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The Source of all Blessing – Prospers


The Reading: Psalm 1:1-6 

“In all he does, he prospers” (v3.) RSV

This verse is such an encouragement. The Christian whose “delight is in the law of the Lord” (v.2) will “prosper”. Now a warning, “prosper” does not mean grow sleek and wealthy. It quite clearly says that what he “does” (v.3) will prosper. And what are we doing? The follower of Jesus Christ will be doing the works that he did, and that he has sent his followers to do. That person will be fruitful in bringing in the kingdom of God on earth. He or she will be a peacemaker and a spreader of the Word of God.

It is of course true that God has promised to give us food and clothing (Matt. 6:31-33), and in a general sense if we work hard and honestly, our labours will usually bring us material growth and prosperity. That is the law of nature. But it is sadly true that many, many people work hard in slave-like conditions and receive hardly any benefit.

But the Christian, whether he prospers materially or not, can work the works of him who called him. He can bring blessing and prosperity to those around him.

Another warning. When it says “delight in the law …” it does not mean only spending time reading the Bible, and learning verses, and having theological thoughts: the Pharisees spent their time doing that! It is referring to reading with a desire to be changed and to try to live out the “law of the Lord”. The person who does that will prosper in “all he does” (v.3).

Help me, O Lord, to find out not only what You have done for me, but also how I can live in such a way that pleases You, and enables me to be fruitful. Amen. 

Explore More

1. What did the foolish man do wrong, and the wise man right?

Matthew 7:24-27

2. What does James teach about obedience?

James 1:22-25


Abseiling down the tower for the Bells Project


The abseil was a tremendous success and so well organised by the Royal Marines and the Bell ringing Fundraising group.

Please give sponsor money to the churchwardens and remember to cross your name off the list at the back of Church. During the Week it can be paid into the book shop.

Those who abseiled thank you for your praise and encouragements but we would all agree that the Royal Marines are the really brave people. They are setting out on another dangerous tour of duty to Afghanistan and our prayers go with them.

We remember too the folk they have left behind.


Zambian Trip


We all enjoyed the trip to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross very much indeed. It was a tremendous privilege to preach in the cathedral at the celebration service (5 hours long – but it passed quickly: so much happened!). The President of Zambia, Michael Sata came, and brought with him his cabinet (+Kenneth Kunuda – now “Father of the Nation”), the judiciary, the heads of the Zambian armed forces and the diplomatic Service! It was broadcast live on Zambian TV.

We the enjoyed a lunch together in marquees on the cathedral lawn. We visited Chainda and were pleased to discover the classroom we built being used daily. A charity from the Netherlands had just completed a library and books were arriving as gifts from British schools. The younger children sang to us which was unforgettable.

Recycling for the Bells Project


ACTIVIA run a recycling system through to which Jenni Stenhouse has signed up. The idea is to collect used yoghurt pots (clean!) from Activia/Danone. The money raised will be donated to St. Mary’s Bell Appeal.

So please save the pots and ask your friends to do likewise, Jenni will do the rest. Remember, only Activia / Danone cartons.

The Source of Blessing – Delight in the Law


The Reading:  Psalm 1:1-6 

His delight is in the law of the Lord” (v.2) RSV

The foolish person seeks wisdom and guidance for life from ungodly people, people whose lives do not show blessing.  But the wise person seeks the source of blessing from the Lord.  The “law of the Lord” (v.2) offers the wisdom of the ages.  It contains a combination of experience and revelation.  We ‘pooh pooh’ it at our peril!

The “law” of God is not just referring to the Ten Commandments, but to all the prophetic guidance contained within the scriptures.  When Paul extolled Timothy for knowing the scriptures from childhood, he was referring to the Old Testament, for at that time there was no ‘New Testament’.

Just recently someone rang me to say she had been reading Deuteronomy since I advocated that book in a sermon I preached the previous Sunday.  She claimed to have been incredibly blessed.

It’s not just the Jew who can benefit from these pre-Christian books.  They are inspired for all who wish to seek wisdom.  The Christian reader will gain insight and discover the secrets of a wholesome and fulfilling life.

But in reading, it is essential that we “delight” in it.  The scriptures are not like some nasty tasting tonic that we hold our breath to swallow.  We need to pray for a desire and an insight as we read.  We need to be hungry to hear the voice of God.  We need to chew (i.e. meditate) “day and night” like a cow chewing the cud!

Lord, open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous, wondrous things out of Thy law.  Amen. 

Explore More

1. Where did Joshua get his courage from?

Joshua 1:7-8

2. What effect did the Law have on King Josiah?

2 Kings 22:8-13


The Source of all Blessing – Walk Not


The Reading:  Psalm 1:1-6 

Walks not … nor stands … nor sits” (v.1) RSV

 “Bad company ruins good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33) says St Paulwhen writing to the Corinthian church.  He was quoting a wise maxim of his day.  But it is equally true today.  We tend to be like a chameleon that changes it colour according to its surroundings.  Unless we are very careful and strong we will become like the people with whom we mix.

Psalm 1 warns us against the process of spending more and more time with those whose lives we don’t want to copy.  And yet by a process of osmosis their morals soak into us, and we end up joining them in the slide into destruction (v.6).  Note the process as given to us in this Psalm: “Walk not … nor stand … nor sit …” (v.1).  A casual walking conversation turns to a more permanent standing, and finally a sitting in deep involvement.

Note also the sorts of people who we need to beware of having for close friends: “the wicked … sinners … scoffers …” (v.1).  It is so easy for us to become critical, cynical, and coarse.  Instead we want to cultivate beautiful and robust character traits.

Now, of course, Jesus mixed with all sorts and conditions of people.  He was known for spending time with “publicans and sinners”.  The Pharisees thought this was terrible.  But Jesus loved all people, and indeed had come especially for the ‘lost’.  However, his strength was not drawn from such people.  He drew his strength from communion with his heavenly Father and fellowship with like-minded people.

So when we mix with others let our aim be to bless them and to be an example of godliness.

Dear Lord, thank you that you love all people and mix with everyone.  Help us to be so rooted in You that we can bless others rather than be tainted by them.  Amen. 

Explore More

1. Who moved towards, and then lived among the people of  Sodom?

Genesis 13:12-13 and 19:1, 15-16

2. Which of Paul’s helpers left him and why?

2 Timothy 4:10

Shoe Box Appeal


Leaflets at the back of church  for Samaritan’s Purse appeal.  Filled shoe boxes need to be back in church by November 10th.

Church and Community Worker Needed

St Michael’s Church, Galmington, Taunton seeks to appoint a Church and Community Worker.  The post will be part time. It is a Genuine Occupational Requirement in terms of the Equality Act 2010 that the postholder be a practising Christian of a denomination which is a member of Churches Together in England.
For further information and application form see
Closing date: Friday 12 October 2012