Colin will be leading the TFC in-person Community Hall service and the online 11am service on Sunday, looking at Psalm 44, 'Beaten, Baffled and Battle Scars'. The Psalmist offers a helpful reflection in the face of adverse circumstances as he Connects God with the Past (v1-3), Confirms God is in the Present (v4-8), Confronts God with a Paradox (v9-22) and Cries to God in Prayer (v23-26).
Stuart will lead the TFC in-person and online 5pm service in Aultbea continuing his series in 2 Samuel, looking at 2.1-9, The coming King in David, who also points forwards to Jesus, offering himself to God, to his Friends, and to his Enemies.
Please do book your seats for both these services and if you have booked and are unable to attend please do let us know so someone else can take your place.
From the 29th November, in-person Together for Christ services in Gairloch will resume at 11 am in the Gairloch Community Hall taken week about by Colin Macleod and Stuart Smith. The online service will continue to be uploaded as at present also.
In-person services in Kinlochewe will resume on Sunday 6th December at 1 pm, taken by Colin Macleod, and will take place on the first and the third Sundays of every month thereafter.
Points to Note
Should you wish to attend the services in Gairloch please contact
Colin Macleod (email email@example.com or phone 712371) or
Stuart Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 712645)
For the service in Kinlochewe contact Robert Coke (760364) or Edwin Cross (760323)
Good afternoon folks
Yesterday the FM, Nicola Sturgeon, announced further measures to ease the lockdown restrictions which have been in place since the 24th March. The signs are positive even though the measures have been introduced with a great deal of caution and caveat. Suppressing the virus is crucial to the lockdown measures being increasingly eased and lifted. It will be great to be able to get out and about as before and to see folks, although there is always the element of maintaining social distance when we do so.
So, the news is good and the prospects are better and the Summer is still with us so that is all very positive.
What of getting back to church, or to the buildings at least? The FC Offices are urging caution as far as this is concerned, even when Phase 3 is entered into. There's concern over being in close proximity with each other and in particular for those with underlying health concerns the risk of contracting and being adversely affected by Covid-19 is high and dangerous. So we need to take it easy as far as returning to church is concerned and Central Offices are issuing guidance regularly as lockdown measures are eased.
I'm thankful that we've been able to meet virtually on Facebook and Zoom and though this is not ideal I think the usefulness of these social media platforms has certainly made an impression on me. I would not be averse to continuing to use these when necessary or useful as the future unfolds and it may well be that this will be a means we'll use for other church-related meetings which are sometimes difficult to have because of distances involved.
I will certainly be keeping you all informed as things progress.
These months have been really difficult, bringing stresses and strains upon us and our families that we could not have anticipated. Perhaps for you, they have brought to light issues that you've not been aware of or matters you've not addressed because in the normal routine of your daily life they just didn't feature large or loud. But lockdown has meant slow down and that can actually lead to a showdownwith such things. You cannot get away from it.
I am thankful to the Lord that in al of this he has not changed or moved at all. Jesus came into this world and into our lives with this mission to fulfill:
'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour' (Luke 4. 18-19 [Isaiah 61. 1-2])
And as he made his way from village to village and house to house meeting a whole variety of folks, this was the message he embodied, explained, and expressed. So, whatever the issue, the message was the same- good news, freedom, recovery, release, favour through faith in him. Whatever the showdown issue, Jesus is the answer. I hope and pray that this will have been what you have found out to be true for yourself as I have for myself.
May the Lord bless us with His grace and favour and may we remember his mission in whatever we have to have a showdown with.
Take care and God bless
Rev Colin L Macleod
How are you doing? We’ll all probably revert to the typical default response of ‘I’m fine’ or ‘we’re doing fine’, which, as you know, very often means Frustrated Insecure Neurotic and Emotional or Feelings I’m Not Expressing. In reality many are fine but also many are not fine and I think being able to say both honestly is important.
We’ve just come through Mental Health Awareness Week and what was highlighted was the massive impact the lockdown has on all our mental health but especially on those suffering from mental health issues.
The Bible has a brilliant way of revealing to us the complex and cooperative nature of our lives when David wrote ‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well’ (Ps 139.13-14). The complexity of our nature and structure is described in terms of a ‘knitting together’; that is, every aspect of our being is connected in some way to another so that mind, body and spirit are all related and impact one another for that reason. When we are mentally unwell it affects us physically; when we are physically unwell it affects us mentally; and when we are spiritually unwell, if affects us holistically.
So then, It is important to ‘keep well’: to look after each aspect of the God-given lives that Jesus has redeemed by his death on the cross for us. It was Abraham Kuyper, Prime Minister of the Netherlands between 1901 and 1905, an influential neo-Calvinist theologian and also a journalist, who said, ‘There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!’ So we must give our lives holistically to the Lord day by day, whether ‘fine’ or ‘fine’.
And just as the physical body cooperates and relates, so too we as Christ’s body do the same. Paul says, ‘The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all the parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ’ (1 Corinthians 12. 12). It’s tremendous to hear how we are keeping in touch and please do keep that up. It’s more important than you know.
So whether ‘fine’ or ‘fine’, May the Lord bless you; Please stay in touch, keep tuning in to services, listening to the CDs, joining the Zoom Bible study, and remember though we don’t know what the future holds, we absolutely do know who holds the future!
With all our love and prayers
Colin and Jessie
Rev Colin L Macleod
Well, we're at the end of another week and it's another week of lockdown as well. It's sometimes only as we look back that we realise just how many weeks we've been in this situation and it's amazing how, despite the challenges it brings, God is able to give us strength and keep our focus on a day to day basis.
Deuteronomy 33. 25 says, 'As your days so shall your strength be', and that's a promise that is replicated in the Lord's prayer in the words, 'Give us each day our daily bread' (Matt 6. 11). Day by day, enough for the day because we are only promised today, or as much of today as we'll see!
What we may not realise is that the Deuteronomy verse also says, 'the bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze'. The gateway to a city was crucial for its safety, protection, and well-being, and the same is true of our lives. Not only are we given strength but we are safe as well. It's not just a matter of getting through each day, but daily we are really safe. I pray we will see this and grow in our faith in the promises of God, and live in the power of the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus our Saviour.
I have started recording the 3 daily devotions for those who receive the CDs. If anyone has scenic photos that they would like to share with me, please do as I would like to use them as images for the devotion, perhaps as a background during the prayer.
Please do feel free to make contact with me at any time by any means you feel comfortable with- phone, text, email, FB messenger, WhatsApp. I have certainly found that it is really good to talk, or even to communicate digitally with others, even just to say 'hi'. And please do keep in touch with one another as well. If you feel prompted to make contact with someone then do it; the Holy Spirit does prompt, He does bring people to our minds and it is a sure sign that contact needs to be made, perhaps for a reason unknown to you and me at the time.
Take care and God bless
Rev Colin L Macleod
Time is passing and the restrictions placed on us by Government don't look like they're going to be removed 'any time soon', which is the phrase I keep hearing Nicola Sturgeon using. However, it is encouraging that steps are being taken towards planning and implementing a strategy for moving out of 'lockdown' into a 'new normal' for us all which will involve reduced social contact in some form or another.
As we hear daily updates from the Scottish Government and the Westminster Government, I think we should also remind ourselves of the fact that COVID-19 can not and will not curtail or close down the Lord's will being done on earth as it is in heaven. We believe that and we need to pray it as well, just as the Lord himself taught us to pray. I see Jesus whose ministry was in no way diverted or derailed by disease, but rather he confronted it and dealt with it! May we do the same!
It is perhaps timely that we remember our Mission and Vision as a church; our mission is to 'Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you' (Matthew 28. 19-20), and our vision in achieving that mission goal is to be a WELL church which means that we strive to be a Worshiping, Evangelising, Loving and Learning church. In these days of unprecedented change we need to keep the focus for our faith as we try to adapt and change according to circumstances. So in everything that we do we still need to ask 'is what I am doing promoting worship, evangelism, love and learning?
I miss meeting up with people; I miss meeting up with you but I am trying to make the most of the means available to me to make that happen as much as possible. Can I encourage you all to do the same? I am very encouraged by the way we are keeping in touch and let's not 'grow weary in doing good (in this way) for at the proper time we will reap a harvest of righteousness' (Gal 6.9).
Take care, stay safe, and keep in touch, especially with the Lord, who is always available and alert to our prayers.
Rev Colin L Macleod
Free Church Manse
Evening folks 13th April 2020
I wanted to drop a short email to you all, just to touch base and let you know that you are all very much in our prayers every day; in fact, I think prayerful concern has grown over these last few weeks in light of the limit placed on social contact. It's really strange not being able to meet up and especially strange not being able to be together at church. I know church is the people and not the building, but we stlll do need somewhere to meet as church, and with that being taken away for the time being and for a while yet, it is difficult.
However, I really pray that these strange days will be teaching us all what matters most to us. We take so much for granted and probably rely on lots of things in our daily routines which when that is interrupted or taken away leaves us wondering how we are going to manage.
This is why the fact that we can meet with the Lord every day where we are is so important. In Acts 7. 48-50 we read Stephen describing how God is not limited by location or lockdown: 'The Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says 'Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house ill you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hands made all these things?' We have become so used to and dependent on meeting in a building that we maybe have forgotten or neglected the importance of meeting with God where we are and on our own as well at times, for He is there with us.
It's great to be able to connect on a Sunday through FB and with the daily devotions at 8 am as well, and if you feel up for it on a Wednesday night at 7 pm on Zoom: we have a Bible study and time of prayer that everyone is welcome to join. No need to speak but being 'with' others is a great boost.
So, in days of continued isolation please stay safe and remember one another in prayer; send a text, phone call or email to one another; log on to one of our means of connecting with each other on line, and above all, use your time to pray and speak to the Lord. He never sleeps and there are never glitches in quality of connection either. Always there and always caring.
Take care and God bless
Rev Colin L Macleod
Free Church Manse
I do hope and pray you are all well and weathering the COVID-19 storm that has hit us. The words of Psalm 91. 1-4 are very relevant: 'Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
I am going to Livestream our Sunday morning service at 11 am this Sunday which you can access via our church Facebook page here:
It's a simple way of hearing a message live and it's visual as well which gives an increased sense of connectedness; anyone can access this even if you don't have a Facebook account.
Stuart Smith (Cof S Minister) and I were talking of sharing the slots so that more folks could 'tune in' and not have to duplicate our services. Therefore, on Sunday at 5 pm a service will be live-streamed from their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GandDCofS/
We will stream morning and evening services alternately week about.
Also, I will digitally record the sermons and Aidan will upload it to the website and produce the CD's as usual which I will see to getting delivered to those who normally want them; if you know of anyone else who does let me know and I'll make sure they get them.
Stuart and I are also going to record a daily 6-day a week podcast/video podcast based on consecutive passages of the bible with a prayer and brief reflection for the next number of weeks; I will do Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Stuart will do Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday which will be posted to our Facebook pages also. Hopefully this will serve to keep us all connected through the Bible and enjoy a daily time of fellowship and worship together.
Please let as many folks as possible know
May the Lord bless and keep us all in his love and protection
In light of the growing crisis surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 virus current crisis and Governmental guidance concerning this, all services, mid-week prayer meeting, and Bible studies, Housegroups and other groups that meet in the buildings are cancelled until further notice.
The same is true for our “Together for Christ” friends in the Church of Scotland.
In the meantime, we’ll keep in touch with each other by phone, text and social media and continue to provide online sermons accessed via our website at https://www.gktfreechurch.com and click on 'Listen Again', via CD recorded sermons which we will deliver on request, and I will be looking into live streaming our Sunday morning service.
Our priority is prayer, for those who are ill, frightened, who have to self-isolate and for those in responsible positions, as we plead with God to heal and restore, confessing our sins and seeking his mercy (2 Chronicles 7. 13-14; Psalm 91).
If anyone needs support or wants to talk, or knows of anyone who needs the same, please do email or call Colin on 01445 712371, email@example.com.
Tea and Coffee served after the morning service. All welcome to stay behind for this.
Denominational Prayer Focus is for Assynt and Eddrachillis and the High Free Church.
Notices for the Week Ahead
Extended Time Of Prayer in Kinlochewe Church from 11am onwards. All welcome. Come when you can and leave when you must.
Church Walk – The monthly walk takes place, meeting at Gairloch Golf Club Car Park, at 10am. The walk is round the Coulin Lochs (approx 6 miles). See card or call Alastair on 01445 712455 or Jeremy Fenton on 01445 712663 for further information. Remember packed lunch and drink.
Bible Study in the followship area at 7pm, continuing to look at the Shield of Faith (Eph 6:16)
For March : Tins of Potatoes; Tins of Ham; Tins of Corned Beef; Boxes of Weetabix/cornflakes (small); Washing Up Liquid – any other items also welcome BUT NO pasta, beans or soup! Please use the box at the door as usual. Thank you.
We would like to fill shoeboxes as a church alongside the Church of Scotland. In order to spread out the donations of items for this year we are asking for toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo and shower gel during the month of March. Empty shoeboxes are also required. Please put donations of these items in the Blythswood Foodbank box. Thank you.
Advance Notices :
The GAMS Dementia Group for carers and sufferes meets in the fellowship area on the last Wednesday of each month, from 2-3.30pm. For more information, call Birgit on 01445 741783.
If you want more information or just want to reach out to make contact please feel free to contact theMinister Colin L MacLeod on 01445 712371 or 07881 986038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org