Thought For The Day

Thought For The Day

As we entered lockdown we took the opportunity to encourage our church family to share a Thought for the Day - they are so good and so encouraging, we have left them here for you. They are also a great way to put names to faces of many of our church. Thought for the Day now appears on an adhoc basis - if you are part of your church, we’d love you to contribute, just send your thought in to Matt.

February 2nd - Matt Barlow

​Today's thought is brought to us by Matt Barlow 

Steve Restrick

Do you want to be entrusted with the secrets of the Kingdom?

Do you want to know the heart of Jesus?

John 2:24 states that Jesus would not ‘entrust Himself to them’ because He knew what they were like. #micdrop

I’ve never read and been struck by this verse in this way before. This is dramatic if you truly see the meaning of Jesus’ desire behind the words.

We all know that Jesus knows us, can see inside us, He knows our deepest and darkest stuff, and knows our private successes and how we cope with both but I hadn’t seen before that this knowledge actually affects His decisions.

His love is unconditional but His revelation may not be?!

Our character and heart affect what is released to us in the kingdom! The parable of the talents starts to make new sense, the entrusting of cities, the giving of more talents.

The second jaw drop comes at the concept of Jesus entrusting Himself to us at all. To anyone! That this would even be a thing?!

What a statement!

This relationship with Jesus is two ways in more than just speak, more than just love. Jesus is looking for people who will treasure His heart and life. Protect the gift. Prioritize the gift. Realize what they have and live differently because of it. Be completely different to the way the world treats Him.

Wow. My life affects what I see and what is given to me AND He’s looking for those who will be trusted with His relationship!

Today I want to change into someone who Jesus sees as trusted.

Jane Garratt

When Rachel was speaking from John chapter 15 on 17th January, I recalled a conversation with a person who became a lecturer in the Greek as used for writing the New Testament back in the first century A.D., from the London Bible College. He was one of several students from there who served my home church on placements as part of their course, when I was young. John Balchin said that the word used in John 15:2 translated as “cuts off” or “taken away” is probably best translated “lifts up”.

The word is from the Greek primary root “to lift”. The idea being that a vine-dresser would give the branch the opportunity to become fruitful by lifting it up from the mud, possibly using the structure of the vine to support it.

I’m sure many have debated whether, having received the salvation God offers by receiving Jesus who died in our place, - whether we can lose that. I think however this passage is an encouragement to us all to persevere in “abiding” in the close relationship with God the Father, through Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Here are the first few verses of John 15 from the Passion Translation:

I am a true sprouting vine and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest.

The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit,

so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine.

I hope this chapter will encourage all of us to live life close to Jesus day by day. To be receiving His strength and forgiveness, yes His very life so that we grow to be more like Him and revel in the “shalom” - wholeness, well-being, peace and grace that come from doing life with our Lord Jesus day by day.

Steve Restrick

Let's remind ourselves of who our Heavenly Father is…

That our Father is unchanging, that He is faithful, that He loves you and me, that He walks with you through the Valley, that He has a good, pleasing plan for your life. That He knows when you lie down and when you stand up, that the very hairs on your head are numbered and you are created in His image. That His plan for your future has, is and always will be filled with hope. That your heavenly Father loves you with an everlasting love. And His thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore.

Knowing and trusting all that to be true, instead of moaning about everything that is going on,

(our tendency at times, or is it just me !)

let us develop grateful hearts full of faith and trust. Instead of complaining about how bad things are, let us look gratefully to our Father who remains in control and in sovereign authority in our world and our individual lives.

Instead of being filled with worry, fear and anxiety about the future let us look to our Father and seek His will and His opportunities that this time will create for us.

Instead of falling into despair, let us look to our Father and see the Kingdom opportunities.

A call to prayer…

“Pray, have faith and trust as if everything depends on the Father;

And, work, plan and strategize as if everything depends on you.”

Remember, the person with an abiding spirit of gratitude is the one who trusts God. As you look to God as your heavenly Father, may your faith and trust grow, and may He give you grace to overcome!

Today, why not take the Serenity Prayer as your own:

God grant me the serenity (Peace)

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

“Living one day at a time;

enjoying one moment at a time;

accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

taking, as He (Jesus) did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;

trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His Will;

that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him

forever in the next “


Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

Matt Barlow

I was both deeply inspired and yet incredibly challenged when I was introduced, by Lectio 365, to the Methodist covenant prayer this week.

This is a prayer that is prayed by Methodists every year at an annual covenant service, often at the start of the year. The prayer itself was written by John Wesley.

As I read it, I knew that if I were to pray it I would struggle with some bits. There are parts of it that I simply don’t want to say, you can likely guess them as you may well feel the same.

However what this prayer does is call us into a deeper trust in our God, in his faithfulness.

Take a moment to read through it, to pray it. Be real, don’t just trot out the words, and where it’s hard share that with your Father, talk it through with him, and allow him to mould your heart more and more.

I am no longer my own but yours.

Put me to what you will,

rank me with whom you will;

put me to doing,

put me to suffering;

let me be employed for you,

or laid aside for you,

exalted for you,

or brought low for you;

let me be full,

let me be empty,

let me have all things,

let me have nothing:

I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things

to your pleasure and disposal.

And now, glorious and blessed God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

you are mine and I am yours. So be it.

And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.’

Rachel Dawson

6) (Christmas Eve)


For the majority of us 2020 has been our first real experience of a national crisis, almost all of us have no idea what world war 2 was like. ‘Crisis, free-fall, disbelief, panic, crash, rage, lockdown, fear, anxiety, loneliness, death-rates, infection rates, isolation, lack, vulnerable, poverty’ The list of ‘impending doom’ buzz-words in our news headlines over the last 11 months have been a constant stream of difficult things to read, trying to sum up the ongoing chaos of this year! This is the world we’re living in at the moment. This is where our country’s at. Have we ever been here before, in this exact way? No! Has the world ever been this chaotic and messy ever before? YES!

Jesus; the word at the beginning, the saviour of the world, the God with us and in us arrived on earth in the middle of mess! Literally and circumstantially. Thank God for our nhs this year, but that didn’t exist when Jesus was born! Born in a humble, dirty, ill-equipped stable this was, and is a beautiful representation of His perfection in the middle of our mess. 2,000 years ago our world was so far-gone from the hope that God initially had for our lives that He had to send Jesus as His rescue plan.

Fast forward to now and our world has known war, famine, oppression, evil, genocide, and currently disease. We are still living in a complete and utter mess! None of this is how God intended it to be when he created his beautiful garden for us to thrive in.

BUT there is MAGNIFICANT HOPE at the centre of our mess. Jesus lovingly and unceasingly gives us a life line, a hope, a future, a safe-space, a relationship with the God who made us, a triumph over death, a victory over darkness, a purpose, a meaning, a joy in adversity and security in turmoil. Now that’s a list that I want to reflect on at the end of this year!

These are the buzz-words that I want to land in my heart. In 2020, when all is said and done, when the year wraps up, when the dust starts to settle, and our emotions start to centre, the magnificent hope we have in Jesus will be as resounding as it ever has been. We have no idea what 2021 will look like but we do know that the light still shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it. John 1 1-18

Isaiah 9 v 6.

‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’

Prayer: Father thank you so much that you loved us enough to send Jesus. Thank you for your heart to rescue us, to draw us in closer, to save us from our mess. God this world is nothing like what you intended it to be and yet you sent your only son in the middle of mess, and in the middle of chaos. God you’ve given us the biggest display of love the world has ever seen and we are so thankful. Fill our hearts with love this Christmas, bless us with your hand of favour in our hardship, and inspire us to love those around us as you would. Thank you Jesus for everything you are, and everything you’ve done!

December 23rd - Rachel Dawson


Life isn’t easy; am I right? It is never one clear, straight and easy path from start to finish – it would kind of be weirdly robotic, and a bit less exciting if it was! There is no one on this planet who has the exact same personality as you, the exact same characteristics and giftings, the exact same relationship with God, and that means ALL of our journeys throughlife are brilliantly unique and precious. The twists and turns of our journey through life are this amazing colour-spectrum rollercoaster of blessings, joy, grit, learning, happiness, hardship, love, pain and challenge. How do we journey with God through it all? How do we keep allowing him to be the driver of our life-car?

Isaiah 55, 8-11. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

The three wise men were exceptional followers and listeners. Who knows exactly how long they journeyed for to get to Jesus, but we can deduce it was a bloomin’ long time and a very bumpy ride! What stands out to me is their determination that their journey was absolutely going to end with Jesus the Messiah. So much so that they had already packed specific gifts for him before it was confirmed face-to-face that he’d been born. Are you determined that your life journey is going to start, be driven by, and end with Jesus? The second thing that stands out to me is how attentively they listened and allowed their journey to change. In

Matthew 2 v 12 God warned them in a dream to change the route of their journey back home. No questions asked, no delay, no half-hearted attempt to change course. They simply went a different way because heaven had instructed them too. How quickly do we respond to God’s clear and simple instruction in our lives? How willing are we to surrender our life journeys to God?

Prayer: Father would you help us to surrender our whole lives to you. God to repent of the things we’ve got, and get wrong, and allow you to take the reins of our lives. Father we recognise that you are the best person in the driving seat and we’re sorry for when we try to take control. Father help us this year to fully let go, to jump in with both feet even when we can’t see the end result, and to be a shining example to those around us of what life looks like with you in the driver’s seat. Father would you help us, this is so hard for us to do!

December 22nd - Rachel Dawson


Waiting is one of the hardest things we have to do in our walks with God; or it certainly is for me! It is really hard to keep faith in God’s promises when we have to wait for any amount of time that’s outside of our own timescale!! This year, perhaps more than ever there are people in this country desperate for a miracle and waiting for a saviour. Desperate to get out of the situations they’re in. Desperate for a move of God in their lives (although they might not know that yet). Desperate for some relief of their current situation.

Perhaps you are in a situation where you feel desperate for a miracle. Perhaps you’ve been waiting on God for a long time and you’re feeling pretty fed-up of waiting. Perhaps your compassion radar has been pinging all year for those in harder situations than you and you’re desperately waiting for the love and justice you know only Jesus can bring.

Waiting is hard. Waiting when you need a miracle is even harder. The landscape that Jesus was born in to was a tough one for the Jewish people. If you were a Jew living in Jesus’ time you would understand oppression, foreign occupation, rules, isolation and ridicule! But, somewhere in your consciousness you know waiting. You are waiting for the King that will rescue you and your people.

In Luke 2 v 25-35 we meet Simeon. Simeon has been waiting for a miracle, the Messiah, the saving of the oppressed Jewish people, and he’s been waiting for years! That is a huge thing to have to wait for, colossal in fact, but his faith in God paired with the leading of the Holy Spirit meant that Simeon’s waiting paid off.

Luke 2 25 ‘ Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God’

Our God is a faithful God who loves to bless and provide for His children. His nature is to save us, to be with us in the waiting, and to bless us. Simeon met Jesus in his miracle and instantly erupted in praise!

How do you do with waiting on God’s promises? Are you currently waiting for a miracle? How are you at praising God when you’re still waiting? Who else can you think of that

desperately needs a miracle? Let’s bring all of this to God today.

Prayer: God I thank you that you are so faithful to us, that your promises stand through the hardest times of waiting. God would you sustain us in the waiting, would you build our faith and send the holy spirit to help us. For those of us needing a miracle would you come in your love and power to save us. For those of us who’s hearts are breaking for those struggling around the UK in this time, give us the words to pray and help us to shine your light in all situations of hopelessness. God would you be known to the masses this Christmas.

December 21st - Rachel Dawson


Can anyone remember a time this year when they’ve been afraid? Like genuinely fearful of the future? I’m sure this year, more than most we can all relate to that. For me, it was seeing the news reports from Italy and France when coronavirus patients overwhelmed hospital corridors. My fear was that this virus would soon be in the UK and there was nothing I could do to stop it! Fear of the future, fear of illness, fear of unsafety, fear for my family. The horrible fear that one of my family members were going to contract the virus and I wouldn’t be able to visit them in hospital! How do we relate to a God that is all good and all loving when fear can be so all-encompassing? How can we look after our emotional and mental health when fear can so easily tip our balance?

In Luke 2 when the angels visited the shepherds they were petrified. Literally spine tingling, anxiety inducing, root you to the spot petrified. And yet, in the midst of that fear was the most incredible news. V 10 ‘do not be afraid…today a saviour has been born to you; he is THE MESSIAH; your promised saviour!’

WOW! In the midst of our biggest fears this message still stands. Our saviour reigns in the midst of fear, then, now and forever more.

What the shepherds do next is completely amazing. Encouraged by the angels they overcome their fear, race to meet Jesus, are completely transformed by Him, and then share the wonderful news with anyone they come in to contact with! None of us know exactly what 2021 will look like, in fact none of us really have a clue, but we do know that all throughout the bible God consistently reminds His people that He is with us!

Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

This Christmas, as you reflect, don’t let fear be the reason you can’t rush to Jesus and be transformed. What are your biggest fears right now and how can you lay them at the feet of your saviour? Do not be afraid, he is with you, and the GOOD news the angels spoke back then to the shepherds is still the most wonderful news for us today!


God; sometimes life is really petrifying. You know this, you know how it feels and you know our human disposition. God would you be so present in the midst of any fear we have this year. Thank you that you have overcome fear and that you stand strong at the centre of panic and anxiety. Let us hold tight to you this year Father in the midst of our own fears and bless us with your peace. Bring your peace to our emotions, our relationships, our situations, and to those really struggling in our country at this time.

December 20th - Rachel Dawson


Have you ever had that experience where God speaks a word to you and you believe it, receive it and then by the end of the day circumstances seem to diminish it? Your situation is too hard, your circumstances feel too impossible. You question if you’ve heard it right? If it’s even possible or even if you dare to believe it? Perhaps even someone else’s words start to sit over the top and drowned it out.

The God we serve is not a quiet God, He’s not a distant God, He’s not an absent father, and yet sometimes hearing His voice and letting His words take root can be really difficult. When facing adversity the words and guidance we get from God can so easily be drowned out by the thoughts of others, our feelings, or the very present situations we are facing. In Matthew 24 it says ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.’

In Matthew 4 v 4 it says ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Our situations can change, our circumstances can be hard but if we allow it, the word of God will stand like an anchor in the midst of all we’re going through.

When Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth there’s a small sentence that stands out to me that I’ve never noticed before. Luke 1 v 45. ‘Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord’. Mary is blessed because she believed in the word God had spoken to her, and she held on to it throughout impossibility, in the middle of national change, and journeying in to the unknown.

What words has God spoken to you this year that are waiting to be your anchor? Is there a word you’ve forgotten about that God needs to remind you of? Is there a word you’ve not dared to believe? Are you desperate to hear from God as you read this? What is God saying to you today?

Revelation 3: 20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me’

Prayer: God would you help us to hold on to your words and promises when our situations are really hard. Thank you Father that your words are the anchor to our souls that whatever trials may come our way, if we keep our eyes fixed on you, you will sustain us in the storm. God would you speak a word for all those needing to hear one from you today.

December 19th - Rachel Dawson

Hey church,

7 days to go! The Christmas countdown is officially on!! How are you doing? This year has been one heck of a year hasn’t it? and I wanted to write to you all before I’m officially in post because I’ve been thinking about you!

We’ve all done some journeying this year and it’s fair to say that all of us will have found some, if not lots of this year really tough. As I’ve been praying for you as part of our church family I have a really strong sense that God would like to minister to us all as 2020 draws to a close. I believe He sees what you’ve been carrying this year and how you’re feeling right now as you read this. He wants you to know that He knows what this year has been like for you, and I believe He wants to lead you to place of rest, restoration and reset in Him.

With that in mind, and very much led by Him, I’ve written 6 thought for the days (starting tomorrow) as we journey towards Christmas. Written initially in my role at TLG for churches around the country, these have been created with our church family, and with YOU in mind. So, take the time to find that quiet space with Him this week, connect with Him, lay down your burdens and encounter once again the love, hope and joy that Jesus has for you this Christmas.

With love,




No one expected 2020 to be the way that it’s been! How could we plan for a year like this? The answer- we couldn’t! When the Angel Gabriel visited Mary it was completely unexpected and not remotely in anyone’s plan! Mary a young woman, engaged to marry Joseph and everything seemingly going to plan. Until it wasn’t, and the plan was unimaginably interrupted. Can anyone relate to that this year? Who’s had to change their plans? Take a different path? Been forced to pull away from something you were looking forward to? Been thrown into a situation you would never choose for yourself? Who’s experienced frustration, upset, fear, anxiety, anger, overwhelm, stress? All of us? Yep, me too!

Let’s take a moment here, because all of that is rock.hard. understatement.

However you’re feeling as you read this, whatever this year has been like for you, know you are not on your own. We can all recall experiences where life has thrown something completely unexpected at us that we need to journey, but this year, all of us have faced the unexpected at the very same time. As we journey altogether towards our very unexpected Christmas, there is hope waiting for us. The amazingly- life changing invitation to walk more deeply with the God who came to save us, and soak in His presence will comfort, restore and re-set us.

So, what can we learn from the very first unexpected Christmas? Mary didn’t plan to meet an angel, plan to get pregnant, plan to have the world’s most awkward conversation with Joseph, plan to give birth in a stable, plan to be the mother of the literal saviour of the world. All of those things (and more) were unexpected and difficult for her, but what completely amazes me is how Mary responds in the face of such difficult and unexpected change. Luke 1 v 38 ‘Let it be to me according to your word’. Another translation says “I am willing to be used of the Lord. Let it happen to me as you have said” In other words ‘Ok God I surrender, I will serve you and your plan’.

Complete trust, complete humility, and complete surrender to God’s plan for her life. The journey ahead was the furthest thing from easy, but right off the bat Mary allows God to lead her through the most unexpected journey the world has ever known.

Change is never easy, unexpected change and interruption is downright annoying, and HARD! How have you coped with the unexpected this year? Are you clinging on to something that actually God is asking you to let go of? What do you need to do to surrender to Gods plans for your life at this time? How can you align your God-walk through the biggest of unexpected changes this year? Take a moment today to ask these questions before God and let him minister to you. As we start to wind down on 2020 the God who sent Jesus is speaking to you!

Prayer: Father thank you that none of 2020 has been a surprise to you and your heart is to walk with us through all of life’s up and downs. God would you help us to fully trust you with the things we can’t change and in the face of the unexpected. Would you help us to surrender to your will and plan for our lives when nothing is going to our plan. Father as we journey towards Christmas we humble ourselves in complete surrender and invite you to surround us.

December 6th - Steve Restrick

Today’s thought comes to us from Steve Restrick:

Who are you following ..?

It is so easy to get caught up with the crowd, (pundits & followers on the internet & elsewhere) and whatever their mantra, philosophy, message represents. as it feeds on or contradicts, our own personal viewpoint, informed by our life experiences, and social, political, group, denomination, affiliations and personal beliefs, without thinking and questioning what we are hearing and seeing communicated.

What’s the way forward ? A big question..! One which you may want to reflect on.

The call to be followers of Jesus…

to be those whose seemingly quieter voice and whose walk, lifestyle demonstrates another way of communicating, and reflecting the message of the Kingdom of God.

I believe these quieter voices can and should be heard in all communities, both on the internet and the dialogue of face to face, one on one and beyond in all gatherings of social, political, faith and interest communities.

Sometimes words may be necessary, if we first stop to listen and understand.

Jesus had an uncanny way of knowing when, and what to speak or to be silent.

So helping us by showing us and challenging us, how to think and not just what to think…

“When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.””

“Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.”

“And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.” He swore the disciples to secrecy. He made them promise they would tell no one that he was the Messiah.”

Matthew‬ 16:13-19‬ MSG‬‬

November 24th - Shagufta Rashid

​Today’s thought comes from Shagufta Rashid:


We are waiting
for a vaccine to be developed to protect us from Covid-19, waiting for an end to facemasks and lockdown, waiting to be able to go into our church buildings and sing God’s praise together, waiting for the world’s economy to recover. We are waiting for God to deliver us from this pandemic and all its repercussions.

The bible is full of waiting on the Lord, waiting for Him to intervene, to rescue, to restore. Often the waiting time is prolonged far beyond what we had expected.

But still we must continue to wait, trust and hope, praying for God’s deliverance, no matter how long and hard the day. Even Elijah had to send his servant seven times to look towards the sea, before a little cloud was seen. (1 king 18:43-44)

Our trust must be in God and in His divine power, not in the scientists struggling to produce a vaccine, nor in the politicians and economists.

Jeremiah in the time of national disaster brought a message of Hope.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

In a time of disaster, in a period of great uncertainty as to the future, Jeremiah was called by God to invest in Hope.

So we are called not just to see the tragedies of the present, but to have hope for the future, to believe that God has a plan for us and that in time of great trial His purposes will be fulfilled. For we know that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8:28)

“Earthly hopes are not always fulfilled (Luke 24:21) but our hope is the Lord Jesus Christ; whoever believes in him will not be ashamed.”

November 9th - Brian King

​Today’s thought comes to us from Brian King:

Hi church .... how have you been coping these past few months ? With all the time in lockdown I have found myself recalling things from my past .... all sorts of things .....amusing moments and I smile to myself… scary moments and I sometimes wonder what I must have thought at the time ! I suppose we all have found lots of time to ‘ponder and reflect’ on all sorts of things.

I believe once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we embark on a very different journey to the one we envisaged before we took that step. It causes us to see things through different eyes because as we have the Holy Spirit now living inside us He encourages us to see things from God’s perspective and not our own. Where people see a ‘life’s storm’ moment…we may see a moment of ‘learning’.

In the film ‘Electra’ she sees her painful experiences as a learning curve and says ..... ‘SOME LESSONS CANNOT BE TAUGHT, THEY MUST BE LIVED TO BE UNDERSTOOD’. I have found myself realising the many lessons I had from those experiences I went through, and now see what God was revealing to me now that I can see them through His eyes. The church is now learning all sorts of things perhaps it wouldn’t have considered without these lockdowns world wide. We shouldn’t live in fear of storms but recognise them for what they are and be confident that they always pass… a statement I picked up on from a long list of ‘one liners’ I like to keep reflecting on is ‘ACKNOWLEDGE THE DARKNESS…EMBRACE THE WAIT…AND COMMIT TO THE JOURNEY’.

Let me give you an example of how one of these past events now speaks to me quite differently to how it did all those years ago. I have just mentioned ‘commit to the journey’.. and I mentioned it at the beginning so yes, you’ve guessed it, that’s the link…... I want to take you back to the good old days….the days of the A.A (automobile association) road map instruction book….60 years ago !!... no SATNAV then (not sure there were even satellites)..when my dad took us on a trip he sent off for the guide which took you door to door…it gave EXACT instructions eg. ... ‘after 200yards turn left down coronation street then after 1/2 mile turn onto B6458 then 400 yards at the church turn right and so on .... to return home you simply reverse the instructions. Simple you say….. but there was one problem…...a wrong turn or a missed turn meant you could go on for miles before realising an error… NO ONE SHOUTING STOP AND TURN ROUND like you have today with your satnav.. and if you choose to ignore the VOICE he or she simply redirects you a different way to get you back on track so ignoring the original mistake as though it wasn’t all that important anyway.

No we had to back track till we found where we went wrong and then to correct it onto the right road our guide book wanted us on. You see we didn’t take enough care or give enough attention to the signs our guide gave us. In those days you had to give your fullest attention to the instructions.

So where am I going with this (better switch the old satnav on and get back to my point) ..... well as the Holy Spirit brings things to our thoughts in all this extra time we may have I would encourage you to see them perhaps as a ‘learning prompt’ and is there something He is wanting us to glean from that pleasant and yes unpleasant experience we have had ..ACKNOWLEDGE the error….EMBRACE what we learnt from it as you look back on it…and COMMIT to the journey back on the right track. For anyone struggling at this time thinking there is no way out of a wrong turn….a wrong decision once made even years ago….or you may be feeling just stuck in a storm going nowhere….let me give you some words from a Christmas worship song I have been playing .... ‘Everything changes when your suddenly breaks in so hold on for it will come I know you can’t see right now but breakthrough is on its way one encounter with Heaven changes everything…’. If we need a satnav for our car to ensure we get from A to B….how much more do we need our own personal satnav(Holy Spirit) for our lives….. but do we listen ? Whatever storm we face always remember HEAVEN IS ON OUR SIDE

God Bless You All

Day 5


Some of you don’t need to read this today. Gentleness, or meekness as it can be translated, is part of who God has made you to be. But carry on reading anyway so you can understand the rest of us!

But others, maybe you have an anger problem (even if only a mild one), or a control problem (again just a mild one) or maybe like me you were born to be a leader, which often comes with natural traits of strength and force. Then this is definitely for you.

Jesus said this to his disciples when teaching them about leadership in Matthew 20:25-26 ‘Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant .’ This was my ‘go to’ passage on leadership whenever teaching leadership as CEO of CAP.

Jesus had a different way that wasn’t about forcing his own way or his own agenda - which is amazing when you consider he had the solid gold truth on how to live like no-one else ever did. In many respects it was the ultimate trust in the rest of the Godhead to work it all out. He announced a new and better way for us to get on in the world, and he knew it needed to start with leadership. If leaders put on all of the clothes mentioned in Colossians 3, then he knew they would create a culture in the church, in families (parents you lead your families), in businesses and in society, that would bless everyone around them.

Ask yourself these simple questions - ‘am I gentle in all of my ways?’ and ‘do I speak nicely and kindly to everyone around me?’ The holy spirit is ready right here and right now to spotlight those areas where you are not. Stop for a moment and let the spirit bring them to mind.

Then remind yourself who Jesus said he was in Matt11:29 - ‘I am humble and gentle in heart.’ He said it that clearly - ‘I am gentle.’

Then ask the Father to send you a fresh dose of the spirit of truth to conform you into the likeness of Christ, in accordance with Romans 8:29 - ‘For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son’

We are his ambassadors, we represent, and we re-present him to this world. If we do it without gentleness, we present a false Jesus. Throughout all of the early church writings found in the written word of God gentleness, meekness and humility are taught and exhorted.

So, how are you doing in this area? Don’t walk away having read this. Choose right now to be conformed to the image of Jesus.

November 2nd - Steve Restrick

​Today’s thought comes to us from Steve Restrick:

You’re Invited to join together to be in God’s presence and share his heart this Saturday 10.00am. As we pray for the prodigals to return

“A smile is the shortest distance between two people.” ― Victor Borge.

A smile has no language barrier. It is a doorway from the heart of one person to another.

We know in the story of the Prodigal Son that the Father was waiting and watching and ran to his Son to embrace him. I like to imagine that the Father, on seeing his Son in the distance, in that moment of recognition, had a smile erupt upon his face. Before he could physically cross the space between them, his smile closed the gap in an instant.

First, there was the smile, then the running towards, then an embrace, and ultimately a kiss. And then a moment where the Father steps back slightly, holding the Son by the arms. The full expression of all that physicality now manifests as an irrepressibly smile upon the Father’s face.

Here in the story of the Prodigal Son, is the answered prayer of

Psalm 67, “May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favour on us.”

The story of the Prodigal is not just about God’s grace.

It’s about the body language of God. Jesus is the body language of God. The first thing Jesus does when we turn towards him is to smile and close the gap between our Heavenly Father and us.

If Jesus is the body language of God, then his people as his body are called to be his hands and his feet. It follows that we as sons and daughters of Papa God are to be his smile and embrace for others (even if it can only be a socially distant hug)

Some people are fuelled by money, some by ego, some by fear and self-protection.

We are called to be a people whose love for others is fuelled by the never-ending love of God.

Whenever Papa God speaks… it’s an invitation to know & share His heart.

And in a way that is how the story of the prodigal Son works, as do all the parables of Jesus. We are invited by Jesus to be the people who enact, retell and re-live those stories.

Sadly we can all too often get caught up in ‘other stories’ for the meaning of life given to us by society, our parents, and our own strange tales. Jesus invites us to live a different story… The Kingdom of God, story.

We are invited to inhabit the Jesus story, to re-tell and extend it so thoroughly, that it is our story.

To speak about the Gospel of Jesus, means to share his heart and values and to ‘walk the talk’, as a sincere follower of Jesus.

Jesus tells us the kind of things God the Father values and celebrates.

Be his story and share the adventure of his heart.

Day 4 - Patience

Why is patience such a big deal? Whilst Jesus modelled it, he mentioned it only twice in all his teaching (Luke 8:15; Luke 21:19), yet here Paul tells us to clothe ourselves AND, inspired by God’s spirit, he tells us that it is a fruit of the holy spirit in Galatians 5. So, why the big deal?

When I read the word patience, my 21st century brain leads me down a very different path to what was actually meant when Paul wrote the word.

As I came to sit down and write this, my first thought was of how I can be impatient in life - when something I am watching begins to buffer (how annoying), or the other day when I was driving behind someone doing 40mph in a 60mph limit. Speaking of which reminds me of one of the most helpful practices I have picked up from John Mark Comer’s book - ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry.’ He challenges readers who have a hurry problem (and thus a lack of patience problem) that when you pull up to traffic lights, don’t try and get in the shortest queue, but be patient and just stay in the line that you are in.

For me it’s a regular reminder of my lack of patience, an inbuilt desire to claim back every second of the day. Yet what foolishness it is, it makes zero difference. But choosing the longer line, that strangely does something for my soul. It reminds me that God is in charge, and gaining an extra 30 seconds, or even a couple of minutes, will make no difference to my day! (Confession, I’m currently at 50% of staying in the longer queue vs going for the shorter one, and I’ve yet to choose the longer queue at Aldi, that’s a whole level of sainthood I can’t quite achieve!)

Whilst these ‘micro-impatiences’ (made up concept) might be the things that nag at us each day, small reminders of a lack of trust in God, which ultimately is what impatience is, this wasn’t really what Paul was getting at. Sure, he will have wanted us to put on patience in these small interactions in our day, but this Greek word he used ‘makrothymia’ was much more about the sort of patience we need to get through the pandemic. The King James Version of the bible uses the term ‘long-suffering’ and the greek word is translated yes into patience but also into endurance, constancy, steadfastness and perseverance. Why? Because this was what the church needed to have HOPE in the midst of trials and persecution. It was what Paul needed to have HOPE under house arrest and it is what we all need to have HOPE as we navigate the current pandemic.

This kind of patience says:

  • God I trust you that you will give me all the emotional resource and strength I need to get through
  • God I trust you that somehow it will be alright in the end
  • God I trust you that you are overall in charge, even if the current reality of sickness and isolation aren’t your will
  • God I trust you that you can work this situation for my overall good and blessing
  • God I trust you that there is a better life to come, hopefully in this world, but definitely in the next

I believe it is this sort of ‘patience’ Paul was choosing to clothe himself with, and this sort of patience that genuinely can give us HOPE as we continue through lockdown.

So as you seek to clothe yourselves in patience, sure be aware of the micro-impatiences you suffer from, seek to bring those thoughts captive to Christ, because ultimately they are just thoughts. But also choose to put on patience, which is long-suffering endurance and perseverance. As we seek to bring this kingdom in this challenging culture that we live in, we’re going to need to develop this fruit in some serious measure.

Day 3


Paul calls us to clothe ourselves with humility - in doing so he simply picked up from where Jesus started. Jesus who, historians will tell you, was the watershed for when humility moved from being a quality to be despised to a quality to be admired. (If you haven’t read John Dickson’s book ‘Humilitas’ then you really should.)

Humility, or should I say lack of, is firmly on display everywhere we look. As we battle the pandemic, our government didn’t just say there were introducing a test and trace system, no, they were going to introduce a ‘world beating’ system. Sometimes words come back to bite you.

On the other side of the pond, we may see perhaps the least humble US president in history get re-elected next week.

A President who when interviewed said this:

Interviewer - ‘You’re not known to be a humble man.’

Trump - ‘I think I am actually, I think I am much more humble than you would understand.’

He also claimed that the reason he liked the new pope was because they shared humility as a trait.

One of the great things about the Donald, is he is someone we can all look to to feel better about ourselves. I know I struggle with humility, but when I look to him, I feel like a world beater. In the humble game. For this reason, it’s important that we look to Jesus, and also look to others who actually are humble, to measure ourselves against.

As I opened my bible this morning, as I’m working my way through the gospel of Matthew, I read these words of Jesus:

Matt18:3-4 And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

That really struck me, especially as I continue in this very strange transition from CEO to pastor. God’s word challenges me…..If I want to be great in the kingdom of heaven, I need to take the lowly position of a child.

Remember that children in that day were like second class citizens, as they still are in many parts of the world. A child had zero authority and influence, they had nothing about them that was ‘great.’ It was another scandalous moment when Jesus welcomed children so willingly and suggested that being like them was a road to greatness.

So, how can I be more like a child today? How would that make me more humble and thus somehow greater in the kingdom of heaven. (Yes I do get the irony of wanting to become humble in order to become great, but surely what’s going on here is a re-definition of the term ‘great’)

For me the biggest opportunity is to trust more. To not believe that this world will become a better place because I am great, but because God can be great in me and through me and despite me. To not believe that the church will become all that God wants it to become because of me, but only because I allow Him to be at work through me, and through you. Perhaps the best way to increase humility in your life is to live it firmly at the foot of the cross and in the shadow of the almighty. He is God, we are but dust - albeit dust that he loves very much.

Jesus was constantly on this theme:

’The son of man did not come to be served, but to serve’

‘I am humble and gentle of heart’

So, it’s not surprising that Paul was also on this theme a lot:

‘Clothe yourselves with humility’ - Col 3:12

‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves’ - Phil2:3-4

‘Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.’ - Rom 12:16

‘Be completely humble and gentle’ Eph 4:2

It’s the opposite of power playing and posturing, and speaks of a deep reliance on God and a putting to death of ego. Which certainly helps when seeking to live out ‘If anyone would seek to come after me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross and follow me.’ Without doubt one of Jesus’ hardest challenges and one which most of us regularly fail it. That keeps us humble doesn’t it?

Day 2 - October 27th

What does kindness look like for you today?

Who might God be calling you to be kind to?

Well maybe the answer is found in the final prayer that is said every day in the Lectio 365 devotional - which states - ‘Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet.’

Everyone means…., well, everyone - your friends, your spouse (if you have one), your kids (if you have them), your parents (if they are still around), your neighbours (if you don’t live in the middle of nowhere), random strangers (presuming you go out!) In fact is there anyone God doesn’t want you to be kind to?

That really annoying work colleague who you wish would just leave - your Father wants you to be kind to them.

That person with very different political views to you on everything from Brexit to Coronavirus response - your saviour wants you to be kind to them.

Kindness surely starts with right heart attitude. An attitude that comes from remembering that we have been forgiven so we should be giving that out as a constant gift - Paul reminds us of that in verse 13: ‘Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’

Then, having a right heart and right attitude, for that is the wellspring of kindness, we then put it into action. Kindness is a smile, it’s a good morning, it’s a ‘you before me’ as we navigate social distancing in a shop. Kindness at the moment is popping that mask on when you don’t want to and sanitising those hands, yet again.

Kindness is calling someone who is lonely, dropping a text message or maybe even writing a card.

You simply can’t run out of things, when it comes to kindness, it can and should pervade every part of our lives.

When I had planned to go ‘deeper’ each day with each element that we are to clothe ourselves in. I imagined I’d uncover some deeper theological truth, some clever little insight to bring the word to life even more. But I think it’s fair to say that with kindness, the depth is not in knowing, the depth is in doing. The deepest understanding of kindness is in the application. As with much of our discipleship - you don’t need to know more, you just need to do and obey more.

‘Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet.’

Find out more about Lectio 365 here -

October 26th - Matt Barlow

​Today’s thought comes to us from Matt Barlow:

Following Sunday’s talk on ‘Clothe Yourselves’, I thought I’d publish a thought each day to help us really push into the teaching. Just as we get physically clothed every day, being intentional about the thoughts and attitudes we are going to wear during the day is just as important. (Well ok, getting actually dressed is probably a bit more important so we don’t get arrested, but you know what I mean!)

Colossians 3:12,14 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. …...14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love…..

So, day 1 - let’s put on, as the Greek tells us, ’splagchnon oiktirmos’

Which gets translated differently in different versions:

New Living Translation - ‘Tender hearted mercy’

New International Version - ‘Compassion’

English Standard Version - ‘Compassionate Hearts’

New King James Version - ‘Tender Mercies’

And…..wait for it……

King James Version - ‘Bowels of Mercy’

And the winner of the best translation for literal accuracy is - The King James Version!

We are to put on ‘bowels of mercy’!!!

Because where in our culture we use the term ‘heart’ to refer to the very inner passionate core of our being, they used the term ‘splagchnon’ meaning guts and bowels. The bowels were regarded as the seat of the more violent passions, such as anger and love; but by the Hebrews as the seat of the tenderer affections, esp. kindness, benevolence, compassion; hence our heart.

This means that our mercy is to have some passion to it, some emotion to it and also literally some guts to it! It’s to come from our inner being, we are changed and transformed from beings who don’t care, to those who ‘REALLY’ care.

The word oiktirmos meant mercy, compassion or pity. In other words we are to put on these things in such a way that we are truly moved by the world around us. This was the very essence of Jesus, it was the essence of the early church and it’s the essence of us the Light Church.

But let’s face it, it’s really easy not to care, and it’s also really easy to feel overwhelmed and burdened by all of the cares of the world. How do we find that balance? I know personally I can oscillate between the two. I can passionately care, and can then find myself retreating, serving just myself and not being bothered about the need in front of me. Where do you lie?

A prayer for today:

If you’re feeling a bit apathetic:

‘Father I recognise a tendency in me to care much more about me and my life than those who are in need around me. I choose today to clothe myself with tender hearted mercies, so clothe me Lord. This must be by your spirit, so clothe me today, by your spirit, in tender hearted mercies. I pause right now…… and I receive it. And as I enter the day make me aware of the needs before me and those that you call me to do something about, help me to be obedient, I pray. Amen.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the needs of the world:

‘Father, I recognise that you have clothed me with great mercy and compassion. I recognise that these robes of mercy are not of my own making, but are from you. I am honoured to carry your heart of mercy, but the burden feels too great right now. Lord I take a moment to remind myself that I am not the saviour of the world, but you are. Help me to know those people and situations I am to act on, and those I am to trust back to you, the father of all mercy and compassion. Help me Lord to manage this compassion well, but never to lose it, for I carry your heart. Amen.

October 3rd - Joshua Evans

​Today’s thought comes to us from Joshua Evans:

Bio: Hey! I’m Josh and I’ve been coming to The Light Church since February 2020. I was born in Bradford but moved to London with my family when I was 13. In 2013 I went to Kingdom Faith Training College in West Sussex where I studied and also worked for the church there. After being in Sussex for a few years it became clear that God was calling me back up north which is when I met my beautiful wife, Alex. I love music, football, wrestling and food!

September 29th - Matt Barlow

​Today’s thought comes to us from Matt Barlow:

September 25th - Sarah Bullen

​Today’s thought comes to us from Sarah Bullen:

During lockdown, like many of us, I really looked forward to daily walks and would often walk the same route in nearby neighbourhoods. One day I had to double-take as a house I had walked past hundreds of times and never took much notice of, suddenly grabbed my attention:

This house’s driveway and garden were demolished overnight leaving vast nothingness but the house still stood now with it’s deep foundations exposed for all to see. As I stood and looked at the house (after my first thought of “I really hope no one comes out that front door to the 4 metre drop!”) I felt I resonated with it and since have been walking past asking God to speak to me through what I see here.

God has shown me how this house can be both a picture of my own life (and I hope it also encourages and speaks into your life) and secondly a picture of His Church. I’ll demonstrate this through two points:

1. Foundations

I haven’t often seen a building’s foundations exposed. I know they are an integral part of the structure of the house but I don’t often think about them therefore take them for granted. Seeing the foundations exposed like this forced me to think about them and the important part they play.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall” Matthew 7:24-25

What does your life’s foundations look like? What have you built your life on?

Over the course of lockdown, I felt like this house, my foundations suddenly exposed and vulnerable. Some of the things important to my life were pulled away- unable to see friends and family, changes in life as I knew it, sudden change of pace of life. Yet my foundations are what held me up. Jesus still has the victory and was still in control.

Likewise, I think that the Church’s (please note the big C here) foundations have been exposed. What is the Church built on, what unshakeable foundations are there when everything else in the surrounding landscape looks different?

2. Re-landscaping of the surroundings

All the previous landscape was completely wiped away. At first it is easy to see the emptiness and destruction but look closer do you see the opportunity to rebuild, to do something new?

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…a time to tear down and a time to build” Ecclesiastes 3 v 1 and 3

In the past few months I have taken the opportunity to slow down and to seek God more. In doing so, I have identified some of the new things He wants to do with me. I recognised where I had taken my gaze off Him and needed to re-adjust my vision to align with His, some changes I’ve made have been dramatic but most things are just small changes of realignment towards His purpose where He’s highlighted that I’ve gotten a little side-tracked. Having life as I knew it taken away during lockdown has allowed me to reflect on what my life looks like, where I’m spending my energy, time and money and whether this is a good reflection of a what I believe Jesus would want it to look like.

Similarly, I think that, although there has been difficult times (it’s important to acknowledge that), God is using this opportunity to bring His good in and through His Bride the Church. What that might look like requires us to slow down, eliminate distractions and seek Him. I recently heard the phrase “it is not that God is making a new world, but God is making the world new”. I sense God using this time to do new things, some big changes but often just small things that make all the difference in building His kingdom. We can only rebuild with God’s vision when our gaze is transfixed on His.

“See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” Isaiah 43:19

If you have a bit of extra time for reflection, this powerful song does a much better job than my ramblings of reminding us that God is making us new. I’ve included the lyrics below and some references from the Bible if you want to go a little deeper!

“Do you feel the world is broken?” “We do.” (Genesis 3)

“Do you feel the shadows deepen?” “We do.” (John 15: 18-21)

“But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through?” “We do.” (John 12:46)

“Do you wish that you could see it all made new?” “We do.” (Isaiah 65:17)

“Is all creation groaning?” “It is.” (Romans 8:19-23)

“Is a new creation coming?” “It is.” (Revelation 21:1-5)

“Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst?” “It is.” (Psalm 27:1)

“Is it good that we remind ourselves of this?” “It is.” (2 Peter 1:12-15)

“Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole?” (Revelation 5:1-5)

“Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?” (Revelation 5:6-10)

“The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave” (Matthew 28:6)

“He is David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave” (John 3:16) (1 Peter 2:24)

“Is He worthy? Is He worthy?

Of all blessing and honour and glory

Is He worthy of this?”

“He is.” (Revelation 5:12)

“Does the Father truly love us?” “He does.” (Romans 5:6-8)

“Does the Spirit move among us?” “He does.” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

“And does Jesus, our Messiah hold forever those He loves?” “He does.” (Romans 8:38-39)

“Does our God intend to dwell again with us?” “He does.” (Acts 1:9-11)

“From every people and tribe

Every nation and tongue

He has made us a kingdom and priests to God to reign with the Son.” (Revelation 7:9-17)

“Is He worthy? Is He worthy?

Of all blessing and honour and glory

Is He worthy? Is He worthy?

Is He worthy of this?”

“He is!”

Bio: Hello! I’m Sarah. I moved to Bradford in August 2015 and have been part of the Light Church since my first Sunday in the city. I grew up surrounded by the beauty of the Lake District so feel most at home out in nature climbing a fell, exploring a forest or paddle-boarding on a lake with friends. Saying that, there are few things that top coming to a “gezellig” (my husband is Dutch) home after a long day of fresh air to put the kettle on, light some candles and put my feet up with Danny and cat Ralph!

September 17th - Helena Chapman

​Today’s thought comes to us from Helena Chapman:

A few years ago I read a book called “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. One part of the book struck me and has been a constant challenge to me ever since. I want to share it with you all.

Chan writes, “I once attended a play with my wife and some of her relatives, including Grandma Clara. During intermission, I leaned over and asked what she thought of the play. She said, “Oh honey, I really don’t want to be here right now.” When I asked why, she replied “I just don’t know if this is where I want to be when Jesus returns. I’d rather be helping someone or on my knees praying. I don’t want Him to return and find me sitting in a theater.”

Now is Chan saying that going to the theater is wrong? I don’t think so. Is he saying that we need to do works endlessly until Jesus comes back? Again, I don’t think so. But is he also posing the question of what comes first? I think maybe he is. I think maybe Grandma Clara is another Mary of Bethany; that she’s seen and known who Jesus is and would give anything to sit at the feet of her beloved.

In Matthew 22:37 Jesus calls us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” I do not want to be lukewarm when Jesus comes back, like the church of Laodicea (Rev 3:16) nor do I want to have fallen away from my first love, like the church of Ephesus (Rev 2: 4). I want to be in love with Him, seeking Him out as my One Thing necessary (Luke 10:38-42) and the One Thing that I desire (Psalm 27:4) Nobody knows the day or the hour that Jesus will return, but until that day, I want to choose Him, every time, everyday - until He comes back or He calls me home.

I’ve recently wasted so much time on social media often spending hours a day scrolling endlessly. And you know what? It sucks. It is not satisfying, it encourages lust and comparison and can often steal joy. However I spend more time on social media than I do in the Word, or praying, or worshiping. So I’ve chosen to give it up. Because Jesus is worthy. Galatians 5:17 talks about raging against our flesh against the spirit of the age (Eph 2:1-3) and oh how much more do we need to do that today, in the midst of so many distractions. So I pray this, that the God who is slow to anger, rich in mercy and abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 145:8) and who sent His son to make atonement for the sins of the world and the Spirit to help and teach us (John 14:26) captivates us once again.

I think this thought for the day is many thoughts vaguely threaded together, but there are many things that I frivolously waste my life on, but wasting my life at His feet will never be in vain.
So I ask you to search your heart honestly, is Jesus your first love? Do you put Him first, just as He loved us first? When you meet Him face-to-face what do you want Him to say to you? Do you know Him? Have you seen Him?

September 15th - James Orchard

Today’s thought comes to us from James Orchard:

Lockdown didn’t make as much of an impact on my life compared to many others. I still came into the office Monday to Friday and saw colleagues in person. Though often very busy, it’s also been a blessing.

Like everyone else, it’s been tough not seeing family and friends. But God used the period to help me appreciate people more. I stayed in touch with friends online. And after 3 years in Saltaire, I finally got to know the neighbours! It’s amazing how sociable people get when they’re bored and lonely (myself included!) I was even more on top of global events, though possibly because there was much less stories to choose from! And I found myself praying for people more regularly.

Seeing more people more regularly was fantastic. As Lockdown eased, I was hopeful that God had done something permanently in me in terms of imparting a new appreciation for life and renewed desire to reach out to more people with His love.

However, I can’t help but feel my new outlook has faltered somewhat. I have been so desperate to get away from the four walls at home with one or two close companions that I haven’t been as connected with other friends. Or made as much time for connecting online. Or made as much effort to talk to neighbours. Despite having more freedom, I have made my world smaller!

On reflection, I’ve realised that I have to keep on asking God to sustain any changes He’s formed in me. It makes sense when you think about it, as only God is absolute goodness and any good that we have is always derived from Him. He can humble me through difficult situations, but I’m learning that it is my choice afterwards to keep turning to Him and make Jesus central to my life.

Though extremely tough for some, for most people the current situation is not on the same level of suffering as something like war or persecution. For me, it has provided a taste of what separation from those closest to us looks like, and how precious our time is when it comes to spending time with family and friends and sharing the gospel. I’ve come to realize that only God can sustain this new attitude as I regularly seek Him both in community and individually.

If you would indulge me, I’ve attached a song. I actually wrote it a month before Lockdown, but it seems to fit in with all I’ve learned from recent times.

Bio: Hi everyone!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the geordie one (I’m actually from County Durham so technically not a real geordie).I’ve lived in West Yorkshire for about 8 years and consider it home. I work as a salesman for a local manufacturing firm.

I’ve been a member of the Light church for over 4 years. It’s great to be involved in YA and I also help lead a lad’s group, which I love. More recently I’ve also been on the events planning team, though I’m less active in that role in recent months!

Always up for a game of football even though I’m injury prone (once missed a church weekend away after breaking an arm at TNF). I also love catching up with friends over a coffee or pint.

September 13th - Jo Hastings

​Today’s thought comes to us from Jo Hastings:

Around 10 years ago I took part in a 24-7 prayer event at university. In the early hours of the morning I felt like God wanted to say something so I picked up a pen and started to write. It was like I could see a picture unfolding in front of me as the words came out without me having to think about them. At the time I felt it was a picture for Birmingham (the city I was in at the time) but recently with Matt’s vision and Liz’s prophecy I keep being reminded of what I wrote back then and I think this is a picture of what God wants to do in Bradford.

This is what I wrote.

I spent a night with God.

I asked him to show me his heart for this city.

And then I waited.

In the silence, I heard the quiet whisper of his heart beat.

He showed me all the people in this city who are desperate and alone, the people who are self-destructing, the people crying out for something more than just this.

The hurting, the lonely, the broken and those who simply don’t know that there is something more than just what they are living for now.

I saw their cries rise up out of the streets, every desperate whisper that no-one ever heard, rising up to heaven.

And then God began to cry.

His tears rained down washing the filthy streets clean, flooding the city.

And after the flood came the fire.

One by one the Christians began to stand up and shine with the fire of God.

A powerful army all with God’s heart beating in them, ready to take God’s light to the darkest places in the city, their light flickering into every dark corner, flooding the streets with pure, holy light.

So how do we become the kind of Christians I saw? I think it starts with intimacy. It starts with being filled with God’s presence, letting his fire fill us, letting his heart for the broken become our heart so that we see this city through his eyes. This is not a one off event, it’s a daily practice. We can’t do this on our own. Maybe we can be kind or compassionate on our own, but we will never change lives unless we are listening to what God wants to do and we are open to letting him use us.

I don’t pretend to be an expert in this. I am still very much at the start of my journey with this but I am slowly learning how to take the focus off myself and instead spend time focusing on what God might be saying or what he might be doing around me. I pray that as a church we will become that powerful army of God carrying his light to the darkest corners of this city. His city. I don’t know what that looks like practically but I believe it has to start with intimacy with God.

Bio: Hi I’m Jo, I’m originally from Coventry, I’m married to Elisha and we first joined the Light Church in 2016 when we moved to Bradford for our jobs. I work as a doctor specialising in infections, something I decided on before the global pandemic! When not working you would normally find me doing gymnastics or acroyoga, although with lockdown and our first child due in December I’ve now settled for crocheting and crafts.

September 10th - David Parkinson

Todays thought comes to us from David Parkinson.

Bio: My name is David Parkinson and I have been coming to the Light Church for a while. Married to Wendy and father of three sons, Jon, James & Sam. I spent 33 years of my life selling fruit and vegetables on the Leicester Wholesale Fruit Market. Moved to Bradford in 2014 to serve at Christians Against Poverty.

September 8th - Sue King

​Today’s thought comes to us from Sue King:


Jeremiah 17 verses 7 - 8

‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in the year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’

We have now been in this very strange situation with the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly 6 months and many of us have had this situation at the forefront of our lives and minds. So I hope this thought for the day will encourage you.

Recently I read the above passage in my bible from the Old Testament and it reminded me of a picture that I had from God a long time ago. The picture was of a mature oak tree with a large trunk and lots of roots going deep into the earth and spreading out underground. This picture reminded me, that we as Christians, can develop spiritual roots which can go deep into God. We can achieve these spiritual roots by daily reading our Bibles and meditating on what we read. And also by spending time with God in prayer and listening to what He has to say to us. The Holy Spirit, which is in our lives, helps us with this.

The oak tree produces lots of fruit(acorns), which my grandson lovingly collected , whilst on holiday last week. He wanted to show them to his teacher when back at school.

We too can produce spiritual fruit in our lives, if we GET ROOTED into GOD.

In Colossians 3 verses 12 - 14 it says

‘Therefore as God‘s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another . Forgive as the Lord forgave you

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them altogether in perfect unity.’

We are God’s chosen people and we can possess these spiritual fruits. It is God’s will that we should live fruitful lives . The fruits will grow in us if we allow our ‘roots’ to draw spiritual nourishment from a close relationship and a daily dependency on God, who can always be trusted. It also warns us in verse 6 in Jeremiah 17, if we don’t put our roots deeply into God we will be like a bush in the wastelands where the ground is parched and there is no nourishment.

At this strange time, as we continue our daily lives and routine, whatever they may be , can I encourage you to GET ROOTED INTO GOD.

Bless you all Light Church. May God keep you all safe and give you His everlasting Peace.

Bio: Sue King born in Thornton, Bradford and lived in this picturesque village forever.

Gave my life to Jesus during a Church army mission at the age of 10. Married to Brian in 1970 and celebrate our Golden Wedding this year. We have two wonderful daughters, Lisa and Victoria, and three precious grand children, Deanna, Jenna and Emerson.

Worked at Bradford magistrates court before having family. Then for 25 years worked at Heaton Royds special school in Shipley helping and teaching children with special needs ...I loved this work. Semi-retired 11years ago and now work part time for our daughter in her Opticians Practise in Queensbury. I love gardening and baking ,spending time with our family and also accompanying Brian and watching him play indoor and outdoor bowls.(I make the tea and coffee!!)

We have been part of the Light Church for a year and feel very much ‘at home’.

September 6th - Tarzan Almas

​Today’s thought comes to us from Tarzan Almas:

Bio: I am Tarzan, I have been married to Jyotika for 37 years. We have 3 grown-up children, Tom, Sabrina, and Preeya. I am a proud granddad of 5 grandsons, Elijah, Josiah, Asher, Isaac, and Jesse.

I enjoy a blessed life which includes walking, swimming, serving God’s people, developing my understanding of scripture, and playing with my grandchildren.

September 4th - Jane Garratt

​Today’s thought comes to us from Jane Garratt

As believers with saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have massive benefits.

God the Father was so thrilled with God the Son that He wants us all to be like Him. He is able to make all things work for our good towards us becoming that. God is for us! (read Romans 8:28—31)

Jesus came to be prophet (speaking forth from God) priest (mediator) and king (ruler) and we are privileged through His death and resurrection to share in these roles.

This gives us both a privilege and an obligation. Faith and obedience are necessary. And these are available to us by His grace.

In our role as priests we see three things reflected from the Old Testament:-

Deuteronomy 10:8. “The Lord set apart the tribe of Levi (the old testament priestly tribe) to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in His Name as they still do today.”

We carry the presence of God, by God the Holy Spirit who is in us

We serve Him, with our worship, adoration and obedience to what He asks us to do

We pronounce blessings in His Name.

Today, why not consciously incorporate an awareness of these privileges in your life, especially in bringing blessing to those around you.

“ I bless you today to be utterly convinced that God loves you, that He is for you, that there is nothing you have done that is outside the forgiveness Jesus offers you, because He died and rose again to reconcile you to God. I bless you with buoyant mood, a cheerful heart, enough to live and enough to give. I bless you with hope for your future.”

Bio: Jane Garratt born in Epsom Surrey and raised in a Christian home. Came to saving faith and relationship with Jesus Christ aged 6. Studied Applied Biology and then Biochemistry and worked as a research biologist for the makers of Aquafresh and Maclean’s toothpastes. Married Rob in 1974 and together we raised three children and now have three grandchildren. Have lived variously in Tadworth Surrey, Forest of Dean, Cleveland, Baghdad, Epsom Surrey, and Baildon. Also worked for British Steel, King’s Church Epsom, Clevedon House School & Christians Against Poverty. In 2007 left paid employment to embark on the adventure of helping poor people, in Africa and Asia, lift themselves from poverty through the God-given vision of 5000PLUS which is inspired by the miracle of the feeding of the 5000. We currently see it impacting untold numbers in 8 countries we have visited plus others we have not. Have had lots of adventures with God and proved His faithfulness, care and forgiveness over the years.

September 2nd - Matt Barlow

We are excited to let you know that our Lead Pastor, Matt Barlow is starting up our series of Thought For The Day again!

Kicking us off, here is his thought for the day:

Ambiguous loss

There have been a lot of blogs recently on why so many of us are feeling so challenged by our current situation. But one really stood out to me recently, as it talked about a concept I’d not heard before: ‘ambiguous loss.’ The blog writer explained: ‘Ambiguous loss is… any loss that’s unclear and lacks a resolution’

Covid world has been a sea of ambiguous loss for literally everyone in this country, and we are still in that sea. Admittedly some have suffered very un-ambiguous loss - a loved one dying is not unclear, it’s very obvious and its heart breaking.

But many of us have suffered from genuine ambiguous loss - it’s hard to define it as loss, it maybe is unclear as to what we’ve actually lost, maybe we struggle to clarify it as loss, and even if we can identify it, there’s pretty much nothing we can do about it. This might include

  • Seeing the grandparents - especially when grandparents are a chunk of your childcare!
  • Missing those people from school, who aren’t close friends, but seeing them around brings comfort
  • Simply going to the shops, pub or cafe without having to think too hard about what the rules are
  • Meeting with church family and singing your heart out once a week
  • That commute to work where you used to stick some worship music on and connect with God
  • Hugs and handshakes when we greet and leave each other - who knew how important these were?
  • The security of your job, which continues to hang in the balance, but might turn out to be fine.

All of it is not clear cut loss, it is ambiguous. Such that you maybe even feel a bit bad, or sad or pathetic for missing it. Other people in the world face much greater hardships after all. But loss is loss. It doesn’t have to be worse than someone else’s for it to be important to acknowledge. I’ll say that again…. Loss is loss. It doesn’t have to be worse than someone else’s for it to be important.

The fact that it is ambiguous plays into this thinking that it’s not that big a deal. The reality is we have all had ambiguous loss upon ambiguous loss, and a bit part of the ambiguity is that we don’t know when it will end.

The article also said this, which really hit home to me:

While the phrase “adjusting to the new normal” has been repeated endlessly since March, it’s easier said than done. How do you adjust to an ever-changing situation where the “new normal” is indefinite uncertainty?

All part of the ambiguity of loss is having no idea when it will end and no control as to when it will end.

So, what would God want to speak to all of us, as we continue to navigate this indefinite uncertainty. Here are my thoughts….

  1. Don’t just lather on Christian platitudes and bible verses without actually spending some time acknowledging that you are experiencing loss. Emotions are there to be embraced and experienced. I’m grateful that many of the bible writers kept it real. Reflect on the concept of ambiguous loss. Acknowledge the loss, the low level grief attached to it, acknowledge the trials.
  2. Recognise that uncertainty currently reigns, but cling to the one who will always make it alright in the end. Psalm 18 is a great place to start for some encouragement.
  3. Trust that in every trial God has something to teach you. Lean into him and learn that valuable lesson. For me that lesson has been thankfulness being the power with which I ward off feeling down.
  4. In the words of Romans 15:13 - never lose hope! May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’

If you’d like to read the whole article, it can be found here:

July 15th - Matt Barlow

​Today’s thought comes to us from Matt Barlow

July 10th - Kiri Saunders

Today’s thought comes to us from Kiri Saunders

I’m full, but I’m not satisfied.

*** Disclaimer ***

Hi I’m Kiri and this is a long thought for the day. I’d obviously like you to read to the end, but maybe make yourself a cuppa first and grab a comfy seat because according to a website I just consulted, this is a ten minute read!

Okay? Ready? Let’s begin.

I read a book in December (one you may have heard of) which inspired me to take a spiritual retreat. ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry’ by John Mark Comer speaks to today’s Western society, challenging how we live and encouraging us to slow down enough to allow our souls to catch up with our bodies. Isn’t that a beautiful picture? And for me, a wonderful challenge.

To my shame it took me six months to actually put this inspiration into action. As I write this, it is 5pm on Friday 26 June and I’ve spent the last nine hours with God. Phone turned off. No distractions. Just me and the Big Guy.

But I’m not here to talk to you about taking a spiritual retreat. Considering this is the first time I’ve ever done it, I’m not exactly an expert. I’m here to tell you about what God has spoken to me about. I hope it inspires and challenges you, as it did me.

The challenge

So here’s a question I have been mulling over in recent months: What does it actually look like to be a Christian? Yes, we meet together (now virtually) on a Sunday. We pray. We worship. We follow the ten commandments (try to). We have salvation (hallelujah). All these things are great - but you know God has so much more in store for us than that?

During my retreat day I read a book titled ‘The Barbarian Way’ by Erwin Raphael McManus. It was a challenging read (and quite short, if you’re not much of a reader but want book suggestions). There were some parts I didn’t fully agree with - including the author telling his adventurous son that if he wanted he could jump off the roof he’d just climbed onto (the parents amongst you are raising eyebrows here). It wasn’t that the author wanted his son dead, but instead he wanted to be a parent who called his children to greater endeavours, rather than send them back to the safe place. But on the whole - parenting styles aside - the book was so relevant to us today.

The book brings the challenge that many Christians have become ‘civilised’, expecting life to be comfortable, trouble-free, filled with opportunity and promise, but lacking risk and sacrifice. A safe space, if you will.

I’m 26. I think about my life and what I want from my future. I’d like a nice house with a secluded garden, a car that doesn’t squeak in-between gears (it’s been doing it for years, so I figure it’s not going to break down imminently), a good job, a husband and kids. In other words, I want comfort, ease and contentment. They’re not bad things to want, but there’s a problem.

That’s not what Jesus died for.

He didn’t die so that I could have an easy life on earth. We (which I’m afraid includes you) are being called to something quite different, a life full of uncertainty, adventure and possibility.

Here’s an excerpt that put it well:

‘Jesus did not suffer and die so that we could build for ourselves a haven, but so that we might expand the kingdom of His love. Because invisible kingdoms are at war for the hearts and lives of every human being who walks on the face of this earth. And times of war require barbarians who are willing to risk life itself for the freedom of others.’

Being a Christian is to obey the call to live radically different from the rest of the world. To be set apart, to house the Holy Spirit, to be Holy. And the question we need to ask ourselves - are we doing this? How much security do we place on the material, tangible things in our lives? On the relationships we have, or don’t have? If God asked you all to lay it down for Him, could you do it?

My own journey

So like I said, I’ve been mulling this over for a while. Even before I read ‘The Barbarian Way’ I was feeling challenged about my outlook on life and what God has in store for me. Half of me wants a normal life, the other half yearns for more of Him.

But being a Christian means that God is calling us to step up, and step out, of our normal lives.

He calls us to be in the world, but not of it. Yet, how many of our desires are of the world and not of God’s Kingdom? Do our lives as Christians look radically different to that of our non-Christian neighbour, or friend? Giving ourselves fully to God will probably mean we must give up some of the things we desire, which may well be security, control of our lives (eek!).

During my nine hours with God, I started to look back through my journal (which is sporadically populated with my thoughts and God’s promptings). On the first page I’d written out the lyrics to a Bethel Music song, ‘In over my head’.

I have come to this place in my life,

I’m full but I’ve not satisfied

this longing to have more of You.

*** Ding ding ding ***

Clearly I’ve been feeling this for some time. I’m happy in my life, I have been blessed with a lot (a house, a job, great family etc…). Yet, I want more of Him! But that’s scary, giving yourself fully to God means giving up control.

I sensed God tell me to look into why Jenn Johnson wrote the song. I found a short video of her speaking about it and I just started to cry because it put into words how I was feeling (FYI: crying is a rare occurrence for me so when I do cry, I know it’s the Holy Spirit moving me).

You can watch it here: (

Jenn said ‘[The song] starts to talk about ‘further and further my heart moves away from the shore’, and to me that is definitely the Lord pulling me into uncomfortable things, listening to his voice and obeying it no matter what it looks like.

The chorus is ‘Then you crash over me, I’ve lost control but I’m free’ and to me that is the under-the-wave moment of you can’t do anything, but yet it’s the most freeing thing in the world because you can’t do anything. ‘I’m going under, I’m in over my head’ and I think sometimes it gets to this place when you’re like ‘I’m trying to get it together, but I just feel out of control over my life’ and God is like ‘It’s way more fun when you don’t! It’s way easier on your life if you just go under and let me take care of it’! ‘Whether I sink, whether I swim

Oh it makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head.’


Where are you? Are you out in the deep waters, trusting God in all of your aspects of your life? Or are you standing on the shore looking at people in the sea and thinking, it would be cool to be out there - but it’s too scary? The majority of us, I imagine, are probably wading. We let God into aspects of our life, but our feet are still planted firmly on the sand below.

So… hit me up with something practical.

Basically the long and short of it is this:

Jesus died for you.

He died so that we may have eternal life (John 3:16).

He didn’t die so that we may have a nice life.

The best is yet to come!

So, if our call isn’t to create a nice life for ourselves, what should we do?

1. Firstly, we must die to self.

2 Corinthians 5:15

“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.”

2. Next, we must pick up our cross, every day, and follow Jesus.

Luke 9:23

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me..”

3. Then we are asked to wade out into the deep. Into the place that’s not comfortable. Into a place where we are no longer in control, but God is.

Further and further my heart moves away from the shore. Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am yours. (Bethel Music: ‘In over my head’)

Romans 14:8

“If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

4. And with God in control, you just watch Him use your life in miraculous ways.

Ephesians 3:20

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”

It won’t be easy. But oh boy will it be worth it!

Bio: Well hello there! For those who of you who don’t know me, I’m Kiri. I’ve been at the Light Church for almost four years and I help lead the Young Adult ministry.

I don’t sound like I’m from around here and, well, that’s because I’m not. I grew up in Cambridgeshire, where it’s flatter and sunnier, but at the age of 18 I decided to travel up t’north for university. After uni I got on a plane and travelled to what has been denoted as one of the most dangerous countries on the planet, Honduras. I spent an unforgettable year teaching a class of kids aged 7-11 and successfully avoiding danger. I then got back on a plane and headed to Bradford to start in the External Affairs team at CAP. Fast forward four and here I am!

July 5th - Derek Green

​Today’s thought comes to us from Derek Green

During this lock down, my friend showed me that I live near some woods. In the 6 years that I have lived in this area, I never knew it was so close.

I have now been walking regularly in the woods, finding different paths and seeing where they lead me.

On one of these walks, as I was walking up a hill, I stopped to see where I was heading and then looked back at where I had come from. This was when I had this thought from God and I have decided to share.

As I looked up the hill and then looked down where I had come from, I realised that there are times on our path/journey with God:
Other times we look back and our response could be:
Or else we could be thinking:
If we are looking too far ahead, we may miss a little detour that God’s got planned for us or maybe he has another path for us to go down. Maybe that path will test your faith but lead you into the freedom and enjoyment that God wants us to live in.

  • we look up and look too far forward
  • we are wishing our time away by wishing that we were already there
  • wow, thank you Lord (amazed at where we have come from)
  • why did I do that
  • why did I make that decision
  • why did that happen

Sometimes we just need to enjoy the journey, yes the journey can be hard, but we have to go through it, to get to where God wants us to be.

God wants us to focus on the moment that we are in and allow him to mould us to become more like Jesus. I am reminded that when I came to Bradford 6 years ago, I felt that God was leading me to “Seek first the Kingdom of God”.

On our journey, remember to keep seeking first God’s Kingdom before our own needs and God will supply us our needs.

In doing this we can end up finding ourselves in a place that we did not expect.

Bio: Hi all, I am Derek Green. I have been working in Bradford for last 19 years but only moved to Bradford 6 year ago, which is when I joined the Light Church and for approx last 5 years been part of the Kids Team. I am a Dad to Josh(28), Nath(26) and Emily(18) who all live in Leeds. I have been fortunate that I have still been working during the lock down.

July 1st - Susanne Shackleton

​Today’s thought comes to us from Susanne Shackleton


A few weeks ago I felt God give me the word ‘reset’.

I think it was a word for me, for aspects of my life & character that God is calling to attention. Indeed it can probably be applied to a lot of people’s lives currently, in this time where we’ve been forced to stop, slow down & reflect. But it can also be applied to church, especially in light of the words ‘See I am doing a new thing’ which we have heard so powerfully recently.

I looked up the dictionary meaning of reset:

- to set again or differently

- to adjust

- to fix in a new way

- to make changes so a machine (church?!) will work again or work in a different way

And some alternative words are - restore, re-establish, reboot, readjust, restart.

I reflected on what this meant for this season. A time to start over perhaps. When things get stuck, clogged up, or aren’t going anywhere, we can press reset. A bit like a computer when we turn it off then back on again. And even then it’s not an immediate restart - there’s a period of time as it warms up, gets going again. So maybe that’s how we can view this season. Time to press reset on our lives or specific things. Time to prepare for what’s to come.

Or, more specifically, maybe that’s how we can view this season as The Light Church. Time to press reset on how we do church? Time to prepare for what’s to come before we get going again.

Maybe spend some time this week praying & reflecting on how God might be pressing ‘reset’ in your life. Then pray for our church and ask Him to speak to you about what’s next.

Should we as a church ‘return to original factory settings’? Become like the Acts church, have all the basics in place, then let God lead us to build something new, something fresh, something immeasurably more than we can imagine, allowing His love to sweep across our city and beyond.

Wherever God lead us us, I am very excited about the future of our church. There is a new and refreshing strength emerging with God’s fingerprints all over it! There’s an exciting journey ahead!

Bio: Hi, I’m Susanne. I’m originally from Essex but went to university in Sheffield in 1997 and have pretty much lived ‘up north’ ever since. Richard & I met at university and we got married in 2005. We have two sons, William aged 12 and Peter aged 9. We’ve been a part of The Light Church since 2010. I work part time as a teaching assistant at Bradford Christian School and am blessed to work with many amazing colleagues and children. I like music, films, books, theatre and am a bit potty about Giant Pandas!

June 27th - Amy Tyson

​Today’s thought comes to us from Amy Tyson

Where do you put your trust?

Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV) Treasures in Heaven

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

I think we all know this verse, and we know the importance of where we put our trust, but how often do we stop and evaluate ourselves, especially during such uncertain times?

Personally, I’ve found it pretty hard to put my trust in God alone throughout these last three months. With my internship at CAP coming to an end and not knowing what the outcome is going to be, coupled with the fear of being unemployed or potentially homeless, it has been pretty difficult to keep my eyes above the waves.

Matthew 14:25-31

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Like Peter, I’ve been preoccupied with what’s going on around me when I should have kept my eyes upon the face of my Lord. I’ve put my trust in employers responding to me, I’ve put trust in my bank account to get me through tough times, I’ve put my trust in friends or Disney+ (it’s like Netflix but with Mickey Mouse) to help me forget about my worries, all of which never solved any of my problems. I know, shocking right?

I’ve found that during this time especially God is calling me into a deeper level of trust in Him. For me to rely completely on Him; His timing, His love, His provision and His goodness. I have prayed continuously for stronger faith, for a deeper relationship with my heavenly Father—-I guess I didn’t realize that meant God would give me challenging situations where my faith has to be tested.

...Then again, it would be ridiculous to think God would hear my prayer and say ‘1…2… 3….boom, you now have a strong faith.’

I’ve learned that I truly can trust God to provide me with my every need, all it takes is for me to turn from quick fixes, self comfort and fear of not being in control, and bring everything before my all loving Father. He knows the plans he has for me, and for you, and they aren’t to harm us but to prosper us.

Jeremiah 29:11

“‘For I Know The Plans I Have For You’ Declares the Lord, ‘Plans to Prosper You and Not to Harm You, Plans to Give You Hope and a Future.

I am not the finished article, I still fail and I still struggle but I want to encourage you. When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he cried out to Him and Jesus immediately reached out and caught Peter. I believe that when we call out to our Lord, He will immediately reach out for us and hold us steady through the storm, even when we’ve taken our eyes off of Him.

He’s so great isn’t He?

Lord, thank you that we can place our trust in you. Thank you that you are good, that you are faithful and patient with us when we waver in our trust. Help us to step out in faith, and not turn to worldly solutions which hold no value.

In your name Jesus we pray, amen.

Bio: Hi! I’m Amy. I’ve been a member of the Light Church for about a year and a half now and absolutely loving it. I currently live with the wonderful Matt, Josie, Jed, Eve…and Bonnie Barlow as their lodger and they’ve been great to do lockdown with! I am employed at Christians Against Poverty as an Intern in the Prayer team and regularly volunteer with the amazing Bradford Food bank. It’s been wonderful getting to know more about the organisations and deepening my relationship with Jesus. I love Disney movies, drawing, writing and editing and can be found indulging in one or the other.

God bless!

June 24th - Brian King

​Today’s thought comes to us from Brian King

Hi…how are you doing/coping/surviving (or whatever word springs to mind) as we all prepare to come out of LOCKDOWN?

As I reflect on the wonderful ‘Thoughts’ others have contributed, one of the themes running through them seems to be the storm we are in. I have constantly been reminded of a book I read a few years ago by John Ortberg ‘If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat’ much so I am re-reading it. It impacted my life and I would like to share some of the author’s thoughts which are based on Matthew 14 v22/36 where Peter tries to walk on water towards Jesus. You know we all face our own storms from time to time and they can spring up, as it did in this passage, at the most unexpected times. But here’s the good bit…the storm is something not to fear because in our storms is where we find Jesus who holds his hand out ready to grab hold of us should we start to sink. You see what Jesus was revealing wasn’t a one-off event…we can all be water walkers.

Just before our passage starts Jesus has just fed 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish (another WOW moment to get a grip of…so not surprising Jesus needed some solitude and quality time with the Father) so he instructed his disciples to go across the Sea of Galilee and Jesus would ‘catch them up’ later. However, later that evening a storm to beat all storms blew up, huge waves, gale force winds and their boat was in danger of sinking. It’s now 3 o’clock in the morning and I guess the disciples knew the only person who could save them wasn’t in the boat with them. Suddenly they see what appears to them as a ghost and they are terrified (but who else could it be walking on these huge waves?)

SOMETIMES IT TAKES EYES OF FAITH TO RECOGNISE WHEN JESUS IS AROUND. We can be like that when we are buffeted by waves of uncertainty, disappointment, self doubt and hurt…we can struggle to recognise Jesus’ presence just like those disciples.

In Mark’s gospel 6:48 he adds ‘Jesus was about to pass by them’...perhaps Jesus had deliberately sent them on alone in the boat for this very reason….it was a water walking moment for them all. In the Old Testament we read how God put Moses in a cleft of the rock so he could see God’s glory pass by before him. God told Elijah to stand on the mountain ‘for the Lord is about to pass by’. The pattern is that God has to get people’s attention (a burning bush, a wind and fire or even walking on water,) and for each person, God was going to call them to do something extraordinary. Oh yes they all felt afraid at God’s calling but every time people say ‘YES ‘to the call they experience the power of God in their lives.

How about us today…In our storms Jesus is passing by in the midst of the waves and holds his hand out to us… are we up for joining him? Who knows what he is calling us to do today but one thing I know, He is already out there In the middle of the storm. He is always ready to grab hold of us should we take our eyes off Him and be distracted by the storm and start to sink. When we answer Jesus’ call always remember OBEDIENCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF BEING SPARED ADVERSITY….there were 12 disciples in the boat and we don’t know how the other 11 responded to Jesus’ voice but only one of them was about to become a water walker. God can choose the strangest times to call us to something new…yes even in the midst of a storm.

A note of caution….water walkers must discern between Faith and Foolishness.

Peter cries out to Jesus,

Matthew 14:28 ‘Lord if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water’

It’s not just about risk taking it’s primarily about obedience. We all have to discern between an authentic call from God and what might be a foolish impulse on our part. Courage alone is not enough, it must be accompanied by wisdom and discernment. Matthew isn’t glorifying risk taking for its own sake. Jesus isn’t looking for bungee jumping, hang gliding, white water rapid shooters. Water walking isn’t something Peter does for recreation. It’s not about extreme sports, it’s about extreme discipleship. Before Peter gets out of the boat he had better make sure Jesus thinks it’s a good idea…so he checks first…he no doubt weighed up his options. Does he stay curled up in his boat where for the moment he has security and safety? Or does he obey Jesus and there may well be a good chance he could sink (I mean look at the size of those waves and listen to that gale howling)...but one thing is for sure if he (and us) don’t get out of the boat there’s a guaranteed certainty that we will never walk on water!

So what holds us back? What’s our boat? What stops us from water walking? What do we fear losing the most if we get out of that boat ?

That boat is whatever represents safety and security to us apart from God himself. Our boat is whatever we are tempted to put our trust in especially when life gets stormy. Our boat is whatever keeps us so comfortable that we don’t want to give it up, even if it’s keeping us from joining Jesus on the waves. Our boat is whatever pulls us away from the high adventure of extreme discipleship. Want to know what our boat is? ...Our fear will tell us!! Just ask yourself ‘what is it that most produces fear in me especially when I think of leaving it behind and stepping out in faith?’

Maybe that boat is ‘success’. That was the issue for the rich young ruler in the Bible. Jesus asked him to get out of the boat (‘sell all that you have and give the money to the poor and come follow me’) but he decided not to. He had a very nice boat and didn’t want to give it up.

As I look back on my own journey and recall the number of times I have struggled with this (and yes still struggling!) Something - someone - inside each one of us tells us there is more to life than sitting in the boat. We are ALL made for something more than just avoiding failure. Did Peter fail? I suppose in a way he did. His faith wasn’t strong enough, his doubts were stronger…he saw the wind and waves because he took his eyes off Jesus where they should have been - he sank - he failed…but here’s the thing…there were 11 bigger failures sitting in the boat. I suppose Peter had to live with people simply remembering this as Peter sinking and we seem to overlook the other 11 in the boat…but only Peter knew 2 other things…..the GLORY OF WALKING ON WATER (he alone knew what it was like to attempt to do what he was not capable of doing on his own, then empowered by God to do it) and only Peter knew the GLORY OF BEING LIFTED UP by Jesus in a moment of desperate need. The others couldn’t because they never got out of the boat.

So what has God been saying to us all this lockdown in particular…as we consider all the changes being made to our christian journey with Jesus, both individually as well as a Church family? Is that ‘still small voice ‘ whispering quietly, calling us out of our boat to something new? Or is Jesus shouting across the waves over the noise of the storm…’COME.’

I am sorry this was lengthy but every time I tried to whittle it down I just couldn’t, but I will finish with some words I picked up from ‘I don’t know where.’

To sinful patterns of behaviour that never get confronted and changed,

Abilities and gifts that never get cultivated and deployed -

Until weeks become months

And months turn into years,

And one day you’re looking back on a life of

Deep, intimate, gut-wrenchingly honest conversations you never had

Great bold prayers you never prayed,

Exhilarating risks you never took,

Sacrificial gifts you never offered

Lives you never touched,

And you’re sitting in a recliner with a shrivelled soul,

And forgotten dreams,

And you realise there was a world of desperate need,

And a great God calling you to be part of something bigger than yourself,

You see the person you could have become but did not,

You never followed your calling,


May God richly bless you all

Bio: I was born at an early age into a Methodist family. Met Sue who I always thought ‘I was boxing above my weight’ I knew it was true love because her mum wouldn’t let me take her out on my 350cc Triumph motorcycle so I sold it !!! I married her in 1970 then got a free transfer to the Church of England. 2 amazing children Lisa and Victoria, became churchwarden, then years later became a Christian at a Billy Graham mission in Sheffield during 1985. I also now have 3 grandchildren, Deanna, Jenna and Emerson. Then we left after 50 years and joined the Light Church April 2019. The journey continues…

June 21st - John Kirkby

Today’s thought comes to us from John Kirkby

Bio: John is one of the founders of the Light church, and is married to Lizzie, and Dad to Jasmine, Jessica, Abi, Tom & Lydia!!

A Bradford boy born and bred, John isn’t merely John, he’s Dr John Kirkby CBE.

Both awards given in recognition of the outstanding work he did and continues to do as the founder of Christians Against Poverty.

When he’s not working John is a weather geek, an artist, loves to exercise and is a big fan of the Archers. (The R4 programme, not the drink.)

June 19th - Jan Barlow

Today’s Thought comes to us from Jan Barlow

Bio: Hi. I’m Jan Barlow, mum of Pastor Matt and his big brother Tony. Ma in law to Josie and Gene. Granny to Eve, Jed, Lily and Pixie. Married to Mike for 52 years plus. Saved by Jesus’ intervention aged 34. 500 years of Gloucestershire stock,a life transformed by God moving us to Yorkshire 16 years ago. With God’s help trying to walk the path of “life-long ordinary loving”.

June 17th - Steve Restrick

​Today’s thought comes to us from Steve Restrick

I sense God speaking some words of encouragement for us, his church…

God has only got one church and he loves every expression of his church. We are learning to love what he loves.

At this time of worldwide crises, he is calling his church to himself, to seek his face, in connection, Prayer, intimacy, to demonstrate from that encounter his love, compassion and truth to who ever he puts in front of us, to take risks in ‘faith adventures’ with him, to the people within our circle of influence and beyond…

He is releasing his ministers in the church.

Who are his ministers?

We are, all of us… so that we may make known his manifold wisdom and grace, like the many facets of a cut diamond reflecting his heart, character and nature.

In a world of political tensions, both in the world and in his worldwide church, He has not come to take sides, but rather to take over.

We are being summoned by his command, to come in humility and seek his wisdom and will, as it were, to get out of the way and follow him by his Spirit and see with new eyes what he is doing.

Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”

The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

Joshua 5:13-15 NIV

To be like the people of Issachar who understood the times

“From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.”

1 Chronicles‬ 12:32‬ NLT‬‬

This is a new season in the life of his church, in our world things have changed, so too in the Spirit things are changing.

I believe with all my heart that, God has called his church to be a prophetic voice, with his spiritual gifts and humility to speak to people in this new season, to take the invitation from God into this faith adventure and discover by grace and risk taking (Faith) all that God intends for neighbours, our Cities and Nation and beyond.

God’s Goodness is to be made manifest among us, his church and demonstrated freely in every which way, his grace leads us.

Religious people will always find something to disagree and separate over, spiritual lovers & disciples will find love wins and only Jesus had perfect theology, we will in wisdom remain novices, ever learning in the divine romance, where love is as strong as death and no price is too high, once you have paid it for Him.

The call of Jesus is to follow him…

Walking with Jesus daily in, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Simplicity, and the Power of his Love.

Making Love our highest goal and eagerly desiring the gifts of his Spirit to reveal his glory, we press on and grow into him…

Praying for God’s favour and blessings on our lives as we serve, love and live in the power of his love and revelation.

“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”

2 Thessalonians‬ 3:5‬ NLT‬‬

Bio: I am married to the lovely Emma, and moved to Bradford 4 years ago after our honeymoon in Skiathos. We have been part of The Light Church family for 2 years. Emma works at CAP as a Debt Advisor; I run my own business as a Gas Engineer. I love the outdoors, walking or motorcycling in the countryside. Emma loves being at home and is never bored! We enjoy quality time with friends and family, adventures, which includes travelling and exploring new places and making memories, which I photograph and Emma turns into beautiful Photo books.

June 16th - Amy McGrail

Today’s thought comes to us from Amy McGrail

Did you hear about the man who sacrificed so much, including his own life to save billions?

He gave up creature comforts and became homeless & penniless in order to put trust and faith into practice.

He travelled on foot to many cities and nations, taking only the clothes on his back, to ensure people were aware of their rights to an inheritance & access to total freedom.

He shared of many free gifts available to people, especially during times of difficulty.

He hung out with the lowest, sickest and poorest members of society when no one else would.

He befriended the lonely & outcast.

He was always honest & spoke the truth with great conviction.

He made many promises & kept them.

He was the founder of the biggest faith revolution to ever cover the globe.

He was and still is faithful until the very end.

He did more miracles than any other person recorded in history, including raising the dead & completely healing the sick.

He has billions of followers.

This man is real and sadly often forgotten about.

His name is Jesus!

At a time when many are celebrating and recognising those who have done so much for our country. From veterans to front line staff, from saints to slave abolitionists. All of whom deserve to be recognised and respected.

However let us not forget the one who made huge sacrifices and paid the ultimate price in order to secure our place in his kingdom.

The one who holds us daily in the palm of his hands, who loves us without conditions and who picks us up and carries us in his arms during times of trial. The one who deserves the most honour, the ultimate hero - our Father in heaven, our saviour and our King, our Lord Jesus Christ! The great ‘I AM’!

“For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

Bio: I’m Amy, I grew up in a loving christian family - mum, dad and younger brother, & gave my heart to the Lord at age 6. I’m an auntie to a lovely niece and nephew and proud Godmother to my niece too!

We always had pets growing up, mainly dogs & I remember from a young age having a love of animals. A year ago I left my job working in schools to set up my own business walking dogs which I absolutely love and was just the change I needed! I am a lot happier now and have a much healthier work-life balance.

I’ve opened up business again recently, and even though it’s not quite back to where it was before lockdown, I am trusting God that it will get there!

In my spare time you’ll find me enjoying a host of varied activities from walking to painting furniture, brushing up on my German language skills, reading books & home interiors magazines, watching Netflix, cooking, growing veggies and much more…

I know everyone has had a different experience of lockdown, which for me has been really enjoyable. It’s been a great opportunity to slow down, spend time together as a couple and enjoy doing many of the above hobbies and contemplate God and life in general.

I pray for continued peace upon you all as you navigate through these unusual times, with God’s grace and hand upon you, Amen.

June 12th - Stuart Miller

Todays thought comes to us from Stuart Miller

What an exciting time we are living in! Jesus loves us so much and we are his, my question is this: is everybody ready for his return? There is so much going on around us: the soon to be cashless society, wars, earthquakes, more famines ,and a pestilence that will probably alter the way we live forever.

The reason I use the term exciting time is because I believe we can see biblical prophecy being fulfilled that speaks about the return of Jesus. And when he returns - what is that going to look like? It’s going to be awesome!

Jesus said these words - if we eat his flesh and drink his blood we abide in him and he in us (John 6:56, John 15:9). Abiding! That means we can’t get any closer!

The lord our God loves it when we pray and call out to him in spirit and in truth. I love the fact that we can call out to the God who loves us all so much. He loved us so much that he gave his one and only son (John3:16) And we’re never limited - absolutely any time day or night whether we pray in tongues or in the natural, whether we take seconds or hours, he loves it all. HALLELUJAH THANK YOU KING JESUS!

Colossians 4:2

Don’t forget you are a privileged child of God and if God is for us all the kingdom of heaven is for you and I believe every time we say, pray or do something nice for our brothers and sisters we set another wave of all the angels going into more rapturous praise of God. I pray God’s blessing on all of my brothers and sisters!

p.s When anyone is ill at your home God has given you authority to cast any sickness out gels and heavenly hosts praising the god who saved us

Bio: I’m Stuart and I’m from a family of six, one sister in oz and two younger brothers in Bradford I also have a son living in London.

I was born again in 2013 November the 15th just after 10pm and what a whirlwind of a ride the Lord’s taken me on. I was first reached through the work of CAP, so everyone involved in CAP - I truly cannot ever thank you enough. I’ve not too many hobbies, I tinker with art once in a blue moon and love the countryside when I get a chance to go

June 10th - Helen Watts

Todays thought comes to us from Helen Watts

As I walked up to meet the lady, a large box of food in my arms, I noticed she was chatting on her phone. I drew closer, she saw me, she kept chatting on her phone. I felt a bit irritated inside; why wasn’t she giving me her full, appreciative attention in readiness for the gift I was about to give her? She signalled to me where to put the box whilst she kept up her phone chat.

I returned to my car to collect the other box of food. The lady ended her phone chat to tell me she’d waited in all day on Wednesday expecting the parcel to be delivered and now it was Friday.

I drew the conversation round, we ended well and I headed back to my car, still feeling a bit irritated.

I had to say sorry to God for my attitude towards the lady, my expectation of what thanks and appreciation ‘should’ look like.

“Help me to show more of your grace in my thinking and my actions Lord.”

And God nudged me….

“How about all those times Helen when you are more focused on what you’re up to and scarcely acknowledge my presence; when you keep on with your own distractions and give me a passing nod rather than stopping to fully acknowledge my presence or to give me your full attention, to talk with me and thank me? I come laden with gifts for you every day; good things for your soul and body. My blessings are new every morning. How often are you like the lady chatting on the phone Helen?”

The lady was blessed with a food parcel to last her a few days; how much more I am blessed with abundant good gifts from God. How much more He deserves my full attention and thankfulness than anything I deserved from the lady. And yet, there’s no irritation shown by God to me, just grace, grace, grace and an invitation every day to put aside distractions and chat with Him.


Hi, I’m Helen. I’ve been part of The Light Church for 10 years and a follower of Jesus for 30 years. I’m a neuro Physiotherapist and particularly love working with people recovering their movement after stroke. When I’m not working I like to ride one of my bikes around this hilly part of Yorkshire or cook tasty food for friends. I love being a favourite Auntie to my niece and nephew; they’re coping well with chatting or reading to me via a screen but I can’t wait until I can hug them again.

June 9th - Sally Ogden

Todays thought comes to us from Sally Ogden

The time to do what is right is now…..

Micah 6:6-8 NLT

What can we bring to the LORD? Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

I wasn’t able to contribute to a thought for the day before now because lockdown has been one of the worse periods of my life ever and I’ve been through a lot so it’s quite a big deal to say that.

My daily gratitude attitude has helped to get me through. God has been so faithful and provided for my family throughout this time. I was blessed to be able to be furloughed early on. Many of my freelancer friends are struggling right now with no such option. My reality was that I lost nearly all my childcare at the beginning of lockdown which has left me exhausted and lonely. I then received some very painful news that I’ve had to process largely on my own. This all took its toll on my mental health. When I woke up to my house flooded one morning I was like “Oh God I don’t think I can take much more.” But he has continued to send me support and encouragement throughout this time never failing me. When the news broke of George Floyd’s death 2 weeks ago rather than using my heartbreak and raging anger to further despair. I’ve managed to harness it so I’m able to do what I believe is right in this time. Focus on how much I love God’s mercy and continue to fight for justice as he asks . Always bringing it back to the Lord knowing we are required to walk humbly seeking his heart rather than rushing ahead. It’s no longer enough to say we are not racist. We all have blind spots that we have to check in this time and his grace and humility are sufficient. Love always Wins.

I really believe like many God is asking us to dig seriously deep here and requires us to be better more radical versions of ourselves..ones we couldn’t probably imagine before lockdown. I remember attending a Light Church prayer meeting at Christmas where Liz Priestly had a prophecy to share that God was going to restore our vision as a church and beyond. That in 2020 we were going to receive 2020 clear vision. That really stuck with me at the time and I continue to be reminded of it. I don’t think even Liz can probably believe the accuracy of that declaration in the time we are now living. I believe the world changed irreversibly the day George Floyd was murdered by police officers and we can all bare witness to that because it was filmed. The power of film to change lives has always been close to my life. However painful and harrowing real stories on film might be. Not all films are there to entertain. Some films and stories are there to change lives and to change the world.

I’ve been listening to the worship song History maker by Delirious this week remembering as a young person what it felt like to think that I might be able to get a piece of that action. I’m trying to raise my child to be on the right side of history to be a history maker. I do believe God is calling us all to declare at this time which side we are on. “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. “ (Desmond TuTu)

In this time when we are called to action and speaking out about how much Black Lives Matter, however uncomfortable leading the way when often there continues to be so much silence from so many everywhere. For me it’s also a massive time of listening and learning..I’ve listened to many of my own black friends and families stories of abhorrent racism they have encountered growing up in this country this past week. There seems to be an outpouring of grief-for them it finally feels safe for them to tell their stories because people have open ears. My heart for the situation is that this leads to mass repentance around the world by white people to black people for centuries of oppression inflicted.

I want to be part of the process in my own church, in my own city declaring how sorry I am to my black brothers and sisters for all the pain caused to them. Both individually (I have been silent for too long) on behalf of the church of Jesus Christ, we have failed you so so badly and on behalf of white people past and present we have sinned against you in the most inhumane way possible. We are truly sorry.

My prayer is that as we all start to individually repent this will open the floodgates for mass healing and restoration in our lifetime. Amen


Marley and Me

I’m Sally Ogden and I live in the lovely Saltaire Village with my beautiful 7 year old Marley, who’s full of fun and life giving joy. My daughter attends Bradford Christian School which partly brought us to Light Church 18 months ago. I’m a proud Bradfordian hailing from BD4. I grew up in a christian family attending St Johns, Bowling. Growing up in a much poorer, diverse part of this country has given me riches beyond what I believe you can buy is this world.

I was the first person to go to university in my family and after working in social care and youth work; I’ve carved out a career for myself in the Television industry over the past 10 year. As a working class documentary filmmaker my passion is to break stereotypes and honour people on the screen that are so often dishonoured. A channel 4 film I produced last year was nominated for a BAFTA this week! So I’m feeling quite honoured back myself at the moment. My own story means that I know what poverty, mental health, stigma and shame feel like. I’m an overcomer and I try to prophetically live out my life in this way. When I’m not making or watching films I can be found amongst other things exploring nature with Marley, taking a photo of a gorgeous sunset or enjoying a fun night out with friends.

June 8th - Jyotika Almas

Todays thought comes to us from Jyotika Almas

My thought for the day is hoping against hope Romans 4:18

I was born into a staunch Hindu family and was miraculously saved at age 19 after meeting 2 Asian Christians who shared the Gospel with me.

At the time i was living in Leicester, at home with my parents and older brother (who owned the house). My family were very hurt by my conversion and my brother made my life very difficult at home. At one point he threw me out of the house in the freezing cold. This felt like a great rejection!

Thanks to my pastor and his wife who supported me until I got married. I was (and still am) very close to my family and wanted them to accept me. I knew that God had saved me for a reason and I read God’s word which said that not only me but my household would be saved. From that time i started to pray for my unsaved family.

I am on this journey to seeing my family saved (Acts 16:31). Since getting married (and living in Bradford) my husband and i have worked hard at keeping good relationships with my family in Leicester. Not many words have been said on the subject but our actions of love and care have spoken much more to them. We have made progress in building up relationships.

My sister and her family and my older brother and his family have accepted us. They have a lot of respect for us and we have built good relations with our nephew and nieces too.

My younger brother is still very angry and has not spoken to me for over 35 years.

As I write I am standing on God’s word and believing that his promise to me will come to pass and ‘my household will be saved’. Humanly speaking that looks impossible but we believe in the God of impossibilities and a God who makes a way where there is no way.

So today if you are believing for an unsaved loved one don’t give up hope ( Isaiah 55:11). I pray almost daily for my unsaved family and look for every opportunity to show God’s love to them. At times it is hard as so often the love is not reciprocated but God has not called us to just love those who love us back.

Today I want to encourage you to hope against hope(like Abraham) and I want to stand with you on God’s promise that not only you but your whole household will be saved.

Bio: I was born in Uganda and came to England at age 15. I am the youngest sibling of 2 brothers and 1 sister.

I am married to Tarzan who is the love of my life (apart of course from my 5 gorgeous grandchildren).

My hobbies include walking, swimming, cooking and enjoy serving my church family doing whatever my hands finds to do.

June 7th - Bushra Morrell

Today’s thought comes to us from Bushra Morrell

I have been seeing this lockdown period as a ’ Holy Season,’ to get closer to God, to dig deeper and de-clutter, to enlarge my tent and make room for the unexpected!

During this time God has shown me two pictures that are quite simple.

In the first picture - God is saying, as you draw back your curtains each morning, to let the light shine through, in the same way draw back the veil from your heart to let the light shine through. The natural light floods our room and we can see where everything is clearly. In the same way, God the Father requires us to draw back the curtains/veil and let His light shine through each morning. It’s God’s way of saying ‘I’m up too, let me in.’ It’s such a simple task drawing back your curtains in the morning, we do it automatically without thinking, but drawing back the veil from your heart is much harder. It requires time, thought and effort.

The second picture that God showed me was - as you dig deeper, surely you will find a well. As you draw near to God, He will draw near to you. You won’t be disappointed as you dig deeper. God is the well that never runs dry.

So, during lockdown I have been de-cluttering my loft - a job overlooked for a decade! It’s been a mammoth task, requiring time and patience, but we have got through it! From this practical task there are so many lessons to be learned, such as - ‘What is useful?’ ‘What shall I keep?’ ‘What shall I throw away?’ Ultimately, the aim is to throw out stuff you don’t really need, that’s in the way, that you keep tripping over, so the loft looks tidier and roomier, with space! It’s the same with our lives. Lockdown has been a time of reflection and change for me and many of us, a timely season to de-clutter our lives and make room for the ‘unexpected things of God,’ new things that He is teaching us in this Holy Season of lockdown.

A prayer for us and our nation.

I find Psalm 121 very uplifting and encouraging.

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. Amen

Bio: Hi, my name is Bushra Morrell and I am married to Allan. We got married in 1987 at Church House, on North Parade, Bradford. I am a primary school teacher and Allan is an optometrist.

We have two grown up children. Our son Elliott is married and lives in the Midlands, he works there for a tax company. Our daughter Sophie has just completed her studies and is searching the job market for an academic post. Shelf, in Halifax, has been our home for just over ten years. We have been coming to the Light Church for about six years and have learnt so much about our church family through thought for the day. I am a younger sibling to Tarzan and Shagufta and another brother, who attends Life Church. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, entertaining, eating out, afternoon teas, home improvements and some Netflix.

June 6th - John Booth

Todays thought comes to us from John Booth

Many people hit a bad patch at some point in their lives. I lost my identity approximately 33 years ago and went from being ‘happy go lucky’ to being cynical and sad. God brought me out of that place and fully restored me.

I always carry a mental picture of me climbing a mountain & looking up at Jesus who is reaching down to grab my hand. He has never let go and has given me peace & joy in life, regardless of the situation. If you are in a similar place, reach up! He will never let go. John 14:27 says “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” (Good News Translation).

I’ve had several encounters in the past but one, in particular, stands out and still sends shivers down my spine when I think of it. One of Chris’ friends asked me if I would collect a washing machine she had just bought and take it to her new cottage in a village at the other side of Skipton, and I said that was no problem. The guy selling it said he’d give me a hand to get it into my car (an estate at the time) but that he didn’t know how I would manage to get it out on my own (it was a big commercial washer). I said I’ll worry about that when I get there and set off to the new house. On the way I realised there was no way I was going to be able to lift it on my own and so I prayed for help all the way to the village. I arrived at dusk, the village had one main street and I could see all the way from the top to the bottom – it was deserted. I pulled up outside the cottage and was stood looking at the washer thinking “it’s down to me now” when I felt a tap on my shoulder, I froze, I’d just looked up & down for help and there was no-one in sight! I turned around and there stood a tall, slim man with long black hair to his shoulders and a crucifix in one ear. He smiled and said, “can I help you?” I was shaking but said “I’m trying to get this into the cottage” and he said, “let me help you” (all the time I was shaking inside). We got the washer into place and he smiled and said, “is there anything else I can help you with?” I said, “no but thank you” and he turned and walked to the door. I followed to thank him again, but the street was empty, and no-one was anywhere in sight.

James 1:6 says when you ask him, pray without doubting. Be sure that you really expect him to answer.

Bio: Hi, I’m John, I’ve been married to Chris for over 30 years and we’ve been members of the light church almost since the beginning. I gave my life to Jesus 26 years ago.

We have a son and 3 daughters from previous marriages and between us we have 9 grandkids and 10 great grandkids. I retired at 70 (and don’t know where the last 12 years have gone!). Cycling has been a big part of my life, having been a member of a cycling club and ridden coast to coast a couple of times. I love the simple things in life such as gardening and going out walking in the countryside.

June 5th - Ann Murgatroyd

​Todays thought comes to us from Ann Murgatroyd

When a storm enters your life, keep on going, riding it knowing God is with you however strong those waves and winds may be.

Jerimiah 29 v 11: This is the passage I turn to and speaks great volume in my life.

For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord “It’s not to harm you but to prosper you” in all we do.

Over the years Phill & I have had to ride and go through quite a number of storms in our life, but I always turn to this verse knowing God is my Rock, my Protector, and my Armour.

2019/2020- In this period of time we have experienced two massive major hurricanes and storms in our life.

2019: My daughter Angela was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 44, what a roller coaster this has been, one minute they were operating the next minute they could only treat with radiotherapy/chemo. This was such a testing time, but just putting our faith and trust in God we rode through the storm, yes still riding the small waves, but God has been faithful answered prayers from the church family and very close friends.

2020: Phill & I went to New Zealand in Dec for a much-needed break, but we had no idea that a hurricane was brewing. First I was admitted to hospital 3 days after arriving at Leanne’s house, flights cancelled owing to COVID, and a Big Big storm when Phill had a major stroke and me being prepared that if he pulled through, then he would be parallelized down his right side. But through this time on my own, I knew God was with us holding us up above the waves, and our church family and special friends were all in prayer, also believing and putting their trust in our Amazing Faithful God.

Our God did perform that MIRACLE and Phill is the walking Miracle.

Whatever storm/hurricane you are going through never, never stop putting your trust and believing in our amazing God, he is your father who loves you so much. Never doubt what our amazing God can do, just believe and trust in him

God is my ROCK and always will be. He can be your ROCK just believe in him

All Our Love and see you when we finally get back to the UK

Ann & Phill

Bio: I have been a Christian for 35 years and a member of the Light Church since in started 11 years ago this October.

I have been married to Phill for 25 years this month.

I have 2 amazing daughters Angela ( who is a member of Light Church) and Leanne who lives in New Zealand. Leanne’s son Nathan who is 9 is our only grandchild.

Phill & I have volunteered and served within the church since becoming Christians. We have also volunteered for the last 26 years at Martin House Children’s Hospice in Boston Spa.

We live in Addingham but at present owing to certain situations we have been staying in New Zealand since Dec 2019.

June 4th - Rachael Koszalinski

Todays thought comes to us from Rachael Koszalinski

Like most of us, I have experienced many thoughts throughout the past couple of months.

Most recently, I discovered a wonderful approach for knocking those times when worrying feels a little loud and a little in the way of enjoying all the things we love.

From watching family members work tirelessly to keep the country moving, I spent a lot of energy trying to work out the most productive way of utilising all the free time that I’d been given on furlough, but just couldn’t seem to shake the thought that, ‘whatever I do will be a wasteful use of time.’ I had a long sit down, prayed to God and came to a fulfilling resolution:

The utilisation of time is unique to the person experiencing it. God will continue to give us the opportunities we need to walk with him.

What happens in this time will be different for each of us and build on our individual relationship with God.

When I began to stop thinking about searching for the ‘best’ use of my time, that was the moment when things really started to become clear!

Bio: Hi, I’m Rachael. Just turned 27, I come from Sheffield and moved to Bradford two years ago to live with my fiance Joey. We met during a Music Production degree in Leeds eight years ago - how time flies!

After experiencing the loss of a school mate, I searched for answers and found my faith at the age of 14 and have witnessed God working through my life in incredible ways.

You’ll find me working at Bradford Christian School, providing support where needed. Otherwise, I’m either walking the hills of Bradford with my dog or hidden away in a studio playing with crazy sound waves!

An introvert by nature, it’s not often that I find myself sharing a thought and so, I do hope this offers a fresh perspective for encouragement.

June 3rd - Bev Reed

Todays thought comes to us from Bev Reed

God’s faithfulness is one aspect of being a Christian that has never disappointed. Especially through this challenging time. God is always available to listen, comfort and restore. At times his faithfulness can be overwhelming.

We’re self employed, so have had lots of new challenges to face through this season of life. BUT our trust in God has not faltered. He is faithful every day. He makes a way where there seems to be no answer or way at times. No matter what you have to face. Jesus has the answer.

Psalm 16 has been a psalm that I have read lots of times in recent weeks. It gives a picture of the life God wants for us.

Verse 1 - says that when we know him we are protected. “Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge”. Very apt at this time in particular. There’s nothing better than knowing that God is watching over us and we’re safe in him.

Verses 5-6. “Lord you are my portion, my cup of blessing, you hold my future. Knowing God means we can praise him, no matter where we are in life.

V 7-8. “I will bless the Lord who guides me, I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is beside me. These words in particular have been such a comfort and encouragement to me.

I could go on for the whole Psalm; there is so much in this small, but very significant Psalm, which our family has been so blessed with.

When David wrote this Psalm he too had lots of troubles, but he knew and trusted God and you can too. God is no respecter of persons. You are precious in his sight. Hope this brought encouragement for you to keep on keeping on.

In the words of The Blessing (The Reed households New favourite worship song). May the Lord bless you and keep you, make his face to shine upon you.

Bio: Hi, I’m Bev Reed. Married to Ian for nearly 31 years now. We’ve been at Light Church for ages. We’ve 2 girls 23 & 20 and 2 foster boys 12 & 13. Life is busy like it is for us all, and

at times can be too busy as every mum knows only too well. When I’m not being a Teacher, Caterer, nurse, or Psychologist I like to read, go walking and listen to music.

June 2nd - Shagufta Rashid

Todays thought comes to us from Shagufta Rashid

Coronavirus, Pandemic, Lockdown, Social distancing, suddenly these words and phrases began to echo round the World as the Covid-19 virus spread from country to country, as no disease has ever spread before.

I just want to look at ‘Coping with fear’

The opposite of faith is not doubt. It is fear!

But what is the impact on our Christian brothers and sisters, many of them poor, many of them persecuted?

For example, a partially sighted widow in Pakistan, she and her 3 daughters work as domestic helpers in other people’s homes. But when Pakistan went into lockdown they could no longer work and had no income. Their wages had been too low to set aside any savings. This widow’s only son used to try to support the family by begging on the streets. But social distancing means this is now illegal.

Hundreds and thousands of Pakistani Christians face the same plight as this widow, who did low paid jobs, in factories, brick-kilns and auto rickshaw drivers, now staying at home to stop the virus spreading.

The same is true for many other countries where Christians are poor and despised.

They are looking to God and their brothers and sisters in Christ to stand with them in the face of the troubles Coronavirus has brought into their lives!

In the western world we don’t have fear like those countries, where Christians are in the minority.

Let’s look at this example in the bible, (Mark 4:35-41)

One night, as the disciples were rowing across the Sea of Galilee, a sudden storm blew up. The disciples were frightened. They were vulnerable and powerless. Jesus was sleeping at the back, did not stir, even when the waves breaking over the small boat began filling it with water. He seemed not to care.

Many things can contribute to our fears: a sudden and overwhelming event, uncertainty about the future, a sense of powerlessness and inability to control what will happen.

An unknown deadly virus, a force outside of our control which has suddenly come upon us, is creating FEAR. HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND?

The Bible teaches us about FEAR. To trust in God and not to be afraid.

It also speaks of another kind of Fear, the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10)

After Jesus had calmed the wind and waves, the frightened disciples became terrified with the Fear of the Lord.

As followers of Christ, we are not meant to live in the grip of destructive Fear.

For perfect love casts out Fear (1 John 4:18).

A reference from the bible, how to cope with FEAR,

Discipline our minds not to give way to emotions of FEAR, ‘for God has not given us a spirit of fear but of Power, Love, and of a Sound mind’ (2 Tim 1:7).

We can, by God’s grace, train ourselves to trust him, to rely on his love and his power, and banish our fears.

I just like to conclude by saying, that how much I have enjoyed reading everybody’s thought of the day.

I have come to know people better by reading their Bio, and truly blessed.

Bio: I was born in Pakistan, and came to the UK as a young teenager in 1968. I have 3 younger siblings, Tarzan, Cezar and Bushra. (Tarzan and Bushra are part of Light church). I am married, with 3 handsome boys. My husband is a Muslim, and we have been married for 42 years.

I have 3 grandchildren, Joshua (10) Maya (4) and Arya (1). Maya and Arya are sisters, and live in Birmingham. Josh lives in Halifax. I have missed them so much during lockdown! My boys and my grandchildren are the love of my life.

I am semi retired, work 3 full days for Dixons Academies, as an Education Social Worker.

I have been coming to Light Church since 2014, and feel very much part of the church family.

I enjoy cooking, gardening, and spending time with my grandchildren.

June 1st - Barbara Naylor

Today’s thought comes to us from Barbara Naylor

In Genesis 1 we’re told about all that God did in creating the heavens and the earth. Verse 16 tells us about Him creating the sun and the moon then, almost as an afterthought, we’re told that, He also made the stars.

I love stargazing! From as far back as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by astronomy!Even now I look at the night sky and stand in awe at the wonder of creation knowing that everything we can see (and everything we can’t see) is held safely in God’s hands.

The Hubble Space Telescope has afforded us some amazing incites into our part of the universe and beyond. I’ve had one of its photos as the background picture on my computer for a while now. It goes by the catchy title of NGC 3370 or, as I found out last week, it’s actually called the Silverado Galaxy.

One day, when I was gazing on this incredible sight, God revealed something amazing! In the top right hand corner is a cross shape made of stars (or it could be other galaxies)! We know that artists sign their work and, it appears, our Creator is no different – He has signed His handiwork with the symbol of His love for us!

He has also put His signature on, or more accurately in, us. We are held together by cross-shaped cell adhesion molecules called Laminin! (Don’t be impressed - I looked it up). But, doesn’t that just blow your mind?? No wonder King David exclaimed in Psalm 139: 14…. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

So, if there are times during this lockdown that you feel more like you’re on a rollercoaster ride in a storm than having a relaxing day in the sun, remember, the One who made the stars and calmed the storm is the One who holds us in the palm of His hand and says to us “Fear not”.

Bio: Hi I’m Barbara. I’ve been married to Richard for the last 49 years and we have one son, Simon, who is married to Yuki and they live in Kyoto. We also have two ab fab Godsons, William and Peter, whom we love to bits. Music has been part of my life since I was a child – from the time my cousins introduced me to “King Creole” by Elvis Presley (I still love that song!) to the time I first heard a modern worship song - until now. I love worshipping and the “Blessing” song has, recently, become one of the latest in a long line of favourites. We have been coming to the Light Church since March 2019. How time flies!!

May 31st - Emma Restrick

Todays thought comes to us from Emma Restrick

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart – Psalm 37:4

During lockdown, I’ve been working through a course called ‘Questions for Jesus’ by Tony Stoltzfus which is about deepening your heart-to-heart connection with Jesus and understanding the desires of your heart.

This course teaches you how to pray to Jesus from your desires.

I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learnt from this course.

We all have desires (something we are longing for, needing, wishing to happen) and only God can fully satisfy these desires.

Tony breaks this down into sixteen desires covering four topics:

1. Connection – to be loved, to have joy, to be known and to have worth (like in great


2. Stability – to belong, have comfort, have security and peace

3. Competence – feeling able to do something well - having approval, having recognition, goodness, coming through things

4. Achievement – having significance, having freedom, being challenged and having justice.

Tony then goes onto talking about how our brain functions in two sides.

In the rational brain (left side), we reason, think about things logically and analyse things.

In the emotion brain (right side), we process our thoughts and feelings, have instincts and intuition, we’re creative and enjoy music and arts.

When we read God’s Word (Bible), we learn the truth about God, His goodness, sacrifice and love.

However, we need to feel God’s presence through the Holy Spirit to and experience His touch when listening to him and through what we read. When both sides of our brain work together like this, it builds our faith and as we grow in faith, we can receive God’s healing and freedom in areas where we are struggling.

Part of my journey is that I struggled with approval.

Growing up I knew that I was loved (shown in action), but not often told. I heard more of the criticism and never felt I was good enough.

So I spent my life with the ‘approval’ desire unmet and this led to an unhealthy people pleasing pattern, seeking approval from others constantly, always striving for approval in friendships, school, work and Church.

I’m learning more and more to ask God what He thinks about me, what He wants to say to me and how He sees me as I need to know His truth and this course has helped me further that journey.

Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free – John 8:32

Why don’t you ask God one or two of these questions today and see what He says to you?

1. Jesus, what do I do that captivates you? (connection - love desire)

2. Jesus, what do you like about being my friend? (stability - belonging desire)

3. Jesus, what did I do today that made you smile? (competence - approval desire)

4. Jesus, what is a gift I can give to you that nobody else can? (achievement - significance desire)

Bio: Hi, I’m Emma. I have been married to Steve for four years and part of the Light Church for three years.

I grew up in Otley and was very much a ‘Leeds Girl’ who loved clubbing in my twenties!

When coming back into a closer relationship with God at 26, I moved to Bradford, and loved it and haven’t left!

In lockdown, you’ll find me on a zoom call either with family, friends, work, worship group or doing pilates.

I’m loving pottering in the garden when it’s sunny and you’ll also find me enjoying the odd game or two of rummikub or sorting something!

May 30th - Gaz Thompson

Todays thought comes to us from Gaz Thompson

Will you answer the call?

Bio: Husband to Beth, Father to Isabella and Pepper the cat.

I joined The Light Church back in 2015. I run our Debt Centre, Job Club and Life Skills over 3 days a week. I also work for CAP, 2 days a week creating content and training for a network of speakers, as well as throwing together our Thoughts for the Day, editing preaches, updating the website and our social media channels.

In my spare time you will find me playing video games, spending time with my girls or touring the country speaking & sharing my testimony at churches, mens breakfasts and conferences with GT Ministries, which also hold wrestling events with the gospel as the centerpiece.

I have been a Pro Wrestler for 10 years under the name of Gareth Angel and have won championships all over the UK. I also dabble in acting, radio and tv appearances and whatever new shiny thing I come across.

I pray you all enjoy my thoughts.

May 29th - David Parkinson

Today’s Thought for the Day starts off at the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone!

Where the trade winds of the northern hemisphere of the earth meet the trade winds of the southern hemisphere of the earth, approximately at the equator, there is a place where there is NO wind. That place is known as the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. You may have heard of it referred to as the Doldrums.

I have never experienced this place but it is well documented and if you are a person who sails around the world you know ALL about it, in fact you do everything you can to minimise its effect of your journey and how long you spend in this zone.

Before encountering this zone, you will have been sailing along, enjoying the ride, making great progress and then all of a sudden, the wind is gone. Added to the challenge of no wind is the fact that you are now in the hottest place, the equator. Sailors can get stuck in this place for weeks on end.

You will be getting hot and bothered, it is stiflingly hot below decks and too hot on deck. You won’t know what to do with your time, water might be running low, you may start hallucinating due to the heat and unchanging horizon. If you are racing other yachts you will be imagining them getting ahead of you and feeling under pressure.

Here is the definition of the doldrums we are perhaps more familiar with – “a state or period of stagnation or depression”. Are you in the doldrums? Are you feeling that life has stopped? Maybe you are not making progress in your job, your relationships, maybe you think back to times with God that were amazing, where all your prayers were instantly answered, where time with him was so fresh and vibrant, maybe you were used mightily by him – where have those days gone? We know that God doesn’t change, so if someone has moved it must be US!

What to do?

Elijah understood. He had experienced great things with God, now he’s running for his life, into the desert to die! God met him, fed him, encouraged him to sleep, repeated the process and then he ran for 40 days and 40 nights, (1Kin19:1-9).

Joseph understood. Enjoying life then found himself sold to foreigners and living in a foreign land, a servant, then in prison but with a glimmer of hope to get out, that came to nothing for two years, then promotion and ruled a nation, (Gen 37-50).

Timothy understood. Mother a believer but father not. All-in for Jesus, recognised by Paul and became a travelling and ministry companion, referred to him as a son. Maybe went ‘off the boil’ a bit, lacked confidence, had to be stirred up!

It’s OK to rest in God, it’s OK to wait for Him

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psa 27:14

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word, I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning.” Psa 130:5-6

However, sometimes he is waiting for us!

“I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. “

2Tim 1:5-7

Wherever you are at, God loves you and is committed to you. If you need to rest, then rest in his peace. If it’s wait, then wait in expectation. If it’s to get going, then fan into flame!

Bio: My name is David Parkinson and I have been coming to the Light Church for a while. Married to Wendy and father of three sons, Jon, James & Sam. I spent 33 years of my life selling fruit and vegetables on the Leicester Wholesale Fruit Market. Moved to Bradford in 2014 to serve at Christians Against Poverty.

May 28th - Keira Carnie

Todays thought comes to us from Keira Carnie

I have been very lucky during lockdown, so much that I have really wrestled with my privilege and how I should view it and use it. Having a little extra time on my hands I have been doing a study on Joseph with some friends. It’s been a timely reminder to see how God is faithful during a very unjust time for Joseph. I wanted to share part of a study.

Genesis 40 - The Cupbearer and the baker

Joseph had already been sold to slavery, twice, and now he found himself in Pharoh’s prison all because he ran away from temptation! Two of Pharoah’s officials came into the same prison as Joseph. How did Joseph deal with these two who had also angered the King?
V14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.

  1. ‘Why do you look sad today?’ (v7) Joseph asked. Joseph is in the most unjust situation I can think of. Yet these 2 officials come in and he sees they are sad. He doesn’t wallow in his self-pity and instead asks them about how they are feeling.

  2. Joseph uses his gifts of interpreting dreams to encourage the cupbearer and baker. V8-18.

  3. Joseph asks to be remembered on the cupbearers release from prison.

Joseph is hopeful that these people will help him be released from prison. He has helped them by using his gift from God even during his own suffering.
Joseph was let down. Someone he thought was put into his life who could help him, forgot his kindness and his own story. Joseph probably felt taken advantage of and hopeless.

  1. V23 ‘The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.’

If people who fail you can’t ultimately prevent God’s plan for you, how does this free you to let go of bitterness and unforgiveness toward them?

Reading on through Joseph you know his situation does change, he isn’t only released from prison but very quickly he becomes 2nd in command and … the rest is history! God is faithful to him.

Year 2020 may have been the year you were going to finally ………. (fill in the gap with your ambition/ exciting adventure/ will for your life).

During this time where you may have been let down by an employer, the government, a family member etc God is still faithful. Covid-19 has clearly stopped many plans, hurt many people, made permanent changes to peoples lives. You may have thought there is no way I am going to reach that destination you prayed and worked so hard for.

I have made decisions where I feel I have missed an opportunity and not grabbed something by both hands. I have most definitely been hesitant, doubtful and tried to prevent God’s plan for my life. This passage shows that no one, not even myself, can stop God’s plan in my life. He is faithful, full of grace and forgiveness. Therefore we must also forgive and show grace those who do forget us and let us down.

The year 2020 (or 2021) may still be the year you …………………………….. and it’ll be amazing it happens because God is right at the front of it!

Bio: Hi I’m Keira. Originally from Essex but have lived many areas ‘down south’. I came to Bradford and The Light church 2 years ago when I got the job as TLG classroom teacher for the Education Centre. I used to be a dance/ performing arts teacher and have enjoyed having a little more free time and energy to dance during lockdown (poor neighbours!) I will annoyingly tell anyone who will listen that before coming to Bradford I was Tour Leader for the African Children’s Choir and got to experience God’s generosity in abundance! Over the years I thought God was calling me to work in Africa but Bradford has definitely now taken over and I’m not planning on going anywhere.

May 27th - Jo Hastings

Todays thought comes to us from Jo Hastings

“From the ends of the earth I cry out to you, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock which is higher than I”. (Psalm 61:2)

A few years ago I went white water rafting and there was a point where we got out of the boat and went down the rapids on a bodyboard. It was mostly a lot of fun but on one run I got sucked under the water for a lot longer than I was comfortable with. I lost my grip on the board, everything was spinning, I couldn’t work out which way was up and I wasn’t sure how much longer I could hold my breath. As I surfaced, still panicking, one of the instructors pulled me to the side out of the current and helped me scramble up onto a rock so I could get my breath back.

This is what I picture when I read this verse. I picture God taking hold of me, pulling me out of the rapids and leading me onto a rock where I can rest with him. This year has been a really difficult one for me and there are many times when I’ve felt completely overwhelmed and unable to see God in it all. I know that he has not abandoned me though, and that if I cry out to him he will lead me to a place where I can rest in him and see things from a different perspective. Sometimes I’ve needed other people to help me get to that point but God has always been faithful in providing people to help and support me, many of whom have been part of the Light Church.

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Cry out to God and ask him to lead you to a place where you can rest with him and get a new perspective. Are you doing well at the moment? Great! Ask God if you can be his hands and feet to support others who are feeling overwhelmed and struggling. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

Bio: I’m Jo, I’m married to Elisha and we first joined the Light Church in 2016 when we moved to Bradford for our jobs. We recently spent 10 months in New Zealand before returning to Bradford last summer (a huge answer to prayer as I was originally told there were no jobs in my speciality in West Yorkshire!) When I’m not working as a doctor I’m usually drawing, crocheting, doing acrobatics or practising one of my many other circus hobbies.

May 26th - Dan Lane

Today’s thought comes to us from Dan Lane

During this time my family have been getting to grips with WhatsApp. Including my grandmother who’s well into her 80’s. Group chat, photos of our 18 month old Charlie and the Church of England phone line have been a lifeline to her.

The new found connectivity between us first highlighted how COVID is not treating everyone equally. Kim and I are juggling two jobs, full time child care, and expecting our second child in five weeks time. Life feels busier than ever.

In contrast, everyone else in my family is either retired or unable to work due to COVID. They are time rich, and struggling to know how to fill their days sometimes, whilst experiencing times of loneliness. A very different, but also very real challenge. We’re not all in the same boat.

Kim and I have not been directly impacted by COVID. We’re not on the frontline, and thankfully we’ve not lost anyone close to us. However not everyone is so fortunate. We have friends who’ve lost loved ones. People from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic communities are disproportionally impacted. Frontline NHS staff and other key workers are exposed to greater risk than those of us with the privilege to be working from home, and staying alert. We’re not all in the same boat.

Although my family and I go to the same church as you all, we’re not all going to be in the same boat. Despite all that separates us, all that’s different in our experience of this season, what we do have in common is a God who is the same, yesterday today and forever*.

A God who brings a great hope. An anchor in the storm** of what ever we’re facing.

A God who will keep us in perfect peace if our eyes remain steadfast upon him***

*Hebrews 13

**Hebrews 6

***Isaiah 26

Bio: Dan, Kim, Charlie and bump, Living in Baildon, both working for CAP and Light Church members for 2 years. You’d normally find us out and about in Yorkshire, visiting farm animals and seeing the sights. Right now you’ll find us mostly at home.

May 25th - Lydia Jacobs

Todays thought comes to us from Lydia Jacobs

Hello friends! I’m so inspired by all of your amazing thoughts for the day and feel really blessed to share my own small tale with you…

Sometime early on in lockdown I had finished a book of daily devotions and it was time again to pick a new one. Well, the irony of ‘Anywhere but Nineveh’ screamed to me. A devotional on Jonah’s wild journey while we’re not even allowed to leave the house? Priceless.

Now, I don’t know about you, but up until this point Jonah has always sounded like a children’s story to me. If you’ve seen enough VeggieTales, maybe you too picture Jonah as a disobedient asparagus. Never in my life did I expect to be so utterly dumbfounded and challenged.

Over the past few weeks Jonah has morphed into the most messy and relatable person I have ever studied. His battle with ugly emotions/attitudes and conflicting desire to love God whole heartedly, beautifully parallels how I’ve been feeling the past few weeks and if I’m being honest, most of my life.

God has spent this time revealing to me where I’ve been a little ‘Jonah-ish’ in my time. Like all of us, there’s been times I’ve felt so wronged and betrayed. However, I was a ‘good Christian girly’ and proudly turned the other cheek. Having shown such underserved grace I turned to God, “Well Lord, I did as you said, did you see? I turned the other cheek. Only you, Lord, may judge them… and it’s finally time for you to smite them.” [Sits in the shade with a bag of popcorn anxiously anticipating.]

Oh dear. Perhaps I haven’t forgiven quite so graciously as I imagined. God has so plainly shown me, like only God does, what my ‘Ninevahs’ are. The anger and hurt I need to sacrifice in order to give Him true control over my life. The book of Jonah is not a VeggieTales special, my friends. It holds a deep reflection of the human desire to hold on to pain and wrong-doings and the seeming unjustness of forgiving those you’d rather not. How beautiful it is, that Jesus, wholly God and wholly HUMAN, does not think this way about you and I. He knows us inside out and yet forgives us so graciously and without hesitation. How beautiful would life be if we strived to be more like Him in this way.

May I encourage you to take a pause from whatever it is you’re doing these days (from what I can see, most of you are becoming master bakers!) and ask yourself, or if you’re feeling really brave, ask God ‘where/what/who is my Ninevah?’ and maybe start to unravel whatever it is that stops you from receiving His perfect peace. I can now see that there’s never a perfect time to do these things, now’s as good a time as any.

P.S I am SO looking forward to seeing you all again!

Bio: Hello! I’m Lydia, most people call me Lyd, and a few people call my Bin-Lyd. I am 20 years old and I’ve been at the Light Church for 10 years now and have been in involved with the worship team for the past 6. I hate to admit, but I haven’t cooked or baked one thing this whole lockdown.

May 24th - Charlene Curtis

Todays thought comes to us from Charlene Curtis

Be you and only you

I am my worst critic, so I had to come up with something to deter myself from dwelling on, or criticising myself.

I always try to remember this quote,

Do not dwell on the past,

Do not dream of the future,

Concentrate the mind on the present moment.

You can’t change what you did, don’t waste your time on the what ifs. It’s not going to get you or anyone else anywhere.

The future will be what it is, if you think you’re not going to be happy with it, then do something about it now (the present)

I always get told, find yourself, discover who you are, you’re not just a mum or a daughter, you are you too.

Granted these were wise words spoken, but I’ve started to see I have to start to discover who God created me to be, and his purpose for me.

When the lockdown was announced I was a train wreck, I hate routine and all I kept hearing about were daily timetables, lesson plans, meal plans, (though planning meals for week is a great way to go!) &grocery lists. My head was spinning. So I sat and I planned our days out for the week.

Safe to say it wasn’t for either of us. Trying to get Evie-Mae to sit still for 5 min is hard enough never mind for hours a day to homeschool! Tantrums became a daily (hourly) thing; tears from us both. I prayed that something had to give. Give me the strength lord. Why can’t I do this Lord?

Then the penny dropped!

Neither of us were created for this. Me and Evie were not created to be a teacher or home schooled in any way what so ever. (Believe it or not but we’re not God, and we’re not great at everything)

So from that day I scrapped the timetable and things are being done in a way God created me to do it

-Learning sums dressed as a fairy using cushions

-Writing skills in the bath

-letter baking

Basically anything where I could use my imagination and BE ME again.

My point to remember is this: We probably/hopefully won’t ever be in this situation again in our lives. We may not want to be in this situation but we are, somake the most of it, BUT do not push yourself to be anyone but who GOD created us all to be: DIFFERENT. If the glove doesn’t fit then God didn’t create it for you.

So to round things together, do not be afraid because you may be different to what others may be or do.

Jeremiah 1:8 ‘Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you.

There is a purpose for everyone here, but it will take time. Finding your purpose is not easy but it’s the most fulfilling thing you can do with your life.

Romans 8:28

‘ And we know That in all things god works for the good of those who love him, Who have been called according to his purpose’

Bio: Hi, I’m Charlene, mum to Evie-Mae (5) who you will probably see sat at the front of the stage dancing. I was born and raised in Bradford. Too much of a homely girl to move away from my family. I gave my life to Christ in February 2016 just after attending a START course at St James church, which is where I have been attending until I co-joined the Light church in 2019. Normally you will find us both crafting away, in parks, zoos, or on coffee dates wherever we can. We are not a very stay at home family at all.

May 23rd - Peter Snell

Todays thought comes to us from Peter Snell

Unfamiliar perspectives on familiar places

The world looks different upside down. Try it!

It doesn’t matter that the thing you’re looking at is the same. You now see it differently, notice things on the underside of your sofa or bookcase….

You’re learning from adopting a different perspective.

I discovered the power of this a few weeks ago, walking an unfamiliar path near my home in Baildon. Approaching the top of a hill, I turned to take in the view. To my surprise I couldn’t work out what I was seeing, even though it looked so familiar.

I scratched my head and puzzled over the map, trying to decide if I was looking at Idle or Otley. It didn’t matter that I’d seen both places countless times, because I’d never viewed them from this perspective.

Bit by bit, my head started to piece it all together. It was Idle after all! And there was the train bridge across the valley. Through this unfamiliar view, I gained an insight into a familiar place that no map could give me.

Coronavirus is an upside down time. It’s disorienting, confusing and difficult. But just maybe, if we take the time to stop and take in the view, it can give us unfamiliar perspectives on familiar places in our spiritual lives. Perhaps you’re praying different prayers, asking different questions, or are just aware of needing God in new and unfamiliar ways.

The temptation is to look to the end, some date in June or July when things start to change. But if we never stop to take in the view, we’ll miss the chance for an unfamiliar perspective on a familiar place. A perspective that only comes on the journey.

Why not take a moment today to stop, look up, and reflect on what you’re ‘seeing’?

What if an unfamiliar perspective on a familiar place is waiting for you?

Bio: I grew up on the Isle of Wight, but moved North when I was 18 to York and then Bradford in 2014 to work for CAP. A year later I moved to New Zealand, where I met my Scottish wife Eilidh, and together we moved back to Bradford and joined the Light Church in 2018.

Some of my favourite things include cycling, coffee, cooking & the Yorkshire dales

May 22nd - Brian King

Todays thought comes to us from Brian King

Isaiah 43 v18/19

Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

First let me thank everyone for their ‘Thought for the day’. I’m sure we all agree how encouraging, thought provoking and challenging they have all been.

I know the passage I have picked starts by telling us not to dwell on the past but for me this year there has been some key moments which have all come together just recently ...

Firstly, our first Sunday morning gathering this year started by someone pointing out that it was 2020 and this number has always been used in Opticians terms as a significantly good benchmark to aim at for someone wanting a really good vision - a 20/20 vision. This was going to be a significant year in the life of the church.

Secondly, Matt told us shortly after becoming senior leading of the Light Church that he felt the Church was entering a new season and so would be seeking God’s guidance on how to build on the already thriving community work and to look at building up church family relationships and discipleship.

Thirdly, Covid 19 struck and the ‘norm’ suddenly stopped and we now wonder what the ‘new norm’ will look like. So what has all this to do with Isaiah 43 v18/19? Well, for months I have been getting these verses over and over again, they were mentioned in talks, sermons and prophecies I have listened to, why? Were they for me or for the church? I came to realise that they were for me but now with COVID 19 I realise they were also relevant to the church. Did I share them with Matt or the other leaders, no, and I regret that. You see Matt has mentioned recently that he is seeking God’s guidance for the way forward and no matter how insignificant we may think a verse or a picture is to us if we can’t get it out of our mind then we must share it with Matt or the other leaders for them to discern and weigh up its significance. But we will have done our bit in being faithful and trustworthy to God in how small or large he gives us. You see we might think it’s just us with this verse or picture, but just think if others have exactly the same but also, as I did, do nothing with it, then Matt has no idea that God is ‘clearly speaking’ to the whole church. So let me encourage you as we remember Jesus picked a ‘down to earth motley crew’ to impact the world. He also chose you and me to be His voice, hands and feet to serve Him in ways we may never have imagined at the outset. It starts by ‘getting out of the boat’ like Peter, getting our feet wet, because we stepped out in faith and it can start by responding to what the Holy Spirit is prompting you with today.

May God Bless You and Keep you (I feel a song coming on !)

Bio: I was born at an early age into a Methodist family. Met Sue who I always thought ‘I was boxing above my weight’ I knew it was true love because her mum wouldn’t let me take her out on my 350cc Triumph motorcycle so I sold it !!! I married her in 1970 then got a free transfer to the Church of England. 2 amazing children Lisa and Victoria, became churchwarden, then years later became a Christian at a Billy Graham mission in Sheffield during 1985. I also now have 3 grandchildren, Deanna, Jenna and Emerson. Then we left after 50 years and joined the Light Church April 2019. The journey continues…

May 21st - Carol Ball

Todays thought comes to us from Carol Ball

As life as we know it suddenly changed, I felt The Lord impress on me two things. Firstly, this is not a time to just survive, but a time to thrive. The dictionary definition of thrive is to grow or develop well or vigorously.

Secondly, He was calling me into a deeper, more intimate, trusting and “childlike” relationship with Him.

Initially, I recognised and felt the need to say sorry for allowing distractions and the “busyness” of life, to draw me away from Him. From my heartfelt cry He responded through a little book called “I am with you” by Father John Woolley. One morning these words jumped off the page at me! “How much it means to me when one of My children, responding to a prompting of My Spirit, asks to live closer to me. The response to that request is automatic. Forces to draw closer our spirits are then at work”.

In the days that followed He gently ushered me into the silence and solitude - a truly safe place. Through His Word He reminded me of His deep and life transforming love for me. I am learning again how to truly befriend the silence as it really does encourage fullness in His presence. In divine silence, love rests secure…

I believe God is looking for us as His church, to use this season to thrive. To become a people whose hearts and affections are completely turned towards Him. A people who keep Him first place in their lives. Holiness seems important to God as he mentions it over 600 times in the bible. In 1 Peter 2 v 9 He tells us.. “We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. That we may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out of the darkness into His marvellous light.”

As The Light Church our aim has always been to be filled to overflowing with love for Him and for people. In John 1:16 we are encouraged to ” Let our light shine before men in such a way that they will see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven”.

My prayer is that as we “thrive” both as individuals and as a church family in our love for Him and each other, many people will come to know Him and Jesus will indeed be glorified.

Acts 2:47 (The Passion Translation).

“They were continually filled with praises to God, enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord kept adding to their number daily those who were coming to life”.

Bio: I am Carol. I’ve been a Christian almost 20 years and at the Light Church from the beginning. I have one son Sam and am “Nannie” to Martha Grace aged 5. I delight in spending time with my precious family and friends. It is my absolute privilege to have worked at Christians Against Poverty for over 12 years. I have witnessed God do amazing things through this ministry and the local church. It is such a blessing to see lives being transformed on a daily basis through the love of God and His people.

May 20th - Pete McMahon

Todays thought comes to us from Pete McMahon

Lockdown is hard and I’m struggling with it. As someone who likes to remain strong and stoic in adversity, it’s difficult for me to admit that for me lockdown has been and continues to be a real struggle.

As people made in the image of God, the ultimate relational being, we are made for relationship. We are relational creatures not designed to be socially distant. And whilst there have been many positives of lockdown and opportunities to appreciate simple blessings (‘Corona-bonuses’ as they’ve been coined in our house) that perhaps previously would have gone unnoticed or even not happened, for many, if not all, of us lockdown has brought with it significant burdens and worries - money, health, and social isolation to name but a few.

For me, I am acutely aware that both Marie-Elisabeth’s and my respective families are missing out on seeing Lucy growing up, which saddens me greatly. I have no idea when we will be able to see them again; there’s nothing I can do about it; it’s out of my control. My way of dealing with this has been to keep busy, to fill my time with all sorts of things I can get done - I’ve created and completed so many ‘To Do’ lists - but no matter how many tasks I complete, the burden of separation from family still weighs heavily on me.

Because keeping busy isn’t the answer.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)

Jesus is speaking to those who are weary and burdened from trying (and failing) to follow all the pharisaic laws, straining to keep a set of rules they were not designed to fulfill. He invites them to come to Him, weary as they are, and to discover a new way of living - the way we were designed to live: not striving to satisfy a rule book, but living in relationship with God the Father, through Christ the Son, in the power of the Spirit.

In just the same way, Jesus invites us all to come to Him just as we are: weary and heavy-laden, suffering, struggling. There’s no pretence needed, no achievement needed. He simply invites us to come to Him as we are. And in doing so, we will find rest for our souls - refreshment, strengthening, reinvigoration through relationship with the Giver of Life. And though our burdens will not magically disappear - Jesus does not say that (lockdown will still be in place tomorrow) - in regularly coming to Jesus our batteries will be divinely recharged, our tanks refilled, and our reserves replenished.

Lockdown is hard, but in Jesus we have all that we need to get through it.

Bio: Hi, my name is Pete. I’m husband to Marie-Elisabeth and father to Lucy. We moved up to Bradford two and half years ago when I started working at CAP and have been coming to The Light Church since then. Before moving to Yorkshire, I studied theology in London and worked for three years as the Assistant Pastor at a church in Highbury. In my spare time, you’ll most likely find me playing/watching/reading about sport (most notably Plymouth Argyle) whilst listening to country music.

May 19th - Nigel Ferreira

Todays thought comes to us from Nigel Ferreira

In this season of COVID 19 we all find ourselves with more time to spare and doing activities we do not normally make the time for. Opportunities arise that challenge us to step out of our comfort zones, and in my case the results are rewarding, so be encouraged. I’m from a family who’s artistic and creative and I recently found myself at a place needing to exercise this self-suppressed trait and not make excuses.

Colossians 3:10. ...(instead), put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

This stirs my faith to believe that I have the DNA of the Creator in me therefore I too will be creative. I’m also encouraged by Romans 4:17 (..calling forth the things that aren’t back to life).

So, I’ve taken part in a number of activities and enjoyed the process as well as the result. One such was portrait drawing exercises with my family (first blindfolded, then another, with our non-dominant hand while looking). My daughter who I drew loved my drawings and has put them on her wall.

2Peter1:3 -we have been given everything we need for life and Godliness.

There may be gifts and talents in us of a different type that only get discovered in strange times and they may take different shapes -deeper listening, compassion, kindness, patience…but can only be performed from a place of *peace in your heart.

Isaiah 26:3 -God will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him

Bio: Hi, I’m Nigel Ferreira. I’ve been with the LightChurch since inception. I’m so blessed, my lovely Wendy and I have 3 amazing, faith-filled children -Nathan, Hannah and Sophie and 2 American granddaughters (thank God for video calls).

I was born and raised in Trinidad, the last child among our ‘Great 8’ (siblings), and became a committed Christian when I was in Canada, studying opticianry. A few years later, I met Wendy while at Bradford Uni in ‘89, but soon returned to Trinidad, not with a diploma but a marriage certificate and a wife. After an adventurous 13 years we’ve since settled back in Bradford.

I never take for granted my Father’s guiding presence along our journey.

May 18th - Sharon Mitchell

Today’s thought comes to us from Sharon Mitchell

At the beginning of the lock down period we were away on holiday arriving back on the Tuesday morning after it started. I was never so pleased to see home! All the time we were away talk about when or if we’d get home circulated and I’ve never felt so distant from my kids and the feeling of not being able to get to grips with my business totally overwhelmed me! So I said to the Lord , what do you want me to read now I’m at home, ‘Job’ he said ‘what!’ I thought! Here is a man trying to make sense out of something that he’s not able to get to grips with, that’s not his fault and he can’t make sense of it. Then come the experts , friends with insight to try to help him out of the misery of losing everything, his business, family , money, home, and they’re not doing a great job. I feel that God in the same way is using this time to pare back, strip away the distractions and make us listen to him, only him not the people with the best theories or the science guys but his voice that just as he spoke creation into being , one word from him will heal our world because he is Almighty God. He is my centre, my source the stable foundation. Work, money , all these things move around him and for this time we are not distracted by them.

Job 22:21-25

Give in to God, come to terms with him and everything will turn out just fine.

Let him tell you what to do; take his words to heart.

Come back to God Almighty and he’ll rebuild your life.

Clean house of everything evil.

Relax your grip on your money and abandon your gold-plated luxury.

God Almighty will be your treasure, more wealth than you can imagine.

Message version

Amen to that!

Bio: My name is Sharon Mitchell-like Eastenders - I’m married to Chris, not Phil!, I have 2 grown up boys and a granddaughter who is 2 and a half and a step-daughter who was due to get married soon. I’ve been at the Light since day 1 and serve on the prayer team. I’m to be found walking my Bonnie girl , dog, in the woods or cooking a new recipe in the kitchen. I work for myself as a podiatrist.

May 17th - Gemma Parker

Todays thought comes to us from Gemma Parker

Go with, not without.

Right now, we’re all feeling the pain of ‘going without’. Seeing loved ones, trips out, being in the office or at school - these are all things many of us are really missing and, I’m sure most of you will agree, it’s been really tough.

While I’m just about adjusting to this new-normal, I’ve still found myself longing for those things from God - for Him to return life to how it was. With the recent warm weather, I want nothing more than a trip to a beer garden with friends… “Imagine the frivolity of hopping in the car and taking a drive to the coast! Hmm, on that note I could also do with some new summer clothes… oh how I miss shopping. Lord, I pray for these things to come again!”

Now, of course I’m being very flippant here. Yet, God still challenged me recently: am I longing for the gifts that God can give me, more than the presence of the gift-giver Himself? When we are longing for something, we are so easily drawn to focussing in on what we want - listing our requests, rather than simply coming to the Lord in worship and praise, and desiring Him alone.

The people of Israel found themselves in a similar frame of mind during their walk in the wilderness in Exodus 17. God had shown them amazing proof of His love and presence when He parted the Red Sea and drowned their enemies behind them. And while they praised God for His protection and deliverance, this quickly turned to grumbling. The Israelites, like us, had unmet expectations. When God’s miracles slowed down, they stopped trusting Him and started doing things their own way.

While we are going without, it is easy to feel far from God and to turn our backs somewhat. When our attention shifts from what we have to what we don’t have — from what God has done to what He hasn’t yet done – we can be left feeling dissatisfied with and, worryingly, disappointed in Him.

But, the presence of God is worth so much more than any promise or gift.

The way God cares for us today might be different from the way He cared for us yesterday (or in the way he cared for the Israelites in the book of Exodus!). There will be days when prayers aren’t answered. But, don’t focus on what you’re missing out on, for He has said “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Don’t give up seeking God’s glory, and ask yourself: “Is God’s presence enough for me?” Are we using this time not to hone in on the things we are most looking forward to again, or are we focusing on God’s presence in the wilderness of the here and now?

This message must come with a bit of a disclaimer: disassociating God from His gifts isn’t the solution. We should view them as extensions of His love and grace. His gifts to us are not ‘gods’ (idols) —but they are God’s, so when they do come enjoy them in praise and worship of Him, knowing that God Himself is by far the greatest gift.

Bio: Hi, I’m Gemma and have been a member of The Light Church for around 7 years. You will probably know my husband Edd more than me - he’s often gracing the stage at church with his slick hairstyle (and preaching!). You may have seen me serving refreshments though - I pride myself on making a good cuppa! In December, we welcomed our son Reuben into the world so I’m currently on maternity leave, but I work at the incredible charity TLG as their Brand and Design Lead - which I love!

May 16th - Wendy Parkinson

Todays thought comes to us from Wendy Parkinson

I would like to pray the Lords prayer over you all. How I have kept this so short, God is the only one who knows.

Our Father Who Art In Heaven.

Thank you God that you know us by name. You first choose us and shaped us in our mother’s womb. No matter what parents we were born with, known or unknown, YOU surround us with Your love, YOU delight in us, strengthen us and rejoice over us, like no other parent could. Those that have been good and bad.

Hallowed Be Your Name.

In your name we find all we need. There are SO many, but I know Your name covers us like a blanket.

El Shaddi. Lord God Almighty.

Jehovah Nissi. The Lord my Banner.

Yahweh. Lord Jehovah.

Jehovah Raph. The Lord that Heals.

Only Your name can take our broken pieces and turn them into something beautiful.

You are our best friend, our shepherd.

Your Kingdom Come.

You are always close to us even when we are not aware. Bring Heaven down to Earth. Let us have new ears to hear Your voice, let us see Your Spirit in all your creation in a new way, here on Earth. Let us find rest in You in places in our life like never before. Do a New Thing with us.

Your Will Be Done.

Lord there is NO Thing that we go through that you don’t know. Let us seek Your will in all we do, rest and have peace knowing You have us in the palm of Your hand. Nothing is impossible for You.

On Earth As It Is In Heaven.

All our brokenness, fear, rejection, insecurities, our cries, our pain are in Your son Jesus, here on Earth.

Thank you for Your invitation to come to You here on Earth in the land of the living.

Give Us Today Our Daily Bread.

Thank You that everyday is fresh and new with all we need. Your promises, Your provision, Your kindness, Your love, Your protection and if I don’t feel it I can rest knowing You are working them through on my behalf.

Forgive Us Our Debts.

Your son, our best friend, our saviour, died once and for all for our sins. Our hearts overflow with thanksgiving and we worship You for clearing our name and declaring us innocent. Your goodness and forgiveness will pursue us all the days of our lives.

As We Also Forgive Our Debtors.

Lord give us strength and power to forgive those that have caused us pain and heartache. For forgiveness unlocks our freedom and spirit for generations.

Lead Us Not Into Temptation.

Lord cover us with your banner of protection. Let us choose You and Your right path, so we can receive Your blessing.

Deliver Us From The evil one.

Lord there is always enough in You. Give us ears to hear, a nudge in our spirit so we can walk your way, covered by The Blood of Jesus and protected with Your armour.

For Thine Is The Kingdom and The Glory.

Everything and everyone belongs to You God. You claim the world for yourself. Let us rest, knowing You always know best.

The Power and He Glory.

Holy Spirit I pray, that You anoint us with new gifts and the fire of The Holy Spirit to fall afresh on us today. I pray You surprise us with something new today and may Your Glory cause Your face to shine on us with a smile.

Forever and Ever AMEN.

Everyday Your promises are yes and Amen. THANK YOU.

AMEN, so be it Lord, it is so and so it be.


Hi, I am Wendy Parkinson, Married to David, we have 3 sons. 2 live in London and 1 in Mexico City. Lived in Bradford 6 years, love it. I love people, entertaining, I love laughing, gardening, definitely not taking life and myself too seriously. P.S Dave says I have a telephone ministry.

May 15 - Liz Priestley

Todays thought comes to us from Liz Priestley

Well, that’s another birthday behind me! I’m now in the age group that has no upper limit, and so far past ‘three-score years and ten’ that harking back to the past, and starting sentences with ‘I remember when’, is pretty much expected

No surprise, then, that Lockdown has been an excuse for doing nostalgia in a big way, starting with our huge photographic slide collection, and - surprise, surprise! – finding a precious and encouraging ‘I remember when’.

The man pictured here is Jack Haddow, and it was taken at a home-group picnic back in the 1980s.

Some of you might remember Jack - a lovely man, long gone to be with the Lord – and in this photo he’s just a couple of years older than I am now .

Jack was a Scot and became a Christian aged just 8 years old. Growing up in a Brethren church, he loved God, loved the Bible, and lived a life devoted to God in his personal, church and home life.

When we met him in the late 70s, I remember him describing himself in his earlier years as ‘very dour’ – a word we don’t often hear, meaning persistently severe, stern and gloomy. But the Jack we got to know in our church home-group was far from dour – something had radically changed.

We saw him often, even went on holiday together, and found him one of the least dour people we’d ever met. He was a man of many spiritual gifts, which he often used in church and group meetings, and was a constant source of encouragement, wisdom, full of love, joy and the Holy Spirit.

So, what had happened?

Aged 70, having reached his sell-by date of ‘three-score years and ten’, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and his whole life radically changed. Such an encouragement to me at this stage in my life!

For the next twenty-plus years Jack was gripped by a vision of building the Kingdom of God here on earth. He absolutely overflowed with faith and love, a first-responder in a season of rapid change in the church, and always open to the Holy Spirit.

Two memories stand out.

When Jack was over 80, Bryn Jones, our senior elder, outlined a big change for the church, a serious disturbance in the status quo. After the meeting, I saw Jack almost run to Bryn, grab him in a bear hug and say, ‘I’m right with you, brother!’ I think I was the only person who heard him, but that little scene has always stuck in my mind.

He was a Caleb, a father, a mentor and support to the leaders, and a friend to all.

Caleb says this in Joshua 14:

‘Here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day.’

My favourite memory is a story I heard from the horse’s mouth – first from Jack himself, and then from the other party in the event, a foreign student who lived in our area.

It was a standing joke that Jack was on the front row every night at all our Bible Weeks. He almost camped out there. Yes, he wanted to be at the front – but it was also close to the exit for the loos.

One day, after a little sortie during the meeting, he noticed our Malaysian friend standing outside on the grass, looking quite upset. He asked if he could help, and she told him she’d been spooked by people singing in tongues during the worship. Although she’d recently been filled with the Holy Spirit and had spoken in tongues herself, friends back in her home church in Malaysia had recently written to warn her off, telling her it was not a good thing. ‘I have so many questions’, she said.

Jack offered to try and answer some of them, ‘But first,‘ he said, ‘let’s just commit this conversation to God and ask for His help .’ Then he just began to pray in tongues, asking God for wisdom.

When he finished, he said, ‘What do you need to know?’

‘Nothing,’ she said. ‘When you prayed, you were praising God, not just in my language, but in the dialect of my village. All my questions are answered.’’

I find that so inspiring! I want to see these things in my day! Jack was an old man of 70 when the Holy Spirit blew on through – changing a self-confessed dry old stick into a fire that never went out. At 80 he was still being used by God through spiritual gifts. Who knows what he can do through us, even on a trip to the bathroom!

As far as God is concerned we have no sell-by, use-by date. We are not at the back of God’s cupboard, too old to be used, but too expensive to chuck out! God wants to take off the lid and spread us around – we’re his essential store cupboard, his Tabasco, peanut butter, saffron, olive oil, rosemary, basil, honey, – Marmite!

In the dialect of our village - Ee, by gum, kids - God i’n’t finished wi’ us yet!


Hi, I’m Liz - married to Alan, my best pal for almost half a century, Mum to Esther and David, and Grandma to two lovely boys at the other side of the world. Alan & I have been part of the Light Church from its early days. Not ready to retire - so much going on in the church! Also loving being part of a therapeutic community of quilters and crafters.

May 14th - Lois Wooffitt

Today’s thought comes to us from Lois Wooffitt

Ezra is 22 months and recently we have been teaching him the game of hide and seek. It’s incredibly cute watching him hide, sometimes by simply covering his eyes, often hiding in the same place (behind the curtain). As I count from 1 to 10 and say those well known words “ready or not, here I come”. I felt God say to me recently, ‘I’m ready, are you’?

I don’t know what your walk with God has been like up to this point or even during this current crisis but for me I felt like I was becoming stagnant. I didn’t feel I was growing. Now, I feel like I have a fresh appetite for the word. I’m currently doing a 30 day challenge to put the word before the world, I would really recommend it (well watered women). I often fail but I’m encouraged that my passion is growing. I’m sure that as a result, I’ve felt God speak to me more.

David, when speaking with Solomon said “Know the God of your Father and serve Him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever”. 1 Chronicles 28:9

Though at present it’s not challenging to find Ezra when he hides (thankfully). Likewise, it’s not a challenge to find God either, he promises us when we seek Him, we will find Him.

Though it’s not hard to find Ezra, it still however equires effort, I still need to take action. I have to go and seek him out.

As I walk around the house saying are you under the sofa? No… are you under the cushion? No…whilst hearing Ezra’s squeals of elation and then the sheer joy at simply being found. It made me think, God must have so much more delight when we seek Him. Knowing that when we do, we will find Him.

I would encourage you to do a study on the word ‘Seek’ here are some good places to start. 2 Chronicles 7:14, Jeremiah 29:13, Matt 7:7-8 and Like 19:10

My hope is that once lockdown is over, I still treasure my time alone with God. Studying his word, not just reading it. That as a nation we would humble ourselves, turn from our old way of living, seek God’s forgiveness and experience the healing only he can bring.

Today God I ask that you give us all fresh revelation of who you are. That we would hear your voice above the noise and that we would delight to be in your presence, above anyone else’s.

Bio: Hi I’m Lois Wooffitt. I’m married to Ian and we have a son called Ezra. We have been coming to the Light Church for a little over 2 years now.I love discovering new beautiful places and sitting in the sun. Being creative, spending time with friends and family and watching Ezra learn new things. I also work part-time from home as an Area Manager for Christians Against Poverty

May 13th - Louise Hargreaves

Todays thought comes to us from Louise Hargreaves

During lockdown I found myself thinking that I should be doing more. I’m busy with helping the kids with their school work and working part time from home but I’ve felt a pressure to be accomplishing more. I should be praying more for this terrible pandemic, more involved in the community, making more effort to stay in touch with friends and family, doing house projects, teaching the kids how to do more housework, the list is endless! Somehow what I was doing didn’t feel productive enough. Was I achieving everything I should? What if I didn’t make good enough use of this time? What if I missed loads of opportunities to do amazing things?!

One morning I listened to a talk from “The Mind And Soul Foundation” (a charity exploring Christianity and mental health). It was all about how our understanding of identity and value is often achievement based. I could relate to that! This lockdown period was an opportunity to discover that my value doesn’t come from something I earn. I am loved and worthy and valued just as I am (such a hard concept to grasp!). At the end of Ephesians 1 it talks about how Christ fills us. If his fullness fills us then he completes us and we are enough….whatever we achieve

or don’t achieve. I was so encouraged to be reminded that I am enough. I don’t have to prove anything. I don’t need to become more amazing and neither do you. You are already amazing and you are enough.

Bio: I moved to Bradford back in 1998 to start work as a Speech and Language Therapist. Tony and I met, married in 2000 and then joined Ywam a few months later. We did a Family DTS in Scotland then travelled with a Ywam community around Europe for a few months. During this time we felt God call us to Amsterdam and we moved to “The Cleft” in the Red Light district where we raised a young family and worked with Ywam for 4 years. After moving back to the UK in 2007 I’ve been involved with Prayer Spaces in Schools and worked in the pastoral team at a primary school and now as a breastfeeding support worker. In September I’m going back to uni to study Midwifery which is both exciting and terrifying! Tony and I have 4 children (Amaris 17, George 15, Nathanael 13 and Josiah 10) and we’re so glad we started coming to Light Church last summer!

May 12th - Lorna Noakes

Todays thought comes to us from Lorna Noakes

Now for those who don’t know me, I’m a 100mph type of girl!

I struggle to sit, be still, be quiet!

So for me personally this lockdown hasn’t been easy but I must be grateful and I am, and these are a few things I’m grateful for in this current situation…..

More time to question my faith.

More time to spend with Daniel and Riley.

Got to know our neighbour’s.

And got some job’s done around the house.

One night as I was drifting off to sleep(I’m still and quiet), trying my best to drift off I’m not a great sleeper!

I hear psalm 20, psalm 20!!

I’m like no I want to go to sleep father, please!

May I add this has NEVER happened to me before in my journey with my faith!

But I couldn’t shake the voice off.

So up I get out of bed, grab my bible, and read the psalm!

Wow, I was amazed!

I’ve done a fair bit of crying in this lockdown, and what’s the first 2 lines!

In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry!

Well every time I have my meltdown episode I calm myself down by talking to god(while usually blubbering at the same time)

For me personally this is a time of trouble, I never thought anything like this would happen! and I still feel like it’s very surreal.

It’s so sad what’s happening all over the world at the minute.

So many things are going to be affected with this and after it.

It goes on to say….

May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed.

Now for me, it’s not just about me, us, our family.

My heart desires that the world does not suffer too much after this in many aspects of things.

When we pray as a family which is mainly at Riley’s bedtime in our heart we desire and hope there is some succession in our prayer for…..


Less fortunate

Key worker’s

Anyone that’s ill

Peoples jobs/business’s

The elderly.

Our church

Riley’s school.

(Yes I have a mental list I’m a bit OCD)

We give thanks for having a roof over our head and food.

It says-May the Lord answer all your prayers!

He may not answer your prayers like right now this instant(sometimes he does, he has for me)

And he most definitely answered my cry for help more times than I can remember!

It goes on to say but we boast in the name of the lord our god.

And that’s what I do and will boast when this lockdown is over, that for me personally it’s my faith, and particularly this psalm, that is getting me through this time.

Give victory to our king. O Lord!

Bio: Hi all I’m Lorna, I’ve been part of the light church since the beginning, over 10 years now.

I serve on kids, have since the beginning and love it, love seeing all the kids growing.

I’m married to Daniel, Stepmum to Riley. I’m a self employed hairdresser. I love my job and I’m missing it terribly.

May 11th - Marie-Elisabeth McMahon

Todays thought comes to us from Marie-Elisabeth McMahon

When praying about what to bring today I kept on thinking of a passage from Shauna Niequist’s book Bittersweet.

‘I learned about waves when I was little, swimming in Lake Michigan in navy blue water under a clear sky and the most important thing I learned was this: if you try to stand and face the wave, it will smash you to bits, but if you trust the water and let it carry you, there’s nothing sweeter And a couple of decades later, that’s what I’m learning to be true about life, too. If you dig in and fight the change you’re facing, it will indeed smash you to you bits. It will hold you under, drag you across the rough sand, scare and confuse you…. But if you can find it within yourself, in the wildest of seasons, just for a moment, to trust in the goodness of God, who made it all and holds it all together, you’ll find yourself drawn along to a whole new place, and there’s nothing truly sweeter.’ -Shauna Niequist

We are all facing waves right now, and I think it’s safe to say we’d rather not be facing this particular wave. When this whole thing started I found myself just hunkering down, waiting for it to pass and if I got to do a little more baking in the meanwhile- bonus! However the timeline is changing and I know I need to change my approach. in the past few weeks the Lord has been challenging me that instead of running from this I need to embrace it. Not embrace what’s going wrong, but embracing His work through and around it. Even though I don’t believe this pandemic is ‘from’ God I believe God will not waste it and will allow it to bring out good things. In my own life it’s looked like issues surfacing and having the space to start to work through them (fun!). “Embracing the wave” will look different for everyone. For me it’s a season of fully acknowledging the pain and the loss of this season, and then looking to where the shift is taking me. This doesn’t mean giving in to despair, but rather than fighting the change trusting God that the place he takes us will be good because He is good.

Bio: Hi! I’m Marie-Elisabeth McMahon and I’m originally from Anchorage, Alaska. I came to the UK 10 years ago to study counselling and met my husband Pete. After a few years in London we moved up to Bradford 2 years ago and love it up North! This December Lucy Grace was born and made us a trio. I love watching and discussing shows, all things Disney, going on good long walks, and finding fun places to eat brunch.

May 10th - Victoria Gore

Todays thought comes to us from Victoria Gore

My thought for the day is centred around anchors. This image and particularly the worship song “You are my anchor” (which I’ll play at the end of this message) has been a comfort to me at various times throughout my life, and is especially important to me now.

To realise the worth of an anchor, you need to the feel the storm. When you think of an anchor, you picture the heavy object tied to a ship that keeps it secure. It provides a firm foundation and security. In the bible the anchor is used to represent God and faith, it keeps us steadfast and gives us hope during the trials and storms of life. As Christians we have a hope of truly knowing that whatever we go through, God is there right beside us and is in control of everything. He keeps us secure in Him through the storms of life, like the anchor does for the ship. We may be moved by the waves, blown about by the wind, but we will be safe and secure in Him.

Hebrews 6:19 says…We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Jeremiah 29:11 says…”For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”

Isaiah 26:3 says…You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

So today I pray that we will feel in perfect peace as our minds are steadfast and anchored in the promise of our Lord and saviour, and feel truly secure in Him.

Let’s reflect on this as we listen to the song “You are my anchor”.

Bio: Hi, I’m Victoria. I’ve been part of the light church for 3 1/2 years now. I’ve been married to Steve for 20 years and have 3 amazing children, Deanna who is nearly 15, Jenna who has just had her birthday in lockdown and is 12 and Emerson who is 5. I have owned an Optometrist practice in Queensbury for 14 years. I love meeting people at work and looking after their eye health. When I’m not working or with my family, I love singing (especially in worship) and spending time with friends. I also accompany Deanna (and more recently Emerson) to dance competitions all over the country. They keep me very busy!!

May 9th - Nick Clarke

Todays thought comes to us from Nick Clarke

Hello Light Church…let me start with a question to you individually. Where is your faith level at right now? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 represents hanging on by your fingertips & 10, you’re riding high?

If I’m honest with myself, my, ‘faith in God’ levels often fluctuate along the scale, (and none more so than recently, as I will go on to explain) but I know, deep down, that’s more about where my feelings and emotions lie moment to moment - nothing to do with the lack of God’s living spirit in my life. I have to remind myself of the truth written in Romans 8, that ‘nothing’ can separate us from the love of God - isn’t that the best encouragement? He will never leave us or forsake us, despite our own variances.

Separation in the human sense, can be a hard thing to endure - we’re having to experience & endure this right now aren’t we? ‘Lockdown’, ‘isolation’, ‘social distancing’ and, ‘shielding’ are all negative states to be in and, contra I believe, to what we were created to be - ‘together’!

Some of you know, but most probably won’t, that our daughter Nicola (Nix) got married at the end of April this year - what a wonderful occasion it was. However, when I tell you that the wedding was in Switzerland (where Nix lives) and that we, as parents, despite all arrangements in place, were prevented from attending the wedding due to the current pandemic, you might get a sense of our ‘separation hurt’?! Emotions were certainly running high on the day, but praise God for technology - we were able to be ‘zoomed’ into the wedding celebrations and really felt included in the ceremony and, part of the special day after all. All this, despite the physical separation.

zoom wedding
zoom wedding

Testing times such as this recent, real life example and, deeper separation experiences such as the loss of a loved one, certainly do affect our strength of faith. In Hebrews 11, it tells us that, faith is the sure and certain hope of what is to come, but not yet seen. ‘Hope’, I believe, is another crucial factor for us not to lose sight of in these unprecedented times.

I hope, that this will encourage you, as it has me, that there is a new day coming when the physical separation will end and we can draw close together again - Family, friends, Church, work colleagues and social celebrations. How this will look, time will only tell? But, for now, keep your faith strong - look on to that new day and draw strength, knowing God is always with you by His spirit.

Psalm 30 says, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”. Some of our individual night experiences are longer than others - weeks, months, maybe years? Have the faith to look beyond to what is not yet seen - the JOY that IS coming. God bless.

Bio: My name is Nick Clarke, proud Bradford boy, born & bred & lifelong Bradford City fan (currently in my 50th season). Married to Sue for 36 years & father of Simon & Nicola, doting Grandad to Rose & Jamie.

I’ve been attending Light Church pretty much since inception and am currently part of the kids work team, leading in Lightning. I’m blessed to be able to class myself as ‘early retired’ and, love walking in the beautiful countryside around Cullingworth, where we recently moved house to.

May 8th - James Dennison

Todays thought comes to us from James Dennison

Sometimes when times are hard and you have to scrimp and scrape to make ends meet I always think of the story of the donuts.

A man was going to the airport to a meeting in America, he was in good time so he went to the cafe for a coffee and a small bag of donuts, he went and sat down at a table put his suitcase next to his chair with his coat on top, he then drank his coffee and picked out a donut from the bag on the table, the guy sitting opposite also reached out and grabbed the bag of donuts took one out and put the bag back into the middle.

Confused and unsure if he should say anything to this guy he just smiled and nodded his head this went on for about 10 minutes until the guy opposite got up for his flight bit before he left he took out another donut broke it in half put the other half back in the bag and just smiled said goodbye and left, very confused and angry he then realised his flight was also due so he then got up and grabbed his coat and there on top of his suitcase was HIS bag of donuts.

The other guy wasn’t stealing his donuts he was sharing them.

Remember folks God owns all the donuts if you have 10 but you only need 9, give one to someone who needs it more than you do; the church, foodbank, missionary’s, some people hold on to the pound so hard it makes the queen cry.

Keep safe everyone and keep praying


Hi Light Church family, I have been brought up in a Christian household so I’ve always known something of God but I didn’t accept it till I was 14 thanks to a mission in Bradford with j.john that’s when I stood up for Christ and decided to follow him. 7 years later I found my future wife and we got married in 1996, 21 years later along with my wife and kids we started coming to the light church and we’ve never looked back, it’s a privilege and an honour to be part of it and also to work at the foodbank. We have had a few difficult years recently along with nearly losing our house, losing my job and being in debt but with the help of CAP and the church we are now at the end of the tunnel and we can now keep our heads above the water, we still have our tests along the way but God is always there walking beside us.

May 7th - Joanna Martin

Todays thought comes to us from Joanna Martin

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations‬ 3:22-23‬ ESV‬‬

When I was a young girl, through to being a young adult, I would wake up each morning and lay awake listening for any sound that indicated my Dad had got up. If I hadn’t woke before him, then the sound of his footsteps down stairs would wake me, and regardless of how tired I felt, I couldn’t wait to get up and have breakfast with him! He would read UCB word for the day, and parts of the bible. He would pray with me and talk to me about the things that concerned me, and threatened to consume my young mind. This short time spent with my Dad in the quietness and stillness of the morning was something I cherished and came to rely on. No matter what kind of day lay ahead of me at school or at work, I knew that I could face it once I’d had my strength replenished by those moments.

Now, a little older and no longer in the same house as my Parents, I find myself rising early each morning to spend time with my Heavenly Father. I read my notes (UCB, or bible app plans) and my Bible, and spend time in prayer. These times are so precious! I can wake in the morning feeling afraid, anxious or sad (especially in this current situation!)- but His mercies are new every morning! I come away from my time with him with my strength replenished, or at the very least comforted.

So, I encourage you if possible, in the quietness of each morning, to listen for your Heavenly Father’s footsteps, because He has risen (in more ways than one!) Read your Bible and notes, talk to Him as you would to anyone you trust, and listen for His gentle whispers that will sooth and comfort you. As you do, I pray that you will experience the soothing comfort that only Jesus can offer, and that He will overwhelm you with delight!

“Whenever my busy thoughts were out of control, the soothing comfort of your presence calmed me down and overwhelmed me with delight.”

Psalms‬ 94:19‬ TPT‬‬


Hi I’m Joanna Martin (or Jo as most people call me). I am Wife to Lindon, Mother to Harrison and Philippa, and daughter to Steve and Janette Sheldon. I was born and bred in Bradford, and have been at the Light Church for about 10 years now.

I am in many respects your ‘average Jo’ - I love the simple things in life such as been out in the sunshine, surrounded by nature and spending time with family. I work (as a Foot Health Practitioner) and the rest of the time I spend being ‘Mummy’.

A character in the Bible I find myself drawn to is Ruth - I think because she embodies what I value and aspire to be with the help of Jesus: full of love, integrity, compassion, devotion, gentleness and kindness… although I hope not to lose a husband in order to achieve it!

May 6th - Jonny Viner

Todays thought comes to us from Jonny Viner

Without wanting to state the obvious, Lockdown has brought many changes to our way of life. Some of these changes will have been really challenging for us. Some of us will have faced changes to our employment either working from home, being furloughed, or even seeing work dry up completely. On top of this, the social distancing that we have been asked to comply with will have meant that regular routines for many of us will now be completely different. Other changes will have been more annoying. The lack of availability of loo roll and flour and having to queue to get into shops spring to mind. Some changes may have even been welcomed like the change of pace in life or getting to know your neighbours better and realising that the local community is actually really supportive. I have also been able to watch some TV shows that I didn’t really have time to watch before and I have been both enthralled and disturbed by the bizarre world of Joe Exotic…

One thing that has not changed is God, His love remains faithful, His peace restores us and the hope that is found in Him is something that we can hold onto. Some people will have found the last few weeks a great opportunity to rest in Gods presence, others may have found finding Gods presence a real challenge. However you feel in this time I would encourage you to find a moment to look to God in some way today. When we truly look to God our first response should be to be in awe as His love surrounds, supports and revives us. Psalm 100 has been a real help in putting my focus on God in the last few weeks.

Psalm 100

1 Shout out praises to the Lord, all the earth!

2 Worship[b] the Lord with joy.

Enter his presence with joyful singing.

3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God.

He made us and we belong to him,[c]

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,

and his courts with praise.

Give him thanks.

Praise his name.

5 For the Lord is good.

His loyal love endures,[d]

and he is faithful through all generations.[e]

I would encourage you to consider what has changed for you in recent weeks. Look for changes that have been good as well as things that have been challenging. Bring all of these things before the Lord and spend some time praying and worshipping God using this Psalm as a springboard.

You may find this easy to do but you may find this challenging, my hope for you is that when you look beyond your current situation and catch a glimpse of God all other things will become insignificant and you will find some peace.

My prayer is that the Lord will meet you in your praise and that God will bring hope to you in your challenge today.


Hey there, my name is Jonny and I live over in Nab Wood. I have been part of Light Church for the past 4 and a half years. I’m married to Gill and we have a 7 year old boy called Aiden. I work as a Debt Advisor for CAP and my wife works for TLG. Outside of this I love listening to podcasts, music, and Leeds United (but don’t hold that last one against me, I’m actually a pretty decent chap!)

May 5th - Grace Moxon

Todays thought comes to us from Grace Moxon

One day at a time:

Matthew 6:34 (MSG): “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Anyone who knows me knows I love to plan and I love to organise (just see our tupperware cupboard). But in this time, I’ve found God drawing me to just take one day at a time. In a period of so much uncertainty, where many plans are out the window, I think we’ve been given a perfect chance to practice this more simple way of living.

I’ve been finding it really helpful to start my day with three things:
As I’ve developed this practice of coming to him each day, trusting that he’ll have what I need for that day, it has helped me not get ahead of myself and try to figure out tomorrow - trusting that when the next day, or season, comes he in his sovereignty will give me all that I need.

  1. Lords prayer - asking him for my daily bread

  2. Gratitude - in the midst of the day ahead, thinking about what I can be thankful for

  3. Casting my burdens - praying and telling God about the things that are weighing more heavily and then placing them in his hands

I’ve seen countless answers to prayer and Gods intervention when he’s needed to and been so encouraged that God absolutely is, and always will be in control. This is very freeing and allows us to rejoice and be glad in each day, whatever it may bring.

I love corrie ten booms quote on this topic:

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength - carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

As you come to God each day, telling him about what’s going on - what you’re thankful for, what your more concerned about, he’ll walk through each day with you providing the support that you need. This scripture and this quote encourages us to fully embrace the day ahead, good or bad, with God and not to worry about the next.


Hi I’m Grace, and I’ve been coming to the light church for just under 4 years. I’m originally from Nottingham, studied psychology at York Uni (fell in love with Yorkshire), moved to Bradford for the CAP internship and have stayed here ever since. I lead a light group with Helen Hiorns, and we also live together in Shipley. You’ll probably find me hanging out with friends, baking, out in nature, reading, doing watercolour or watching videos of golden retrievers.

May 4th - Tarzan Almas

Todays thought comes to us from Tarzan Almas

Bio: I am Tarzan, I have been married to Jyotika for 37 years. We have 3 grown-up children, Tom, Sabrina, and Preeya. I am a proud granddad of 5 grandsons, Elijah, Josiah, Asher, Isaac, and Jesse.

I enjoy a blessed life which includes walking, swimming, serving God’s people, developing my understanding of scripture, and playing with my grandchildren.

May 3rd - Hildegard Hepworth

Todays thought comes to us from Hildegard Hepworth

It’s difficult for all of us this time and moment and I just want to share my thoughts of the day. Mathew 6.vers 33 but first seek his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well .I love this verse it keeps me so on track with God. I know When I give this day to the lord I can be at peace. Where we are now New year New resolutions made ,New things good Things are going to happen. BUT we do not know God’s will and plans fully, just trust God whatever happens we Have our redeemer Jesus .On 5th January Matt Barlow our pastor spoke on Isaiah 43:verse 18-19 forget the former things, I am making away in the wilderness and streams in wasteland. I was excited and Will thought this year is going to be good and everything Is coming our way ,maybe some of you felt the same. But Oh Wow! Look what happened, We are in lock down and, didn’t see this coming .On 8th March Matt Barlow our pastor spoke again on building strong families and the early church in homes, and that Jesus also had a small group ( his disciples) Colossians 4.v 15, churches in their homes .And that Has actually happened now, “so let’s us spur on one and another” it says in Hebrew 10.v24. I always make notes otherwise I forget, So want to thank you Matt, we can start seeing through Now, like a little window that God will not leave us or forsake us, his word the bible is truth Hebr4.v12 Gods word is alive and active, Be encouraged and be strong and be blessed in Jesus name. Amen

Bio: Hildegardmarried to Gary Blessed With 3 children ,One son and two daughters, 8 grandchildren all together.

We live in idle and Have been coming to the light church for about 8 to 9 years, love to be part of this friendly and community active church, It’s been a blessing to serve in children’s ministry and welcome team . I am hairdresser working from home and Also mobile, love people, I like gardening and outdoors

May 2nd - Sue King

Todays thought comes to us from Sue King

2 Chronicles 7 verse 14.

‘If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.’

This verse of scripture spoke to me many years ago and set me on a journey of personal and cooperate prayer.

What does spending time with God really mean….....

Have you ever wondered what spending time with Our Heavenly Father means?

Do you think this is a ‘Churchy’ saying?

When we attend church we all say prayers and sing songs and hymns to worship God; but during the week leading up to Sunday do we really spend time with God in worship and prayer or do we use a get out clause - ‘we are too busy to give Him our time’.

Billy Graham , a great evangelist and preacher once quoted these very memorable words ...’If you are too busy to spend a little time with God each day in personal prayer and worship and reading your bibles, then we are busier than God intended us to be.’

Taking time and sitting quietly and just talking to God and reflecting on where we are in our lives, just like we talk to our family, friends or our next door neighbours really can perform wonders for our souls and beings.

If we tell God all our troubles and concerns whilst also thanking Him for all he does for us, we will be surprised how much better we really feel. You know he is always there to listen to our requests, prayers and concerns. He never moves away from us. It is us who move away from Him. Also sitting and listening to God is so important. He often ‘pops’ bible verses, songs and thoughts into our minds that we feel we should act upon or share with others. I have learnt , over a period of time, that if I step out in faith and share things God is so gracious and faithful.

Answers to our prayers and requests are not always instantaneous nor what we would like or expect. Sometimes the answer is ‘yes’, sometimes ‘no’ and on other occasions it could be ‘wait’. It is not always the right time. But we can be assured that our God always knows what is the best for us.

We are now in my favourite season of the year ’Spring’, when I love to watch my garden come out of hibernation and come back to life.

I pray that we can give God some of our time- or more of our time each day and spend this precious time quietly talking and listening to Him. We may be surprised at the outcome. ‘Our God works in mysterious ways ,His wonders to perform’.


Sue King born in Thornton, Bradford and lived in this picturesque village forever.

Gave my life to Jesus during a Church army mission at the age of 10. Married to Brian in 1970 and celebrate our Golden Wedding this year. We have two wonderful daughters, Lisa and Victoria, and three precious grand children, Deanna, Jenna and Emerson.

Worked at Bradford magistrates court before having family. Then for 25 years worked at Heaton Royds special school in Shipley helping and teaching children with special needs ...I loved this work. Semi-retired 11years ago and now work part time for our daughter in her Opticians Practise in Queensbury. I love gardening and baking ,spending time with our family and also accompanying Brian and watching him play indoor and outdoor bowls.(I make the tea and coffee!!)

We have been part of the Light Church for a year and feel very much ‘at home’.

May 1st - Sam Tarr

Todays thought comes to us from Sam Tarr - be inspired by the fact that Sam wrote this prior to Matt’s preach on Sunday. Clearly God is speaking!

Psalm 32

How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,

Whose sin is covered!

2 How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,

And in whose spirit there is no deceit!

3 When I kept silent about my sin, my [b]body wasted away

Through my [c]groaning all day long.

4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;

My [d]vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. [e]Selah.

5 I acknowledged my sin to You,

And my iniquity I did not hide;

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”;

And You forgave the [f]guilt of my sin. Selah.

6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You [g]in a time when You may be found;

Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.

7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;

You surround me with [h]songs of deliverance. Selah.

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;

I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,

Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,

Otherwise they will not come near to you.

10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,

But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.

11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones;

And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart

Unlike the common perspective on confession and sin, that is a gloomy approach, which is so easy to fall into; this Psalm is celebratory. Often we as Christians can put off confession as it may put off the mood we try to maintain. This should not be the case, as this Psalm talks about confession as the alleviation of a burden.

David narrows this burden down to four things - “transgression” (breaking a command), “sin” (missing the mark of what God intends for us), “iniquity” (the guilt and fogginess inside when there should be openness and clarity with God) and “deceit” (the vain failure to admit your sin and the reality of your situation). The next two verses detail what it is like to live trying to hide things from God - clearly no way to live. Only when David brings these four things before God do we see why this is a Psalm of celebration, and the “blessedness” - he acknowledges his sin, and his weariness is replaced by praise. Confession can be compared to unclogging a drain - only when we remove the stuff that isn’t meant to be there can the drain do its job. In the same way, when we acknowledge the stuff that shouldn’t be in our lives (those four things we looked at earlier), we can become properly working servants of God, and our relationship with him is restored - and living water flows through us. The darkness and heaviness of this life are replaced by the protection and imminent presence of God. God does not ask that we confess as Christians to pay off a debt to himself, as though he is some angry broker, but that we can experience the joy and relief of casting off our burden, and instead have the easy yoke and light burden of Christ.

The importance of confession in a relationship with God is massive - otherwise we will greatly hinder our walk with him. In Job 42, Job comes full circle in terms of his relationship with God. He goes from a shallow, transactional and obligation based view of the lord, where he gives God his loyalty and gets a family, land and good health in response; to finally witnessing God for who he is. “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear”, he says, “but now my eye sees you. Therefore I retract, and repent in dust and ashes”. We can see that, when he truly sees God for who he is, his reaction is to immediately repent. The light of God’s glory reveals all of our blemishes. Therefore if we are not honest with God through confession we will stop ourselves getting to know him, as if we aren’t repenting, we aren’t seeing more of him - they are two sides of the same coin.

When we turn to John 21, where Peter is restored to Jesus, we see none of the deceit described in Psalm 32, which muddies the waters of relationship with God. Perhaps this is because Peter has already hit rock bottom - Jesus not only knows that Peter denied him three times and abandoned him to a horrific death, but he predicted it. Jesus asks Peter “do you love (agape) me”, to which Peter responds

“Lord, you know that I love (philia) you”. The term agape refers to the fullness of love in God; whereas philia refers to a sort of brotherly affection, the sort of love found in friendship. Jesus again asks “do you love me”, Peter responds again

“you know that I am your friend”. Now, Jesus asks a different question -

“Simon, son of John, am I your friend?”.

Peter tells him “Yes Lord, you know that I am your friend”

“Shepherd my sheep,” says Jesus. It is crucial that we are honest with God not only about our sin but our whole relationship with him - as only then can we tend his flock. Let us not fall into spiritual pride, delusion or sentimentality.

We know that when Jesus died he defeated the powers of darkness - sin and shame have no hold on us, we are freed. Therefore when we are confronted next by the fact of our own sin, let us not stop with repenting beside Job in dust and ashes, for which there are certainly times, but let us also join Peter in being honest to God and saying “Yes, lord, you know that I am your friend” - the victory Christ won over shame on the cross demands this of us.


I’m Sam, a member of the Light Church Youth group. I am a student at Immanuel College sixth form.

April 30th. - Kate Hart

Todays thought comes to us from Kate Hart

Now, I’m a massive fan of kindness; receiving it, being it. So at a time like this, my mind goes into overdrive. Who needs a phone call, eggs, an encouraging message, a loo roll or a neighbourly chat over the fence? And how can we support neighbours, family, charities, small businesses, or missionary friends overseas? Suddenly I find myself feeling guilty, frustrated, and over-burdened.

But this is not how it is meant to be.

In Light Group the other week, we looked at the theme of water throughout the Bible, ultimately pointing to Jesus being the water of life: life that he’s made available for thirsty people. People’s thirst can be all the more obvious at a time like this - we see a thirst for security, hope, peace and contentment, amongst many other things, in our world.

So our next question should be, how can we, as God’s followers, bring this water to thirsty people? As Christians, we know that we have been called to be channels for this living water - like a kind of human irrigation system for our world.

But in my heart, I find myself saying, ‘Lord, I’m exhausted! I’m weary of trying to do good and share your living water.’ Many of my normal tools for ‘doing good’ have also been taken away at this time - like my time (I have two very small children) or just being able to get out and about.

And then God speaks - phew! Kate, it’s OK to feel dry and weary. Remember, you are not the water, the producer of the water or the solution for people’s thirst; I am. You need to connect to the source of the water: me.

If you’ve been running on empty, I’d encourage you to meditate on this Psalm today. And I pray that through regularly connecting to the source - whatever that looks like for you - out of your heart shall then ‘flow rivers of living water’ (John 7:38) that our communities, our nation and our world so desperately need.

Psalm 42

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.

By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.


Hi, I’m Kate! Married to Pete and mother to Noah (2) and Isobel (nearly 1). Needless to say it’s been a busy couple of years! We moved to Baildon, from Leeds, 3 years ago and totally love it here. These days, you will generally find us feeding ducks along the canal or exploring the rocks on Shipley Glen. What a beautiful part of the world we live in!

April 29th - Rob Garratt

Todays thought comes to us from Rob Garratt

Scripture: Lamentations 5:21 Restore us to You, O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days as of old. (NASB)

During this season I was drawn, rather unusually for me, (and probably for you too!!) to read Lamentations. The setting, for this Old Testament book, was a really disastrous time for Israel (586BC). They had repeatedly turned away from loving and following God and were living totally for themselves. And now they were reaping what they had sown. Towards the end of the book, there is a heartfelt cry to God to restore them to Himself so that they could be restored back to spiritual, physical, and material prosperity. They had come to recognise that the latter could not happen without first a restored relationship with God.

In these days (which I personally don’t think are days of His judgement as it was in Lamentations) I believe God’s purpose is to have us press the reset button in three areas:
May this direct our thoughts, reflections, and prayers today – that we should say from our hearts “O Lord restore us into right relationship with yourself so that we may be restored into all that you have for us, into the full abundance of life just as you planned and promised (John 10:10).

  • In our lives so that each of us has a real everyday relationship with our loving Father, with our amazing Saviour Jesus and with our very necessary helper the Holy Spirit
  • In the Church so that our together life and witness reflects His now plans and purposes and is saturated with His presence and power
  • In the Nation so that we return to Godly values across all sectors of society.


Raised a Shropshire lad – as a teenager worked for a number of years on a farm during school holidays and weekends – thus the rolling accent! When a first-year student in Brighton back in 1969 Jesus got hold of me radically and he’s never let go!

Married to and partnering with Jane for over 45 years. We have three great children – all who follow Jesus. In 2007 we left our employment (I was a consultant civil engineer and Jane an insolvency debt counsellor for CAP) and established an international voluntary charity which you know about – 5000Plus. We have been with the Light Church family since 2010 and Food Bank volunteers shortly after its inception.

April 28th - Daniel Bullen

Todays thought comes to us from Danny Bullen

Bio: I was born in the Netherlands and moved to Yorkshire when I was young. I have been a member of the Light Church since it began with my parents David and Reina. My beautiful wife Sarah works as the Youth Leader for our church and I work for Hope Park Workspaces as a Business Development Lead, helping to generate profit for the amazing work of TLG. I enjoy travelling, going to gigs, anything to do with football (especially Ajax) and meeting new people.

April 27th - Furaha Mussanzi

Todays thought comes to us from Furaha Mussanzi

Bio: Furaha, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo moved to Bradford as a refugee with her family in 2002 after escaping the deadliest African war that claimed the lives of over 6 million people. She comes from a big family with 6 siblings and lives with her retired parents Ben and Kongosi, two of the most important people in her life who have instilled in her faith, courage, and banter. She manages the Millside Centre, a community centre in the heart of Bradford which is run by Reach Beyond, a Christian charity dedicated to being the voice and hands of Jesus by meeting the needs of vulnerable people in the city; something she feels deeply called to. She finds joy in co-leading the central light group and creating a safe space where genuine community is built and people can encounter God deeper. In her spare time, you’ll find her in the kitchen trying out new recipes, making YouTube videos, or face-timing her long-distant siblings and friends.

April 26th - Josie Barlow

Todays thought comes to us from Josie Barlow

I’m reading a beautifully poetic book called ‘A thousand gifts’ by Anne Voskamp which Jenny Biglands gave me for my birthday.

It’s one woman’s account of having grown up in the shadow of tragedy as her 4-year-old sister was killed by a delivery van on her farm.

Tragedy, hardship, and fear can squeeze grace, thankfulness, and joy out of life and she is living dull and hard.

Then she is dared by a friend to write a thousand things to be thankful for and as she starts to recognise small moments, to name them and thank God for them, these moments turn into the sacred, cathedral spaces of time.

God fills these small everyday moments with his presence and this practice begins to transform her heart so she discovers grace and joy in the everyday.

‘The Holy Grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be - unbelievable – possible! The only place we need to see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.’

She learns that she can see God in the smallest of moments by being thankful.

16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thess 5

I’ve started the journey too. I’ve got to 50, here are some of them.

Enveloped by spring aired sheets

Picking flowers from the garden

Sitting eyes shut in the sun

Mending something

Rescuing food and turning into something delicious

Welcoming my kids home from school

Woodland paths through bluebells

Green eyes and golden curls of my beloved.

Cycling fast downhill over fields, the dog racing ahead.

Warming feet on an outside fire

I dare you to start today. What small moment can you wonder at and give thanks to

God for. For all good and perfect things come from God above.

23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. I Thess 5

Bio: I’m Josie and married to Matt and have 2 teenagers - Eve (16) and Jed (14) and we have Amy Tyson as a lodger. I love having dinner with friends, being creative with food, paint, fabric, words, and stories. I love walking in our bluebells woods by the river, up Shipley glen to the trig point, riding my mountain bike, and playing tennis. I am also loving my job as Foodbank Manager and count myself lucky as an extreme extrovert being able to still see and work with my Foodbank and church family! The things I’m looking forward to most after lockdown has ended are walking to the pub along the canal, playing tennis, having a huge freedom from Lockdown party, going to France on holiday with my extended family (it is in August - we must hope)! I do have a few health issues - I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which means I sometimes have complete brain fog which means you might find me vacantly staring and won’t be able to remember your name - but I can remember a story you’ve told me. So if I do that to you - it’s not you - it’s me!

April 25th - Gareth Jones

​Todays thought comes to us from Gareth Jones

Bio: Served at the Light Church for 10 years. Married to Heather and have two children Ffion and Osian.

April 24th - Rachel Woodrow

Todays thought comes to us from Rachel Woodrow

James 1:12

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that

person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

There have been many times in our lives when things haven’t gone as planned and seasons

where nothing seems to be the way we expect at all (as I am sure many of you will relate).

Most recently, a garden makeover (an expensive one at that!) resulted in poor workmanship

and planning by the chap carrying out the work and a massive disappointment for us. We

had budgeted and planned for the best part of 15 years to have what we hoped would be the

garden we had dreamed of for so long.

But it wasn’t to be! Yes, we now had a wonderful space after 200 tonnes of earth had been

excavated but a huge new wall structure, not correctly built and now bowing severely, was

not part of the plan! We liaised with the garden chap and gave him an extra 4 months to

rectify this before our daughter visited from Australia at the end of April (not happening now

either!). The updates from him have become less and less frequent and he has been nowhere

to be seen for quite a few weeks and the remedy work hasn’t even started yet!

However, we have carried on regardless – planting out in pots has begun, the BBQ cleaned

(not that we can have anyone round to join us any time soon!) and plans continue on working

around the faults to make the garden still usable for the summer.

God teaches us that out of difficult and disappointing situations, good will always come. We

now look out on that same garden and instead now see new growth, colour, birds and nature

returning. What was a huge, ugly monstrosity now looks settled and rustic and no longer

offensive. The situation has not been rectified but is being looked at through fresh eyes and

changed hearts. God has worked on us through this whole situation. He has guided us into

gracious conversations with our garden worker when things went wrong, built up patience

levels (boy, have we needed it!), restored hope and helped us carry on with our plans

regardless of the situation around us.

Today, as we reflect on the current situations people are facing across the globe our

problematic garden seems to pale into insignificance! In this season, where there is so much

uncertainty and fear around us, we can choose to have an attitude of hope, positivity and trust

in the One who knows all. He will not leave us, let us down or disappoint us. Life can be full

of disappointments but we can always fix our eyes on Jesus, who is faithful, and trust in Him.

He will never let us down. Jesus is our rock, our firm foundation.

We can look to the current situation amongst our communities, places of work and families

with fresh eyes to look for gracious conversations, where you can see good coming out of bad

and where you can be a source of encouragement to someone. We have hope that whatever

God puts us through now will bring us out of the end stronger, more faith-filled and reliant on

the one who is, and is to come. The circumstances we are in may not change, but we can

change our perspective.

God is in control and has the best plans for us even when we, in our “human-ness”, cannot

see how these can be brought about. He will never falter or waiver and whatever trials

(however big or small) life throws at you, you will be able to look back and see God at work

through that situation and more importantly in you, and through you.

Bio: Woody and I have been part of The Light Church since 2010. We have been together for 19

years and been married since August 2010. We live in Thornton.

I work as a secretary to the dietitians at Bradford Royal Infirmary and have worked there for

23 years. Woody is a Community Engagement Co-ordinator at Shine, West Bowling and has

been in this role for the last 8 years. Our daughter, Hannah, is currently living near

Melbourne, Australia with her partner, Jamie.

We enjoy camping and walking and generally love being out and about in Yorkshire (God’s

own county!). I like to read and we both enjoy music, cooking and getting together with our


April 23rd - Alicia Chapman

Todays thought comes to us from Alicia Chapman

Revelation 1:17

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.”


Hi, I’m Alicia. I was born in London, grew up in the Midlands, and moved to Bradford two and a half years ago to work for Christians Against Poverty. Despite the running joke that it’ll be Scotland next (as I keep edging North) Yorkshire has well and truly won this Southerner’s heart, so I think I’ll stick around.

The proud inventor of the “ch” diet, (chicken, cheese, chorizo, chocolate… is there anything that starts with “ch” that’s not delicious!?) I’m partial to a warm blanket and time with fluffy, four-legged friends of all varieties. If you need to find me, I’ll be the only adult at the local petting farm without a child – unashamedly waiting for my turn to feed the lambs in the queue of toddlers and confused parents.

April 22nd - Steve Restrick

Todays thought comes to us from Steve Restrick

Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives -

especially the ability to prophesy.

1 Corinthians 14:1NLT

Faith doesnt come through effort, it comes through surrender…

The first time I became aware that Papa God spoke to me, was as a boy, 7 yrs old, from a non

church family. I began a journey searching for my identity and purpose.

As a young man at 21yrs old, God again spoke directly to my heart and I surrendered my heart to

Him. It has been a journey of romance, for over 40 years, where God has revealed His heart and

purpose to me, and His heart for others and of learning to speak out what God shows me in His

word, both written and spoken.

Faith is the Prophetic anointing to call out destiny, call out the gold in other people’s lives…

To desire the gift of prophecy is to desire to be a people who hear the voice of the Lord…

It is to cultivate a lifestyle where we hear His voice and think His thoughts…

Let love be your highest goal! - The prophetic is one of the greatest tools of love we have.

Revelation is given not just to inspire prophetic gifts, but to help us to live with a connection to how

God feels and what He thinks…

To see people the way God longs for them to be seen, and from that revelation to treat them out of

His culture of love, so they will want to be the version of themselves we see…

Prophetic ministry is about you being a gateway to Gods thoughts, emotions, and heart for

others… through your connection to Him.

It takes no anointing to see whats wrong in peoples lives. Tell them something they don’t know!

Let’s see the gold in them and tell them.

I remain a learner, as I continue to follow Jesus, making love my highest goal, and eagerly desire

the gifts of His Spirit, to help others on this journey of divine romance.

One, who prophesies, strengthens others, encourages them and comforts them. 1 Corinthians 14: 3

Please enjoy this song from Hillsong Worship - I Surrender

Bio: I am married to the lovely Emma, and moved to Bradford 4 years ago after our honeymoon in Skiathos. We have been part of The Light Church family for 2 years. Emma works at CAP as a Debt Advisor; I run my own business as a Gas Engineer. I love the outdoors, walking or motorcycling in the countryside. Emma loves being at home and is never bored! We enjoy quality time with friends and family, adventures, which includes travelling and exploring new places and making memories, which I photograph and Emma turns into beautiful Photo books.

April 21st - Jenny Biglands

Todays thought comes from Jenny Biglands

‘May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvellous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is’ (Ephesians 3:17-18)

If you could choose any place to live, where would it be? For me, it would have to be surrounded by trees, I love them, I work in and live by them and go to them whenever I need space and time with God. At the moment the cherry trees are bursting out with pink and white pompoms weighing down their branches, and the beech leaves are unfolding, revealing such vibrancy that it looks like a toddler picked their colour from an illuminous paint pallet.

Maybe it’s partly because of my infatuation with this aspect of God’s creation that draws me to scriptures that speak of them. In my chosen passage we are particularly reminded of the importance of roots as a way of connecting to the infinite love of our creator God. It is true and widely known that the roots can suck up the nutrients and water from the soil to help its growth but we also know that deep and wide roots create stability and strength to support the tree through all seasons. And so, as we seek out and draw on the love of God, we will gain spiritual strength and resource to cope with the storms of life that we experience above the ground. And as trees are fundamental to the protection of the soil against erosion, God’s love will be held within and around our roots as we create space for new growth and sapling trees to spring up!

So, to finish let me pray for us all that we would be grounded by God’s life-giving love, that it would both nourish and strengthen us in this time and may we trust that it has no limits or end, whatever the future my hold.


My name is Jenny, I am married to the lovely John Biglands and have two kids, Ellie (13) and Josiah (10) who constantly surprise me and teach me more about myself than I thought possible!

Just over a year ago we decided to take our kids out of school and begin a home education adventure. Alongside this I work part-time, co-running an organisation called ‘Rooted’

April 20th - Eilidh Snell

Todays thoughts comes from Eilidh Snell

‘But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer’ Luke 5:15. Throughout the gospels Jesus had a rhythm of retreating just to spend time in the Eremos! Eremos was the Greek word used to describe what is translated in English as ‘the desert place’, ‘the lonely place’ or the ‘quiet place’. I don’t know about you but I feel like I’ve been thrown into a quiet place, a desert place!

Matthew 26:36 “Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “sit here, while I go over there to pray”. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here and watch with me”. And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayer, saying “My father, it it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will”.

As I’ve reflected on this passage over the last couple of weeks I’ve been struck by 3 very simple things:

  1. The quiet place is a place where we encounter emotions! Jesus was sad (understatement!). It says he was “very sorrowful, even to death”, in other translations it says “my soul is crushed” and “my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow”. Jesus was overwhelmed with sadness, and he processed his emotions in the quiet place.

  2. Jesus knew what he needed when he experienced these emotions- familiarity (the garden of Gethsemane), time alone with God (“sit here while I go over there to pray”) and close relationships (He took Peter and two sons of Zebedee with him).

  3. He comes to a place of yeilding- ‘not as I will, but as you will’. Even in the midst of pain and troubled thoughts, Jesus was willing to let it go and trust God’s will.

Lockdown has forced me to slow down long enough for my emotions to catch up- uncertaintly, disappointment, gratitude, boredom, sadness, joy, fear, peace and expectancy! I struggle with quiet, I struggle to be in my own company for long periods of time, and honestly I struggle with praying alone, but in this time of unexpected quiet with so many emotions, I feel God has given me an invitation to meet him in the emotion and go deeper! He’s reminded me to ‘pray about everything’ and ‘cast all my worrys on him’ in solitude. While it’s been uncomfortable, it has been wonderfully life giving. As I process and continue to do so, I’m finding myself being brought into a deeper place of peace and trust in my incredible God!

Emotions are hard, especially the negative ones, but I believe that invitation is there for us all, to meet our sovereign God, our comforting father, our loving friend, in the eremos, in the midst of our emotion. And my prayer is that as a result of meeting him in the quiet place, as a body we will be brought into a deeper place of peace and a deeper place of trust.


Hi I’m Eilidh, and I’ve been at the light Church for almost 2 years now! Originally from bonnie Scotland, I moved to Bradford with my husband Peter 2 years ago after moving back from New Zealand where we had been working for CAP! I now work for CAP here in the UK managing a team in our head office and also volunteering as a Debt Coach in our fabulous debt centre! When I’m not in lockdown you’ll find me drinking coffee, eating good food, baking, walking in the countryside or having a good ole blether with great friends! While in lock down you’ll find me convincing Peter that we should get a dog!

April 19th - Janette Sheldon

Today’s thought comes from Janette Sheldon

Holy Overshadowing

Recently I’ve been reading Connilyn Cossettes “ Out from Egypt” books and this coincided with my Bible App readings from Exodus and Numbers about the time when the Israelites were camped under the Holy Mountain (Sinai) where God met Moses and spoke to his people.

The Israelites were so vulnerable and dependent on God for everything….their food, water, protection ....their very lives on a day to day basis. Deliberate sin met, on several occasions, with Gods wrath and terrifying consequences. The sense of fear and awe of the Most Holy Mighty God must have been a tangible daily experience.

It seems today that we are beginning to have a taste of the same vulnerability . All our usual securities are threatened and we are reminded just how powerless we are and how dependent on God we are.

God Overshadowed his people with a cloak of protection and guidance in the form of a pillar of fire at night and a pillar of cloud by day. It was a sign of His presence with them and when He moved they moved.

Today that same power and presence is within us…He just asks that we submit to His will and trust Him in the midst of uncertainty and fear. We are safe under His Holy Overshadowing because of Jesus sacrifice for us and that allows us into His awesome presence to glimpse his glory.

Have confidence in your Mighty God

He will overshadow you with His love and protection

Look to Him…. Move in Him ...Move with Him

Psalm 91 v 1-2

“We live within the shadow of the Almighty sheltered by the God who is above all gods

This I declare that He alone is my refuge, my place of safety. He is my God and I am trusting in

Holy Overshadowing by Graham Kendrick


I’m married to Steve and work with him in a small family label printing business. We have been at the Light Church over 10 years.

We’ve two children… Joanna married to Lindon with two children Harrison and Philippa, and Adam who lives in Whitby with wife Maria and two girls Meredith and Felicity.

I love being out in the sunshine in the countryside or seaside enjoying nature or working in my garden. Other loves include singing classical choral music with my choir and enjoying campervan holidays and picnics with Steve and our wonderful grandchildren!

April 18th - Angus McNab

Todays thought comes to us from Angus McNab

Matthew Chapter 5 verse 6: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

What’s in a word? I’m frequently drawn to the first few verses of the Sermon on the Mount. They are some of the most beautiful words ever spoken or written- beautiful and yet deeply challenging and disturbing. Jesus tells us for example that the things we naturally feel we should possess and therefore strive for- status, wealth, security are not what will bring us true fulfillment.

The word “righteousness” for me was a loaded word growing up. As a young Christian, I absorbed the culture of my church family where the word was very much linked to “holiness”- being set apart, not being contaminated by the things of this world. It felt like a word more linked to what I shouldn’t do than what I should.

So years later, it was a revelation when I found out that a more correct translation for the word righteousness is “justice”. The original Hebrew word is full of the biblical concept of all humanity being equal in God’s eyes and God’s vision for a world free of unfairness, oppression and soured relationships. Try substituting justice for righteousness in this verse and the others at the start of the great sermon on the mount. And in fact, most other times when the word righteousness is used in the New Testament.

A few years ago, I spent a summer asking God to shift my thinking about the centrality of justice to His character and the Kingdom He wants us as His church to bring into being here on Earth. As I pondered, I started to realise this would be a lifelong journey, not only in terms of understanding but also of shifting how I live and encourage others to live. A few months later, I found myself sitting in a cage for two days in Shipley town centre, fasting and encouraging passers-by to think about why we shouldn’t need foodbanks in 21st Century Britain.

This journey continues to throw up difficult questions: How very far is the way we live (individually, as a family, as a nation) from the way God would have us live our lives? How much does this pain God, especially when our action (or inaction) causes others to suffer? How much am I prepared to give up to help to bring in God’s Kingdom of justice and mercy?

While I still feel like a child starting out on this journey, it is one that fills me with hope. God’s Kingdom is so much greater than my small individual life. It is absolutely worth surrendering all for. So today, I pray that we would all know what it is to be filled as we hunger and thirst for God’s justice.


Angus lives happily in Shipley with his wife Carol, and children Daniel and Kate. The household includes Carol’s niece and parents and Rosie the dog. He works for Hope Housing in Bradford, helping to house people who are homeless. Please contact him to talk about ways of working with Hope Housing – leasing a house to them or becoming a host, for example.

In his spare time, Angus is constructing a prototype strawbale studio in his back garden.

April 17th - Rae Morfin

Todays thought comes to us from Rae Morfin

Watch it below

Bio: Rae decided to give her life to God and follow Him at the age of 5 and has never even once

regretted this in 40 years. She has been around at The Light for about 10 years and has

enjoyed leading the kids and youth in various ways during that time. She is married to the

wonderful Tim Morfin, and is enjoying the extra time together the ‘lockdown’ season has brought

for them with their boys; Ben, Josh, Dan, and friend + lodger Terry. Her work involves heading

up Therapeutic Practice at TLG (Transforming Lives for Good), a new venture after recently

handing over leadership of TLG’s Volunteer Programmes. She’s pretty much fascinated by

everyone and loves being curious, chatting, creating, reading, going outside, singing or whistling

(I know - I’m sorry!), chocolate and fun.

April 16th - Sam Aspinall

Todays thought comes to us from Sam Aspinall

Colossians 1:15-20 NIV

“15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

It goes without saying, we are living in difficult times. Amidst the grief and suffering of the crisis we are currently facing it can be tough to notice how God is working in the world. At times this can make him seem distant and potentially “invisible”.

During this lockdown I have been making the most of the good weather we have been blessed with by walking down to the nearby woods every few days. It is here where I sense God’s presence the most, despite his invisibility. The tranquility and majesty of his creation is enough to remind me how great he is, and it brings to mind the words of Paul in Colossians.

Paul states that Jesus “is before all things, and in him all things hold together”. Personally I find this verse amazing, as it demonstrates that God didn’t just create the world we live in, he is also continuously maintaining it. He is ensuring that the planets stay in motion, that the tiny atoms making up our bodies are held together, that we are able to breathe in and out constantly.

So I feel like this passage can be a great encouragement to our lives at the moment. Jesus holds everything together all the time, he has this crisis under control and in time he will “reconcile to himself all things” in order to make peace in the end.

Bio -

Hi Light Church, my name is Sam, I’m 17 years old, and I live with my parents and two younger brothers. Me and my family have been coming to the Light Church for around 9 years now. I’m currently a student in the middle of my A-levels, hoping to do physics at university afterwards. Apart from science, I have a great passion for music, both listening to it and playing my piano and guitar. I gave my life to Christ 5 years ago and have enjoyed leading talks at the youth light group recently.

April 15th - Bronyn Maclean

Todays thought comes to us from Bronwyn Maclean

Isaiah 32 v 17

The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest

Isaiah 26 v 3

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Are you anxious or are you at peace? I think it’s fair to say that many of us have felt shaken by the disruption to our way of life in the past fortnight. I’ll be honest, I have struggled to adjust to some changes made necessary to protect against the spread of Coronavirus. In the midst of this upheaval, I learned that a close family member back in Northern Ireland had received a terminal diagnosis and one short week later they have now sadly passed away. I have found it really quite difficult to be separated by distance at this time. Having the option of being physically with family taken away has caused a lot of anxiety and unrest within me.

Now more than ever I have needed God’s strength to cling to His promise of peace. I love to study the different names of God and the titles fulfilled in Jesus for reassurance of His character. One name for God in the Old Testament is Yahweh Shalom. Shalom, the Hebrew word for peace, means much more than the absence of conflict but rather it invites an idea of wholeness and restoration. We often refer to Jesus as the Prince of Peace; this title is translated from Sar Shalom and actually appears in Isaiah 9. Whilst it does not appear directly in the New Testament we know that Jesus fulfills this title as Paul assured the church in Ephesus “[Jesus] himself is our peace” (Ephesians 2 v 14).

In chapter 32, Isaiah writes that “the fruit of righteousness will be peace and the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever”. This is such a challenge for our contemporary culture. Everywhere in our headlines, we see fear and anxiety ruling the day. Like the virus fear is contagious and it isn’t productive. When I read these verses in Isaiah recently it caused me to stop and reflect: “Have I subconsciously been spreading fear? Have I been listening more to the news and my social media feed than I have been tuning into time with God?” Of course, there is a place for us to share our true emotions and worries at such a difficult time, especially in an authentic Christian community. But surely as a church, we want to be a people marked by knowing Jesus himself as our peace and carrying that to those around us? Each person’s situation is unique and this pandemic will not affect us equally; there is, of course, genuine cause for concern and worry for many. My prayer is that we carefully guard the media we consume, make conscious decisions of how we steer conversations and actively seek to encourage our souls each day. God is gracious and kind and by His Spirit, He will help us enjoy His peace as we focus on His Word.

Today I encourage you to meditate on Isaiah 26 and 32. As you respond to God perhaps you’ll find it helpful to follow the acronym PRAY (inspired by Pete Greig’s model to Pause, Rejoice, Ask, Yield)

PAUSE: Consider the times you have enjoyed and experienced God’s peace - thank Him.

REJOICE: That God has shown us the path to peace through Jesus.

ASK: For a deeper understanding of trusting God and the grace to be someone who spreads peace, not fear and chaos.

YIELD: Agree with God that He has given you His Spirit to lead you to the path of peace.

Bio: I grew up in a Christan family of 5 in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. After 4 years of studying Geography and History at Glasgow University I moved to Bradford in 2017 to join Christians Against Poverty. I currently work as a Debt Advisor and I love being part of the Light Church family. I’ve helped out with the Job Club in the past and currently love serving on our kids and social teams. If I’m not chasing a hockey ball or hanging out with friends you’ll probably find me chatting the hind leg off a donkey!

April 14th - Jan Barlow

Todays thought comes from Jan Barlow

Genesis 2:15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.

In this time aside, as Covid 19 attempts to rock our society, we stand before our God, with our community, I find myself reflecting and feeling quite challenged. From the tone of this ‘Thought for Today’ you may think I have always been an avid environmentalist. That wouldn’t be accurate, but true to say, that we, as a family, have always had a love of the simple life, the joy of life outdoors and, to our eyes, its superiority over the built environment. The importance of family, growing vegetables and sharing good food. Opening our doors and sharing life with others. Mike and I were never city dwellers or great lovers of ‘stuff’. On the contrary, should we visit a historic building whilst on holiday, it would get the briefest of glances, particularly from our teenage sons, who’d rather be off on a surf board; chasing a football or playing french cricket.

It would be true to say we have never understood how so many of our generation have felt the need to fly all over the world in pursuit of life satisfaction. We loved camping and we almost always had perfect weather, so we never felt the need to escape the British summer. Having said that, we did visit Matt and Josie when they lived in the Dominican Republic, but that was to see them. The wonder and beauty of the Island was just a massive bonus.

In more recent times, of course, we are all much more aware of the cost to the environment of all these air journeys and the profligate lifestyle that we Westerners regard as the norm. The opportunity to fly and to do many of the things we have taken for granted has been withdrawn from us for now in the current crisis. Of course, we see the attraction of the wonders of the world and get a lot of satisfaction seeing the diversity of God’s creation on our television. The wonders of television, the internet, social media, all this is God’s amazing provision for our lives.

I have to say, if I was young now, I would probably be marching with so many of our young people, at this,“wake up and smell the coffee” moment, when we need to start caring properly for our environment. I recall as a child, living in my gran’s house, her passionate hatred of plastic. Bless her she was right to be concerned. With so many of our life-enhancing discoveries and inventions, we just haven’t thought it through as regards its impact on our planet. It’s time to restore our amazing world and start to make good the damage previous generations have done to God’s wonderful world. Many good things came out of the Industrial Revolution, but our carelessness, with resources and our exploitation of our people and abuse of folks from other lands, is beyond the understanding that we now have. The importance of man’s humanity to man as Our Father intended. We often today don’t do it, but we do know a little better, how to treat each other and our planet.

I’m sure God has many many good things he wants to bring out of this time of great challenge. I’m only suggesting this could be one of them.

My prayer is that we won’t go just go back to “business as usual” when God brings us out the other side of Covid. Instead that we will have a real evaluation of how we currently do life in the 21st century. and how we should maybe do it differently. That we will have a care, for the poor of this land, for other nations; for our own grandchildren and what kind of legacy we leave them.

God made the world, God saw the world and it was good. Forgive us Lord that we have neglected and exploited this amazing world you have given us. We have been greedy and selfish and looking too much to our own needs. Help us and guide us as we try to do better at living this great life you have given us. We pray this in Jesus name.

Footnote:- It is quite unbelievable how a third of the world has felt it was okay to take whatever they want and leave the rest of humanity with little or nothing. I realise my part in this and I say “Forgive me Lord” Maybe that’s God’s purpose in this? We’ve all been caused to stop in a most dramatic way. Some of us will know massive pain on this part of the journey. We can just pause and then carry on as normal, or, we can stop; pause; reflect and come to some fairer decisions on how to do life, as God’s people, and as a better world. ‘Me first’, is no longer the message. Thank God! Help us to change

Bio: Hi. I’m Jan Barlow, mum of Pastor Matt and his big brother Tony. Ma in law to Josie and Gene. Granny to Eve, Jed, Lily and Pixie. Married to Mike for 52 years plus. Saved by Jesus’ intervention aged 34. 500 years of Gloucestershire stock,a life transformed by God moving us to Yorkshire 16 years ago. With God’s help trying to walk the path of “life-long ordinary loving”.