• Jacquey Newton

Rejoice in Hope

Week beginning 17th March 2020

Hello everyone Roger and I have just got back from a glorious walk following a similar route to the one I took two weeks ago and described to you all. The variation was that we continued along the paths onto Lee Abbey land and back home along the road towards Home. Walking over the top of South Cleave we saw a different set of flowers. Firstly Marsh Lousewort was flowering in the field where sheep normally graze, it’s a very low growing dark green leaved plant with pink-ish flowers that look rather like canine teeth coming out of the top of the foliage. Then we came across Mouse-ear Hawkweed – it’s in the same family as the orange headed Fox & Cubs which we have in the church garden. And then we saw Tormentil which is a creeping, prostrate plant with four yellow petals and sepals. That flower of just four petals in the shape of a cross got me thinking about the Cross and our use or otherwise of parables. We know that Jesus spoke in parables – stories with hidden meaning to those with enquiring minds. Jesus used parables about growing crops and the whole cycle of cultivation and used it as a metaphor for our spiritual lives. We don’t generally use parables which we devise, but I think that it is a great spiritual discipline to see what is being said to us by the Lord through things around and about us. When we lived in France, one of the daily rhythms we undertook was the 12 O’clock bell – it rang and we were to stop work and seek what the Lord was saying to us. On many occasions I had profound encounters and insights given to me. More of that on other occasions. So we were walking along today and I was asking the Lord to show me what is on his mind. There were so many things based on what I was seeing around me. The metaphor of the bracken now outstripping the Wild Garlic which has gone to seed – to watch out for the easily enslaving, thuggish things not of the Lord in my life – to allow the fruits of the Spirit to flow through me, which of course needs tending and sowing before reaping. The metaphor of the crossroads – which path will I take? Do all roads lead towards Jesus? Or shall I take the road that is less travelled towards a deeper relationship with Jesus? The metaphor of the stone steps – where will they lead? Am I following the right path? Following the less travelled way towards deeper relationship? The metaphor of the ferns unfurling as they grow through the chopped down trees – do I praise the Lord daily in joyful abandon like them? Then the Tormentil plant. The flower as I previously mentioned is a small yellow flower with only ever four petals in the shape of a cross. The flower shape makes me think about the Cross that Jesus died upon – and what Jesus death on that cross has achieved for each of us. Talking about the Cross I listened to a wonderful series of podcast (sound clips) by James Bryan Smith. I would like to recommend the Things Above podcast. It is a podcast for “mind discipleship.” It is for those who want to set their minds on “things above” (Col. 3:2). Each week James Bryan Smith will offer a glorious thought—something good and beautiful and true, something excellent and praiseworthy—to fill your mind with heavenly truths. The podcasts are available here: Or alternatively if you have a smart phone, download the PodBean app, search for Things above and listen to the podcasts there. Start at the bottom of the list with Episode 00, Episode 01 and particularly Episode “The finality of the Cross”  In this episode, James Bryan Smith discusses how false narratives of sin and salvation damage our spiritual lives and how to change those narratives through the lens of the cross.   I have listened to them this week and they are very profound. Please take the time to listen to this last one. I would also encourage you to listen regularly to these podcasts which will draw us towards a deeper relationship with Jesus. Resources: This week’s playlist on YouTube is here The May issue of REFORM, the United Reformed Church Magazine is available online currently free here News: On Friday 15th May I represented our Church family at the funeral of Gladys Doreen Beedell. She was a Methodist in the village and then moved to our church when the Methodist church closed down back in 1999. She was one of the founding members of the Lynton Bowls club along with Brenda Farley of Combe Martin. Gladys had been living in a Nursing Home in South Molton and died on 5th May 2020 aged 99. Rev Tony Coates presided at her funeral service at the North Devon Crematorium and Rev Sue MacBeth (a former minister here in Lynton from 1997 to 2005) and I said prayers. Rev Tony Coates and his wife Anthea as well as Rev Sue MacBeth all send their greetings to you. When Lockdown has ended and it is safe to do so there will be a Service of Thanksgiving for Gladys’s life in our church with refreshments afterwards. Church Fence The Church fence portion adjacent to Lyn Toy Museum and in front of the hall has been replaced as it was rotten and fallen apart. The Dyers have down a good job on the carpentry job. We are purchasing External Black Gloss paint ready to sand and paint the remaining sections which require a lot of work.  Next time you are passing have a look at what an excellent job has been completed. This coming week let the idea of parables around us - spiritual stories and truths that are evident - be shown to you. Let me know what insight you are given.  Do keep in touch with us and each other Blessings Jacquey

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Living Waters Lynton United Reformed Church
Lee Road, Lynton, Devon EX35 6BS