Matt Maher. Since being posted on YouTube it has received over 65 million views!


Proving that we don't have to be shackled by history, for the first time ever, 300 churches and Christian organisations from every county in the island of Ireland have joined together to sing The Irish Blessing. 'Inspirational' seems inadequate....


laughI expect we've all wondered from time to time what Ministers keep under their cassocks during lockdown. No? Just me then! Anyway, thanks to CartoonChurch.com for the answers  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

50 C0VID AFFECTED COUNTRIES SING 'AMAZING GRACE'. CLICK THE IMAGE TO SEE THIS REMARKABLE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE

 


In the Methodist Church, the Sunday immediately preceding 24th May is known as Aldersgate Sunday or ‘Wesley Day’, on which Methodists mark John Wesley’s life-changing experience at a meeting in London. In his Journal John describes going ‘very unwillingly’ to a Moravian meeting in Aldersgate Street, in the City of London, where Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans was being read and his heart was "strangely warmed." John's brother Charles had a similar experience just 3 days earlier.  These life-changing experiences led ultimately to the founding of the Methodist Church. Shortly after his 'conversion' Charles Wesley wrote the hymn we know as 'And can it be', reflecting the new found zeal and passion for the Gospel which remained with both Charles and John for the rest of their lives.

 

(Virtual Church on YouTube)


Heidi (aged 5), who would usually come along to our church with her family, was quizzed by her mum about coronavirus, after finding something similar to this quiz on Facebook. (I’ve included Heidi’s answers because they made me smile!)

 1. What is the coronavirus? (Heidi: ‘It’s a big cough that goes all round the world.’)

 2. Who is the prime minister? (Heidi: ‘He’s the boss of the whole wide world.’)

 3. How many days have we been in lockdown? (Heidi: ‘About 100.’)

 4. Do you want to go back to school? (Heidi: ‘Yes.’)

 5. Who is the first person you are going to hug when lockdown ends? (Heidi: ‘Nell.’ Best friend from school)

 6. Where is the first place you want to go? (Heidi: ‘To my park.’)

 7. What do you think we can do to get rid of the Corona virus? (Heidi: ‘Stay at home and stay safe.’)

 8. Is mummy a good teacher? (Heidi: ‘Err, no! Because you’re very boring.’)

 9. If coronavirus was an animal what animal would it be? (Heidi: ‘Pig.’)

10. How did the coronavirus start? (Heidi: ‘Someone ate a bat.’)

11. If you had to wear protective clothing, what would it be? (Heidi: ‘A t-shirt, a jacket, a coat, and some trousers and socks and shoes…. Oh, and a mask!’)

Out of the mouths of babes! And, just because 11 is an odd number and 12 is a good biblical number, here is a twelfth question for you to ask your children:

12. What do you think Jesus would like us to do during lockdown?


Sing a new song worship activity

Actor, comedian and writer Matt Lucas reworked his famous song ‘Thank You Baked Potato’, to raise awareness of and money for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why not have some fun and become a songwriter yourself by taking a really well-known hymn tune and writing some new fun lyrics, which say something about the spirit of love you have seen exhibited in the place where you live and say ‘thank you’ to those who help and comfort you. For example, I might be inspired to write about someone living near us who is hanging sweets from the tree overhanging their front garden wall as treats for passers-by, to the tune of ‘Thine be the glory’:

‘Hey, lovely neighbours, thank you for the sweets,
dangling in your garden, showering us with treats.
The first time that I saw them I thought it looked quite odd,
but your bright-coloured gift-tree made me give thanks to God!’

I’m sure you can do better, but hopefully you get the idea! As the given psalm for this week, Psalm 66.8-20, sings in verse eight: ‘Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard’!

Tim Lowe is a minister of the United Reformed Church, serving with St Andrew’s Roundhay, in Leeds. Tim is interested in all forms of visual media as expressions of exploring what we believe as Christians. He is also an avid people-watcher (which might make him sound really weird!), but he is intrigued by the way people are reacting to one another in this present time and by the spirit that is driving them to love and care for one another more than ‘normal’!


At this unique and challenging time in the United Kingdom over 65 churches and movements, representing hundreds of others, (NB - including Bridge Methodist, Cornwall)  have come together online to sing a blessing over our land. Standing together as one, our desire is that this song will fill you with hope and encourage you. But the church is not simply singing a blessing, each day we're looking to practically be a blessing. Many of the churches included in this song have assisted with supplying over 400,000 meals to the most vulnerable and isolated in our nation since COVID-19 lockdown began. This alongside phone calls to the isolated, pharmacy delivery drops and hot meals to the NHS frontline hospital staff. Our buildings may be closed but the church is very much alive!

Original Song “The Blessing” by Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe and Elevation Worship. Written by Chris Brown, Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe and Steven Furtick Audio produced by Trevor Michael Video edited by Level Creative

Song : The Blessing (Live)

Artist: Elevation Worship, Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes

Licensed to YouTube by SME (on behalf of Elevation Worship Records); Capitol CMG Publishing


A POEM BY ANDY BRISTER

Pot of Gold.

I look across the land through the rain,

The sky brightens as the sun shines.

There in front of me is a rainbow,

Its colours bring joy to my mind.

I look for the rainbows end

Knowing that a pot of gold is there.

I start walking towards the rainbows end.

As I walk I have my ups and downs in life,

Until that time when I reach the rainbows end.

I look back at the wonder of my colourful life,

Knowing that I have found that pot of gold

In the life I have led to reach this place,

This place of wonder and fulfilment,

My wonderful life, my pot of gold.

Andy Brister (Goldfinch60) – April 2020. 


This is sure to bring a smile to your face. Thanks to Holly Armstrong at Brompton House for suggesting a poem by Pam Ayres.

smiley Click here to read "Oh No, I Got a Cold".


Thanks to Brenda Morton for this laugh


The Captain Tom Moore story goes on...... this remarkable man has now raised £29 milliion for the NHS and at 99 years old has become the oldest person ever to top the UK charts! Read about him here.


 

Try this version of 'How Great Thou Art' by Chris Rice

 


 

There are many versions available of 'The Prayer' written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa and Tony Renis. This is by Katherine Jenkins with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 


Read about Connie Titchen, at 106 thought to be the oldest patient to recover from coronavirus, Connie left hospital in Birmingham on Tuesday 14th April after a 3 week stay. Click here for the full story from the BBC website


More to come - we are just starting to build up this page so please check back soon.