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Our Blog...

A collection of thoughts and reflections.
 

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"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for he who promised is faithful."

Hebrews 10:23

Life is full of surprises. Happy or sad, desired or unwelcome; we all encounter unexpected twists in our journey. Yet in the midst of uncertainty, our hope in Jesus is secure. This confidence is the starting point for the 'meandering meditations and musings' on these pages as we explore life, scripture, sermons, books, music, films and more. We'll also share announcements and church family news here too!
 

Latest post...

...Friends & Fools 

Friends&Fools 
One of the first proverbs I memorised was Proverbs 26:11. (My juvenile male imagination found the nauseating image humorous). 

The ‘fool’ makes frequent appearances throughout the book of proverbs. This shouldn’t surprise us as the writer’s goal is to promote Godly wisdom and to deter the reader from worldly folly. 

Mistakenly, we could derive a checklist from proverbs which we can use to sift through our friends to identify ‘true friends’ and ‘total fools’. It’s true that Proverbs would certainly encourage us to be wise about the company we keep, (Pr 22:24-25 c.f. 1 Cor 15:33).


"“Yet, in the end, the emphasis should fall not on how we should choose our friends, but on what kind of friend we should be to others”" *1

However, this quote from Lindsay Wilson’s commentary on Proverbs helps us to understand that the most wise and godly way to apply the wisdom of this book is to begin by focusing it on ourselves. 

Avoid Foolish Behaviour…

Construction sites all over the world have various ‘initiation’ rites for any new labourers or apprentices; often they’ll send them on a ‘fools errand’ - “Ask the boss for ‘a long wait’”, “Grab me the left handed screwdriver.”, “Buy some tartan paint.” Or “Find a new bubble for my level.” A duped labourer may return feeling foolish, but there is a vast difference between trusting your colleagues too much and being a fool.
 
‘A simple man believes anything’...
Proverbs 14:15

We are relentlessly bombarded with information; from our families, friends, jobs, magazines, papers, films, radios, TVs, computers, phones & watches. It has become impossible to process every piece of data we encounter but if we lack discernment we allow ourselves to become fools.

This is where we discover the connection between my last blog topic, ‘Speech & Words’, and this one. A wise person will weigh the information they receive before passing it on, but a fool will constantly speak out folly and then soak up even more (Pr 15:2;14). Another good reason not to share, repeat or retweet information if we haven’t ‘sense checked’ it first is…we’re not parrots!

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This is where a fool will compound their folly, because they won’t listen to other people and they certainly won’t ask them for advice (Pr 15:12). Whereas a wise individual will actively seek and openly celebrate wisdom from others.
 
By these standards so much of modern public discourse is remarkably foolish. Politicians repeat nonsensical answers, pundits give us baseless opinions, celebrities express their vacuous ideas and friends share ill-advised Facebook posts - let’s try not to add to it!

"Don’t argue with a fool – They’ll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!" *2

It’s sobering to read Proverbs 3:34, realising that the foolishness of the world doesn’t go by unnoticed. If we choose to mock God by our proud, rebellious lives, we will ourselves become objects of divine mockery; whilst the humble will receive God’s grace.
 
Be a Friend to Others…

Friendships have inspired acts of bravery & daring deeds, beautiful poetry, enchanting music and ‘moving’ lyrics…

"Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends Mm, get high with a little help from my friends
Oh, I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends" *3

If rock ’n’ roll, screaming girls and global fame are what you’re after, I guess John, Paul, George & Ringo did alright as a group of friends but ‘getting high with friends’ would certainly fall under ‘foolish behaviour’.

Life can often test the substance of our friendships to the point of destruction; but it’s in our deepest struggles that the strongest friendships become more like family to us.
 
‘A friend loves at all times, 
and a brother is born for adversity’...
Proverbs 17:17
 
As friendships deepen we earn the right to speak ‘hard things’ to each other (Pr 27:6). Eventually you’re so comfortable that you can give each other truth in it’s working clothes, without dressing it up with flowery language.

I have been through distressing experiences with friends, who have needed to say painful things to me. It is certainly true that the more they’ve comforted me in my tears, the more comfortable I am in letting them reduce me to tears.

" Sam looked at him and wept in his heart, but no tears came to his dry and stinging eyes....

'Come, Mr. Frodo!' he cried. 'I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well. So up you get!.... Sam will give you a ride. Just tell him where to go, and he'll go.'

As Frodo clung upon his back, arms loosely about his neck, legs clasped firmly under his arms, Sam staggered to his feet; and then to his amazement he felt the burden light." *4

In the movie adaptation of Lord of The Rings, this scene is so incredibly powerful as the ever faithful friend Sam picks Frodo up and says ‘I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you…’. It’s such a wonderful picture of ‘a friend who sticks closer than a brother’ (Pr 18:24)
 
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Our Trustworthy Friend…
 
Now, as each of us looks to be a ‘Proverbs 18:25 friend’, our example isn’t Samwise Gamgee - it’s Jesus!

At the very beginning of the book of Proverbs we are given the distilled essence of what makes a good friend;
 
‘Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, 
when it is in your power to act’...
Proverbs 3:27

In Romans, Paul makes it clear that God goes further than this;

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:6-8

It was entirely in His power to act, you & I certainly didn’t deserve it, but when we were still sinners Jesus died for us! 
Praise God - this is the gospel!!

 

Questions...
1.    What is ‘friendship’? How many ‘friends’ do you have?
2.    Have you ever shared a bonding experience with a friend?
        Did the experience make you laugh or cry? How about now?
3.    Would you be able to give your friend ‘hard truths’? Do you?
        Would you allow them to give you ‘hard truths’? Do they?
4.    What keeps you from developing deeper friendships?
5.    How does knowing Jesus liberate you to be a better friend?

Footnotes:
*1 – Lindsay Wilson – Proverbs Commentary, (IVP) 2017.
 - 
https://library.ivpbooks.com/id005675087
*2 – Mark Twain
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/539867-never-argue-with-an-idiot-they-will-drag-you-down
*3 -John Lennon and Paul McCartney, ‘Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band’ - The Beatles, 1967.
*4 - J.R.R Tolkien, Lord of The Rings - Book 6 - ‘The Return of the King’ - Chpt 3, Mount Doom.
 
 


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Glenys
Hello and welcome to our website.
If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

New to Church?...

A brief introduction to 3C Community Church.

Welcome Card Front

Sunday Worship...

This is an overview of a typical Sunday morning service so that you'll know, beforehand, what to expect when you visit.
 

Where and When

We meet in the Chapel (details here) for our Sunday Service starting at 10:30am. For your first visit, we recommend arriving 10-15 minutes early to ensure you get a parking space and find somewhere to sit before the service begins. When you arrive, you'll be greeted by someone on our Welcome Team.

Accessibility

There is wheelchair access via a paved ramp, and T-loop packs for anyone who needs them. Please let one of the Welcome Team know on your arrival and they will help you to get set up. There is an accessible toilet in the community hall.

Our Service

The service begins at 10:30am with a warm welcome from one of our members. This is usually followed by a time of sung worship, led by our band. We typically have 3 or 4 songs lasting approximately 20 minutes. Sometimes a person might pray out loud or read a small passage from the bible. Sometimes people share things that they believe God is saying to the whole church family. This might seem strange the first time you hear it but it’s all part of our connecting with God. We then share news and notices, usually about what’s going on in the life of the church. One of our leaders will then give a sermon that is bible based and that we can apply to our everyday life. We then finish with a final worship song. Sometimes there is an opportunity to receive prayer at the end of the service.

What about my kids?

We have a great programme lined up for kids of all ages:

  • Créche (0 months to 4 years). Parents/carers of younger children are welcome to use our créche facilities but they must remain with their child at all times.
  • Trailblazers (4-11 years)
  • Young people (11+ years) Stay in the service

It's best to register your children for their groups before the service begins - just speak to a member of our welcome team. Children stay with their parent or grown-up at the start of the service for the welcome, songs and notices. We really value worshipping God all together as a family. At the appropriate time someone will announce that our younger members will now go to their various groups. Whilst you are dropping your kids off at their groups, we may pause to take time to chat to someone sitting near or next to us, giving folk a chance to come back before the sermon begins.

The kids group activities vary depending on the age but usually there is a friendly welcome, bible stories, testimonies, praying, music, craft, drama, fun games and free play. Your children will be brought back to the chapel at the end of their session.

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Getting Connected...

Small Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week, some mornings and some evenings. Check out Small Groups and see if there’s one that you could join. We can put you in touch with a small group leader who will be more than happy to invite you along to their group.

Serving and Volunteering

If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make sure things run smoothly, you'll need to talk to one of the leaders about joining a team. 

Other Ministries

We also run the following ministries:

  • Men's Ministries
  • Women's Ministries
  • Nursing Home Services
  • Children's clubs
  • Crafting club
  • Warm Space
  • Foodbank
     

A Note from Phil, our Pastor...

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Phil, Becks, Alice & Martha

Becks, Alice and I joined 3C in 2018. Since then Martha has been born, there's been a global pandemic and we've finally moved into the neighbourhood. I work full time for the church whilst Becks works as a music teacher at a secondary school in Gloucester during the week. We know that God led us to 3C and this ministry. He's been shaping us as individuals, a couple and a family to serve Him here in Cam.

Becks uses her musical gifts to serve God and the congregation as part of the music ministry team. She is also heading up the Sunday morning kids ministry - 'Trailblazers'. I lead the church eldership team along with some of our ministry teams. Though I've recently enjoyed a major church building maintenance project, my deepest joy is found in sharing the Word of Life with God's people.

We hope that whoever you are, you will feel at home at our church.

Every Blessing,

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Get in touch

If you would like to come and visit the church beforehand you are more than welcome!
Get in touch using the form below and we can arrange a day & time that suits you.
 
Name:
Telephone:
Email Address:
Comments / Questions or anything you would like to say?

We'll contact you by email to say hello and help arrange anything necessary for your visit.