Come Closer

Come Closer Day – Saturday 14th July 2018

BOOK YOUR FREE TICKET NOW USING EVENTBRITE, OR EMAIL MEGAN@COMECLOSER.ORG

facebookcomecloserday14thjuly

Hello Lovely One,

This is your invitation to join us for the Come Closer Day! Our heart is that you will take the time to invest in yourself and come along.  We are fully expectant that our God will do what only He can do, in and through your life.

We are excited to announce that Mary Buckley will be joining.

MARY BUCKLEY
Mary is Lead Pastor of Life Church Leicester, along with her husband Philip. She enjoys the challenge  Jesus has called her to and considers pastoring the people of God as the best job in the world! Mary is a gifted and refreshing communicator. Jesus has blessed her with pastoral and prophetic gifts, which have matured and expanded in her years of service both in local church and National leadership. She loves life, loves people and loves the everyday adventure of running with Jesus and drawing people into this adventure with her. Mary’s son Andrew, his wife Lucy and their two children live in Sheffield.

SO, DON’T WAIT! BOOK YOUR FREE TICKET NOW USING EVENTBRITE, OR EMAIL MEGAN@COMECLOSER.ORG

So, we are planning, preparing and praying, to ensure the day is filled with surprises that will touch your heart, encourage, equip and inspire you.

Emma Beaney, and other members of the Come Closer team will also be sharing – We have three workshop streams planned for you to chose from in the afternoon.

Admission is Free. A collection will be taken on the day.

PLEASE BRING LUNCH WITH YOU        

The day also includes: Refreshments, morning pastries, afternoon cakes, and a few surprises to encourage you.

If you’re a ‘teen’ young women (15+) we want to encourage you to join us! We do have a few little extras planned, just for you.

So, allow us to lovingly challenge you to be intentional, and set aside the day. Come, just as you are. Allow us to serve you, love on you, encourage you, and meet some new friends!

Go on, be brave! Bring a friend and book now!

Love all your Come Closer Team

If you require more information please contact:
Emma Beaney: 07715382958 – emma@comecloser.org / Rebekah Taylor:  07967227759 / Deborah Gregg: 07851 455502 – deborah@faithtreasury.com

Note: The Faith Treasury shop will be displaying their creative gifts and bible art supplies with 10% discount.

 

FAQs

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Limited free parking is available on site. There are also two free public car parks within 10 minutes walk. The first is at the top of silver street, near the shops. The second is around the corner on Caldecotte street. A detailed map will be sent out before the event.

 

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Come Closer

Thoughts from Rebekah

Today we have Rebekah Taylor sharing with us. Rebekah lives a genuine life worth learning from. Full of integrity. She carries her Heavenly Father’s heart for the vulnerable and those struggling.

Rebekah spoke at Come Closer in February, and below is a small taste of what she said. This is so worth your time.

So stop, grab a cuppa, take a pause and listen to Rebekah …

 

I hate wind.

Not the embarrassing kind; the kind children find hilarious and adults pretend didn’t happen!

No, I mean the stormy weather kind of wind. The sort that whips up both leaves and school kids into a frenzy, while homes creak and groan under the assault.

Storm Doris hit the UK earlier this year. It was anticipated to be so strong that Doris’ name filled the news headlines with its imminent arrival. From the moment I saw the warnings on the weather app I could feel my whole body tense. It meant sleepless nights listening to the house being battered, worrying that neither our old house nor our DIY skills were up to facing such attacks. It meant anxious driving around town, nervously watching trees bend and sway next to the roads, praying that the children would be safe at school that day. And then my delaying of the return home, not sure what I’d find when I got there and mentally panicking about how we’d deal with the damage… even though nothing had happened yet.

Of course, the morning after Doris’ arrival, the sky cleared and the wind died down. A sense of calm filled both the air and my tensed muscles. The storm had left as easily as it had arrived, the house was still standing, we were all safe and my fears had gone. Yes, there were still the signs of what had swept through our town – upturned bins, scattered branches and TV news reminders of other parts of the country hit harder, but the danger had passed and life carried on.

We all face a lot of fear every day in our lives. The fear of loneliness, ill health, or of the safety of our children, drives many of our choices day to day. Many of us these days have huge levels of anxiety and stress, perhaps partly due to the fear of failure or the fear of missing out. And can someone please tell me what we’re supposed to eat? Once upon a time it was fat we were all avoiding, then it was carbs, now it’s sugar we’ve become scared of. The world around us holds little comfort. We watch events unfold surrounded by suspicion and fear. Headline editors and political leaders alike often try to use fear to their advantage in their campaigns. We worry about what the future holds or how the world is changing.  When the news is full of allegations of secret meetings and leaked intelligence, we doubt the safety of our nations in the hands of those called to lead, whilst mistrusting the way history is being recorded.

In this so called “post-truth era” we’re left with too much information that we don’t know whether to trust or not. We don’t know who to believe, where to turn, what to follow, who to trust.

Isaiah 40:8 says:

ISAIAH40V8

That is where you turn. That is what you rely on. The Word of God doesn’t alter so it can win more votes. It doesn’t change its story to get with the times, to fit in, to protect its image. It speaks truth and hope and freedom, which has survived generations and is still as relevant and life giving today as it has always been.

When the world lacks integrity we can rely on the unchanging nature of God, and find comfort, purpose, and challenges in His Word.

Isn’t that comforting? To have something permanent and constant in this uncertain world. Fashions, trends and politics come and go, but the faithful promises of God stand firm. Through Jesus, God offers us peace and joy, that whatever happens He will be with us and will bring us through. This is not some phoney election promise that life will be easy and everything wonderful. The Bible doesn’t pretend that once you’re a Christian you’ll never have any trouble or difficult times. But by focusing on God, by spending time with Him and knowing His Word we might have a joy that goes deeper than day-to-day happiness, and a hope that carries us through the dark times.

Psalm 94: 12-13 in the Message version says:

PSALM94V12TO13

I love the sound of a circle of quiet in this busy life. And yet that is what is on offer to us every single day. Every time we sit with God, we pray or read the Bible; we are shifting our focus from our current situation or the state of the world, to God. We’re filling our minds and our hearts with the truth and hope of God.

Even if only for a moment, we can replace the thought full of worry, with what is TRUE. Just a few minutes each day can let God start chipping away at the darkness to bring His light. He only needs faith as small as a mustard seed to do great things and to grow deeper in relationship with Him.

Seeking God first in all our troubles doesn’t allow them to become all consuming. The darkness cannot completely take over if we invite His truth and light to break in, even for only a short time. I’m not diminishing the problems we face; some of us are walking through very real, very painful times. But to turn your eyes upon Jesus, to lean on Him and not rely on ourselves or our own strength, that invites Him to walk right up close next to us, to drive out the darkness.

When fear and anxiety creep in we can call on the Lord there and then, and declare out loud the promises of God. We can find verses that encourage us to fill our minds in those moments. For example

Isaiah 41:10 says:

ISAIAH41V10

The God who created heaven and earth, who can do anything, is with you, he has declared himself your God, he is promising he is always there. He WILL do these things. It’s not an empty promise or a conditional offer that if you pass this test He might get involved.

Yes there will be storms in life. And when they pass, the damage may still be seen. There might be a time of repair and restoration that needs to follow which won’t always be easy. The scars may remain for a long time. But like the wise man’s house built on solid rock, we can stand firm on the foundations of God’s Word. We will be rocked and buffeted in these days but there will be a sense of calm and of peace that returns as life leads on.

We can hold on to the assurance that the victory is already won and the dark days will not last, as we rely on the Bible to speak truth into our lives and draw us close to God. We need not fear.

Isaiah 12:2 says:

ISAIAH12V2

Love Rebekah

Come Closer

In the waiting…

Well, writing this second blog seems even harder than the first. The screen is dauntingly white and my mind has gone a complete shade of nothing!

However, last September I began to scribble the beginnings of a blog entitled ‘In the waiting’, which I feel prompted to finish. So, here goes…

Let me first say, so we’re all on the same page here, waiting is hard. From simple things like a kettle boiling or a late train arriving (frustratingly), to holding for important news or prayer, fundamentally waiting does not come naturally (or at least not to me). Life is complicated isn’t it? We can be juggling various aspects of life, whilst waiting on something(s), trying to stop our minds being consumed with that thing(s) we are waiting on. I remember being pregnant with my son. The 9 expected months went ‘relatively’ quickly. But, those last 10 overdue days felt like an eternity!

Waiting for events to unfold, circumstances to change, answers to come (or not) or even a heart to alter. It can require grit, determination, trust, hope and faith. Thankfully, Jesus himself knew what it was to wait, taking 30 years before beginning His own ministry on earth (John 2). Isn’t that comforting? He knows.

Waiting can feel like the unanswerable difference between what is seen now, and what is yet to be seen. The space between the unknown and seemingly known. It can be the place where your breath holds and clings to hope. But where worry, fear, anxiety and frustration circle roundabout like hungry vultures.

There have been many times over the past 8 years I have found myself ‘in the waiting’. The kind of waiting where you know things are going to change, and yet you’re not sure what the various overlaps of life will look like when everything has settled. Some things I still don’t know.

I have spent more time at hospital and doctor appointments than I want to recall. Waiting. Holding hands. Bracing myself. Searching inwardly for the still small voice of The One who does know all. I’ve lost count of the number of houses I saw searching for a home, and those we have lost when we thought they were secure. 5 years on, we moved in.

Approaching the wait

We all know that a journey has a starting point and an end. A few years ago we decided to go to Holland for our family holiday and drive there (yes, slightly crazy I know). It was to be a big adventure! At the time, David wasn’t able to do much driving, but I was up for the challenge. So, 4 adults, a tween, a teen, mounds of luggage and a jam packed Dodge Journey, we left our home in anticipation of the 10 hour journey ahead.

At 4 hours the cramping set in, so we stopped, stretched, had a break in France; buying some delicious treats. 8 hours in, traffic backing up, we were stuck. Not fun. We plotted a detour, convincing ourselves we had saved time! After 12 hours in the car, torrential rain pouring, and still 2 hours to go, the adventure was starting to wear thin. It was then I felt a nudging, a sense of God speaking, telling me that a journey is a process. You would miss so much by simply jumping from start to finish. The journey is full of new experiences, some good and others particularly uncomfortable, but we have a choice on how we approach it. Do we grab hold and learn from what we walk through, trusting The One who knows, or do we grind our teeth, begrudging every moment. How do we approach the wait, as waiting always involves patience?

You're blessed BeattitudeOver the years I’ve heard people say ‘dig deeper and keep digging until you come through this’. It was about 8 years ago when this simply didn’t work. The mantra didn’t hold true. I had dug deeper, used up all my strength and had nothing left. In a nut shell, I had come to the end of myself, my own abilities, talents, gifting, stubbornness! I couldn’t solve or change what was happening. In those moments, I have had to surrender, completely yielding to His will be done, and it is there that I have found rest. God in His kindness, showed me a greater measure of what it is to dwell and rest in Him. That He would tell me when to stand, speak, fight, and when I simply needed to be still, in the waiting.

Calculating the Waiting

But, I get impatient. Anyone else? I have been know to desperately try to solve things myself. To calculate how to solve the unsolvable. I go to Google, the font of all knowledge, and try to work things out, in my time. The waiting can zap you of strength, leaving you depleted and vulnerable. I’m not saying we shouldn’t use our resources, but I’m talking about the exhausting ‘trying’ of ‘figuring things out’, which at the end of all the figuring, leaves you none the wiser.

He sees in the waiting

At a recent Come Closer, Birgitte Grace spoke on EL ROI, the God who sees. She spoke on Abraham and Sarah and that in their desperation for the Promise of God to be fulfilled, they took matters into their own hands as Hagar gave birth to Ishmael. Scripture describes God rescues Hagar and Ishmael not just once, but twice (Genesis 16 & 21). He saw them in their distress, and His timing was perfect. EL ROI also saw Hannah waiting for a child (1 Samuel 1), vastly provoked by Peniah. Hannah was real; she wept, lived in anguish and torment, but then one day, she surrendered.

When the answers we pray for don’t come, we can try to stPsalm 84 v 11ep in. But, God’s ways are not our ways. Keep praying and then pray some more. Be faithful in prayer and trust in the The One who sees, who knows, who is and whose promises are sure. Psalm 84 says that God is your sun and your shield. Picture that. Consider that. God is both the warm life giving sun, and your protector.

Today in the wait

Matthew 6 v 34In the waiting I’ve felt my heart fracture as conversations and events unfold. Where things become clearer, and yet, so much remains unseen and uncertain. Matthew 6:24-34 are verses I have sat with and held to. “Do not worry… Seek Him first. They are verses that can runs off the tongue, and yet are so hard to live by. It’s Jesus’ commandment to us, which comes with an incredible promise of God’s great care in the mist of the unknown and waiting. A promise given by the Promise Giver – God Himself. It is a choice to stay in today, to see today and live it now, leaving all else with God, who is incredibly patient, compassionate and faithful; working out the very details with precision timing. Opposite is a  personal declaration of the Matthew 5 passage. A personal reminder of what Jesus commanded.

Believing in the wait

Martin Lloyd JonesA question I am consistently challenged with is – Do I believe in God, or Do I believe God? Do I believe He is who He says He is, that His word is true, that I am His. Do I believe God? One thing I have realised is, I know who the great Prince of Peace is, because I have so needed to know that HE IS who He says He is. To know God more and more. The more we know him, the more we know who he created us to be. For Almighty God formed us! (Psalm 139). Each day increase steadily in your knowledge of Him. Thankfully we are changed progressively, as we know him more.

Connection in the wait

One thing I have learned is God has given me others in my world who will stand with me and pray. Who will lift their shield of faith, hold me up and be faithful in prayer. The waiting can be such a vulnerable place. Don’t allow the enemy to isolate you. Join with other Christians who will support you, and who you in turn can support. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom as you wait. Share with a trusted someone what you are waiting for and ask for prayer.

Changed in the wait

God never wastes time in the waiting. I have indeed changed.
Psalm 62 v 5He has held me, protected me, stepped in, smoothed the way and brought victory out of what was seemingly nowhere. Prayers have been answered (not always the way I wanted). In the waiting I have become honest with God and honest with myself. It’s within that I have learned a greater measure of resting in Him. That he is indeed my home. Safe. Secure. Never changing, even when all things change around.

Waiting isn’t straight forward. It can include searing loss, new life, clearer direction or present a surprise. Nevertheless, the waiting can be a powerful time of surrender. A time to stop running and humble yourself. A time where you can allow God to work on those areas of your soul that you have kept shielded, locked away, and hardened.

ISAIAH40V31I listened to something that Beth Moore said which helped change my perspective. When we wait on the Lord, we don’t wait on the circumstances. Waiting on circumstances is exhausting. Instead, we wait on God. Never in the wait is God inactive. We wait knowing he is at work and He renews our strength in that secret place.

If you find yourself in the waiting, my prayer is that throughout this coming time, you would know Him more deeply and intimately. For He is your Saviour, your friend and His love will hold you and His presence strengthen, as you draw near to Him. There is no substitute for His presence. The One who knows all and sees all.

As for me, I continue to keep learning (I’m not always a quick learner)… in the waiting.

Be encouraged today.

Emma

Come Closer

In the writing… a simple step

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote anything for the Come Closer blog. A long while. My original thought was to post something once a week, but I haven’t. My original thought was to draw other women to write and post, but I haven’t. Life has in recent years taken twists and turns I hadn’t reckoned on, and in the course of it all, I pushed writing this blog further down the list and ignored the prompting to start again.

A little about me…

As a child I loved to write. If you asked my parents, they would recall reams of paper in my bedroom with countless scribbles. One of my earliest primary school memories was writing a story about a rabbit, which was in a hand cut rabbit shaped book no less. My spelling wasn’t the best, but my imagination never let me down. Oh the stories I could see as I closed my eyes. My child-like mind would be filled with colourful characters in wonder filled details. The landscapes were dressed to enhance the unfolding story, with each personality having their own sense of intriguing or delightful purpose.

So what happened? Well, not unlike other people, overtime, I simply stopped. As a teen, I learned that not everyone liked my creative, heart on a page, writing style. A teacher’s critique filled red pen, often obliterated my pages. Then as the years went, I became naturally consumed with life events, love and marriage (thank you David), trying to find a bill paying purpose and having two incredible children.

It was by God’s grace I stumbled into a job as a technical writer. I now have two growing businesses, which currently don’t include much writing, but you never know! It’s been an adventure so far though! My husband (David) and I have taken leaps of faith, trusted in the painful unknown and the impossible, and ‘seen the honey’ in the driest of seasons. BUT, my scribbles have remained predominantly private; giving way to a more practical professional head. A kind of head and heart disconnect somehow when it comes to writing? I enjoy my ‘job’, love my family, and am so grateful for all God has given me, but know there is more to get intentional about. More that He has in store for you and for me. Can you sense him stirring you?

His word…

My love for words has threaded through the years. Words can jump off the page, speak deep within, and hold a capacity to touch and change the human heart. I think words drew me so easily to love the bible.

The incredible events, the plots, the love, the pain, the sorrow, the victories, the defeats, the reality of human weakness, the incredibleness of God’s unwavering strength and the unfolding of His ancient plan, all captivate me. It nourishes my heart, vitally sustains and brings continual transformation  to my storm-tossed mind and soul. One of my favourite bible stories as a child was Gideon, possibly because my father was my Sunday school teacher, and retold it with such passion and detail. I love that God choose to do what we would never have thought ‘sensible’ to do.

Isaiah 55:6-9 The Message

A prompting, a stirring…2 Timothy 1:6-7

So here I am now, in my early forties (eeek), sat with a prompting I have tried to ignore. It’s a prompting to start just where I am and rekindle this blog. To fan into flame God’s gifting. To stop scribbling purely in private. A prompting that says to write with both heart and head. Trusting God and writing what He places on my heart; believing He will breathe on the words He chooses to use. Over the years, I have been given opportunity to use gifting God has gracefully given me, and so know that it is only His active, participating presence that astounds, redeems, challenges, reassures and surprises. Above all, it’s all about Him.

BUT, and it’s a big BUT, my mind has wrestled with a persistent, relentless, drowning, nagging voice, that argues with valid, logical arguments (so annoying) to keep me from starting. (Anyone identify? Anyone?).

  • First, there are many great voices already out there writing. They pen with great power and eloquence. So, what on earth can I add?
  • Second, what if I fail? What if I try and then can’t find the time to write? I’m a wife, mother, daughter, friend, business owner, lead Come Closer, volunteer etc. What happens if I can’t sustain writing?
  • Third, what if I write and it’s utter rubbish? Oh, this is a good one hey! The power of other people’s perceptions!

NEVERTHELESS (I love that word), the prompting persists, mingled with thoughts like, what if I don’t try? What if just one person is encouraged along the way. What if this blog helps release someone else’s gifting? How wonderful would that be? If simply a few read this, I’m perfectly content. (My husband, and greatest encourager, could not be happier I’m here writing).

2 Corinthians 12:9

The power of the unknown can leave us all paralysed and discouraged. Our enemy would love us to remain as small, isolated and pushed down as possible. We can have faith in God for great things, and yet be overwhelmed by our own insecurities. I know and have witnessed that God heals, transforms, sustains, changes, gives strength and walks each day with you and me. But, strangely find it hard putting pen to paper, or hands to the keyboard. NEVERTHELESS, I know it’s time to obey; realising that in my absolute weakness, God’s strength and glory is made ever more brighter, totally eclipsing my insecurities. The same goes for you.

A simple step…

So, after much ignoring, then praying, then humbling (and stopping running), and finally surrendering, I’m starting a new writing journey, hoping to bring others with me. Unsure how it will look; but remembering Gideon and that God’s ideas are not usually the same as ours, it begins.

Step by Step

I don’t know where you are today? Do you have a prompting, pulling, drawing towards something? Perhaps it’s something practical, creative, spiritual, administrative, encouraging? Is God prompting you to fan into flame the gifting he has given you? Have you been ignoring it? Have you been saying, I’ll do it next month, and then three months, a year, 10 years goes by. Don’t be discouraged. The best thing I can say is, start with a simple step. Any change happens with a simple step. Little by little.

My simple step is to intentionally post this. The strategy side of my mind (which can be really loud) would want to pin myself down to posting once a week. NEVERTHELESS, right now, I’m just simply going to start and hope. To hope that in the coming months ahead other women (and men) would come join me and write blogs to post; fanning their own gifting into flame. Amazingly, a few women have already written something to share!

My prayer is that this Come Closer blog would encourage, stir, inspire, challenge, equip, speak into, join together, and draw others to our altogether lovely Jesus.

 So why not take a simple small step in whatever God is prompting in you. Are there others in your life who can support you, or even step into something with you? It’s always easier to do life together. Would a mentor be helpful, both to encourage, give wisdom and challenge? It can be so useful to share with a trusted someone. Ask the Holy Spirit for His guidance. Time is short. God is Here.

Let’s take a simple small step out; expectant, hope filled, and stand secure in who we are made to be. His beloved daughters and sons, who need our Heavenly Father’s never-failing strength. For its not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord Almighty.

I’m cheering you on! Thanks for reading!

EmmaZech 4:11 NIV