God NEVER changes

God NEVER changes

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Thoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral

God NEVER changes

By Chantal Robertson, Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral

Recently, I attended an Alpha course gathering in Liverpool. It was in the main hall (nave) of a traditional church of England church.

I’m not sure about you, but this used to make me shudder a little.

Until I rebelled at 12 or 13 to help at the local riding stable, I was brought up attending a Methodist church with my grandparents, then a little village Church of England church with my Mum and my brother. 

My grandparents were very much part of the church community, but at the church with my Mum and brother we only came to the short ‘family’ services. We came just before they started, sat by the organ to “drown out my Mum’s awful singing voice” (as she would say) and left as soon as they finished.

I have some good memories, though, of some of the preaches and did enjoy it, but didn’t see the point. 

Years later, after a long journey of sporadically and briefly attending churches in the second year of University and afterwards, and attending an Alpha course in 2003, I finally made a commitment in November 2004.

The following year, in May 2005, I was baptised after experiencing what Christianity really is about; family, doing life together, living sacrificially for Jesus, being bold and courageous in faith and whatever that entails. 

All those stories I was SO familiar with suddenly meant something and had real relevance and impact in my life.

Since then, I’ve fully embraced being in an evangelical church and being free in worshipping and communion and so on – which has meant that going back to a traditional church, even just stepping into the building, has me feel a little uncomfortable at times. It felt stiff and restricting.

Back to the church in Liverpool. While standing there, worshipping along with hundreds of others, with the band, to a modern song, I had a revelation. As I looked up a little contemptuously at the old stained glass window in front of me of Jesus on the throne, with a sneer at what I saw as its pretentiousness.

Then I suddenly became aware that there He was, with angels around Him, a crown on His head and royal robes, and a BARE FOOT sticking out the bottom!

A BARE foot! If King Charles were to do that, it would be plastered all over the worldwide news in seconds and you’d hear echoes of the madness of King George! 

But, no, this is JESUS. Not any ordinary King. But one, who has kept His nail-scarred hands and feet, even on His throne. Who KNOWS vulnerability, pain and  beauty. 

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way, just as we are – yet did not sin”
Hebrews 4:15.

I felt filled with thoughts of how traditional churches such as this had been faithfully carrying the Christian message down through the centuries, from Jesus’s time, to now. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here now. I was filled with humility, remorse and gratitude for those who’d gone before. This church is alive and evangelical AND Church of England still.

Nicky and Pippa Gumbel at the Alpha event in Liverpool

Nicky Gumbel (one of the founders of the Alpha course), interviewed on the day, responded that one of the reasons that Alpha works and still works, is the Gospel message. The message has NOT changed, even though the package has. 

Even though churches have changed over the course of time, with culture/ countries/ technology etc. the message of the truth of the GOSPEL remains the same. God NEVER changes. 

“He is the same yesterday, today and forever”
Hebrews 13:8.

Jubilee Church Wirral Life Group leaders Rick and Chantal Robertson

Chantal Robertson with her husband Rick

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What temperature are you?

What temperature are you?

Blogs
Thoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral

What temperature are you?

By Chantal Robertson, Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral

I was reminded this week of a preach I heard many years ago on the church in
Laodicea, referred to in the book of Revelation 3:14-22.

The city was between Hierapolis – famous for its hot springs – and Colossi – famous for the ‘refreshing power of cold water’ (New Bible Dictionary Third Edition).

As Christians, we are encouraged to be “on fire” or “hot” for Christ – ie. eager/ bold/
zealous with enthusiasm for God (‘…Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith,
love, steadfastness, gentleness.’- 1 Timothy 6:11), rather than ‘cold’
(unbelievers) or “lukewarm”.

Lukewarm is a mixture of hot and cold; “they will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly…’ (2 Timothy 3:5 NLT). It is people who have an appearance of genuine faith, but who can easily fall away or get distracted.

The Gospel, or good news, of Christianity not only involves salvation, but living
more and more fully for Christ and His plans and purposes.

Within that, God works through the church (the people of God), working in unity as family together. So, inevitably, within a family, there are different personalities, skills, priorities, and “temperatures” of faith/ people.

We all need to be full of grace, but also, wise in our relationships. Some people
will not feel supported unless daily church contact happens, and others, feel
hassled if they receive messages more than once a week or even fortnight.

There’s a fine balance.

We are NOT perfect, so we need to look to Christ, who IS perfect and knows
everyone. To be “hot”, or “on fire” for Christ and in relationship with Him first, to
grow in the wisdom and grace that we need for each other.

God bless, Chantal

Jubilee Church Wirral Life Group leaders Rick and Chantal Robertson

Chantal Robertson with her husband Rick

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God knows best, not me!

God knows best, not me!

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Thoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral

God knows best, not me!

By Chantal Robertson, Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral

This blog was originally written in December. Read to the bottom for a post-script!

So, here we are, all packed, in the car, travelling … On an adventure!

I haven’t seen my Papa (who lives in France) for getting on for two and a half years now… I could list a whole lot of hurts, reasons etc, but they’d also be loaded with a whole mixture of emotions too – including embarrassment, guilt and regret. 

The novelty and ‘history making’ of Covid-19 has well and truly worn off and we’re trying to restore relationship. To hug again.

We’ve taken the plunge and re booked flights from 15months ago – how about Christmas? So, began the endless test booking, form filling, money spilling… Trying to remain positive, hopeful, whilst feeling like we were slipping around on mud!

An ever changing landscape. Only to hear two days, one day even, before our flight, that the rules have changed, again!

This verse came up as a ‘memory’ on my Facebook page, me, maybe clinging on, in faith and finding encouragement; that I re-shared as is SO relevant now too.

We want to be setting off, moving forward knowing every step and that everything is sorted and will work out… And maybe that’s what we hear from pragmatic/ sensible people …

But, here we are, I’m writing this on the M6 motorway (as a passenger of course) going south, on our adventure…. we have no idea whether it will work out or not…. But, we just need to go, trusting God, that: ‘We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps’ (Proverbs 16:9 NLT) 

Our hearts are full of uncertainty and worry, (earlier had a silly argument over nothing and had to forgive each other!), but, we want to ‘press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called (us) heavenward in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 3:14 NIV), with Holy Spirit with us to stir our faith to step forward on our adventure, trusting God.

UPDATE: so…sadly no, we didn’t make it to France for Christmas, but did end up having a really lovely time in March.
At Christmas, we ended up staying for the week with my brother and spending some good quality time with him (can’t remember the last time this happened!) and blessing him in ways we could never have done. Also Christmas with my Mum opened up some fun Mum /daughter time too. God knows best xoxo 

Jubilee Church Wirral Life Group leaders Rick and Chantal Robertson

Chantal Robertson with her husband Rick

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Decorating: An ecological blog

Decorating: An ecological blog

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Thoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral

Decorating: An ecological blog

By Chantal Robertson, Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral
Jubilee Church Wirral Life Group leaders Rick and Chantal Robertson
Jubilee Church Wirral Life Group leaders Rick and Chantal Robertson

God commissions us to be custodians of the planet and of His people.

That means trying to have more of positive than negative impact on the world and people. You may well have seen labels such as: Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, RSPCA etc on food in the local supermarket, but what about decorating?

In the summer, we were able to move to our own house (first time for me 😀).

I know that a lot of new builds have a lot of eco improvements built in, and so they should. I just love old houses, but with high ceilings and solid (rather than cavity) walls, they’re often not the most  environmentally efficient! However, a lot can still be done.

There are smart meters, closing doors on rooms and switching lights off, thicker curtains, wearing an extra jumper, snuggling under a quilt 😉

We’ve been decorating, and, with this, came the discovery of an Aladdin’s cave – ReciproCity Wirral 😀😀😀

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this place!

It’s such a simple idea 💡 They pick up tins of part used paint from Bidston tip, check it and then sell it cheap – just the right amount for a feature wall, for example, at an amazing price of a couple of pounds (depending how full the pot is!)

They also have end-of-line and donated-from-DIY-chains kitchen cupboards, doors, taps and so on. They also make up their own paints. The staff are super friendly and helpful too 😀 Can’t recommend them enough.

We’ve made use of WIRE also – a great place to find basic second hand furniture of all kinds and some gems, they always seem to have lots of beds and dining chairs/tables. They sometimes have white goods too. A separate company can deliver (cash on delivery and only an extra £5 to take it upstairs – SUPER worth it for the two wardrobes we got!)

I also explored an antique shop nearby, which has mostly beautiful fireplaces (see my genuine cute 1870 ‘Daisy’ design cream fireplace) and found a beautiful reproduction cast iron fireplace, surround and mirror on Facebook Marketplace – a stunning feature, I think ❤️

My default, whenever I’m looking for things, is ALWAYS second hand, whether that’s charity shops or online, such as Freecycle, eBay, Facebook Marketplace etc or a second hand option on a shopping website.

These are some of my habits, but what are yours? Any gems you’ve discovered?

Jubilee Church Wirral Life Group leaders Rick and Chantal Robertson

Chantal Robertson with her husband Rick

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Am I doing enough? An ecological blog

Am I doing enough? An ecological blog

Blogs
Thoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral

Am I doing enough? An ecological blog

By Chantal Robertson, Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral

I find it’s all too easy to get condemned when it comes to all things ecological.

But there will always be people doing “better” than you, and those doing “worse”.

My background is from a single parent family with a Mum on low income, but we were supported by my grandparents too. My Mum was on a tight budget but had gone to catering college and loved gardening, so she’s always been on the reuse/recycle/ environmental end of the spectrum.

She’s always used a compost bin, for example. We’ve always had a scrap paper drawer to write notes or draw on. My school uniform always mostly came from the school second hand uniform sales.

She’s had an allotment for several years now and very much enjoys growing her own fruit and veg and freezing/ sharing the excess. She admits that the allotment has been a Godsend in lots of ways too, not just because of the pandemic but also for her and my brother’s mental health during his ongoing cancer treatment. He enjoyed the walks there and mowing the lawn paths and looking after the wildlife area at the back.

Recycling schemes vary hugely between councils, which is very confusing if you move and not a great place to start when looking at a more national recycling strategy. For example, where we are, we just have three wheelie bins: one for specific recyclables (grey), one for general waste (green) and an optional brown one for garden waste that you have to pay for. The colours to me, seem the wrong way round! Green to me means recycling, so I have to think carefully, even now! I’m proud though that our grey bin has always been fuller than our green one, even when our daughter was a baby.

Doing anything is better than nothing and there’s always room for improvement.

Like diets – one might feel overwhelming and too much hassle to sustain long term after the initial enthusiasm has died down, whereas another would involve a series of small steps which eventually add up to a huge, sustainable change and the formation of good habits which stop you feeling condemned on any “bad” days.

Keep going, you’re doing well. Let’s support and encourage each other.

God bless, Chantal x

Jubilee Church Wirral Life Group leaders Rick and Chantal Robertson

Chantal Robertson with her husband Rick

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