Our Minister Rev. Boyd will lead and conduct our Morning Worship Service this morning.
This morning we say farewell to our Minister Rev. Trevor Boyd and his family. Rev. Boyd has been our Minister for 8 years and we give thanks for his faithful ministry to the Congregation and throughout the District.
We would encourage you to share this morning's service with your family and friends
Raymond Adams will teach from Leviticus chapter 16 about the atonement, the scapegoat and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Raymond will explore how our sins were laid on Jesus, how He died and paid the price for us to be forgiven
This Easter Sunday in First Rathfriland we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rev Trevor Boyd asks the question, “Why Did Jesus Rise.” What impact does this have on our lives when we say that Jesus rose. We have become so used to saying that Jesus rose might we have overlooked some of the significance and the meaning?
Palm Sunday is traditionally when we start to turn our thoughts in earnest to the Easter Story. We start to prepare ourselves for the death and resurrection of Jesus which we celebrate especially on Easter Sunday and remember each Sunday we gather for worship.
The Rev Trevor Boyd conducts worship today and leads us in thinking about our work-life balance and time for God. Solomon moves on to his favorite subject of work. In particular, he leads us in a discussion to finding balance in our work in Ecclesiastes 4:4-6. Some of you may have read about work-life balance or may have been involved in discussions at work about how to achieve a work-life balance. When I worked with Pfizer this topic would come up from time to time. Pfizer too like Solomon and the pages of Scripture knew that if you could help employees achieve the right balance of work and life then you could achieve maximum output with happiness and contentment from the employee. How many achieved that I don’t know. But I do know that the balancing point was different for all of us.
Today First Rathfriland Presbyterian congregation will be led in worship by Rev Trevor Boyd who will read and study Ecclesiastes 4:1-8 Today Solomon is bringing us face to face with the issue of oppression. Solomon is saying that if we want to understand the world, we need to understand the problem of oppression. Not only is oppression something highlighted by Solomon, but it is also one of the big issues that the writers of Scripture address throughout the Bible. Solomon considered all the oppression under the sun. We might well ask, “How does this thing called oppression work?”
Mark Annett leads worship in First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church this morning as the Rev Trevor Boyd is on holiday. The reading is from Song of Songs chapter 3. Mark will teach about being sought, found, and brought.
Leaders are important in the life and in the health of any nation. Since our last encounter with Amos much has happened. He has moved from speaking to the nations around Israel to addressing the nation of Israel and now he is in the process of delivering the bad news from God to the influential leaders of the people. Leaders are influential in any walk of life. Leaders lead people, a business, or a country in the right direction or in the wrong direction. Who leads us is of great importance and how they lead will impact many now and even in the future. Decisions taken on borrowing by the chancellor will be there for the next generations to pay off. Brexit will impact how we trade and do business for many generations. The response to climate change will impact future generations.
Following on from the analysis of everything under the sun by Solomon where do we go? If wisdom can’t supply meaning; if pleasure can’t supply meaning; and work can't supply meaning; what then? He starts here in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 by saying, “To everything, there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven. What is different is that in chapter 1 verse 3, Solomon was looking under the sun. Today in Ecclesiastes 3:1 he says. “To everything, there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven.” Spot the difference. He brings us to think about time in the sense that there is a time or a season for things to happen. This message centres on God’s ultimate authority in heaven and on earth. Humans have mastered many things in this world, but some elements of our existence are beyond our control. We have not, we cannot and we will not conquer time. God is the one who appoints each moment and His plan is being worked out.
Today we following a man in the Bible called Amos. We’ll call our talk, “Delivering bad news.” When I worked for Pfizer we had the end of year reviews or appraisals. They were never something I looked forward to or enjoyed even though they were meant to be a rewarding experience. They were meant to encourage you where you were doing well and draw your attention to areas of work that needed to be addressed or improved on. It is easy to hear and even deliver nice messages. It is much more difficult to deliver the bad news and often in companies and in life we fall down when it comes to delivering bad news. Generally, we don’t do that well. We don’t want a row, we don’t want to cause offence, we don’t want people taking offence. Amos was a person who was equipped to deliver bad news. In his part-time job as a prophet, he delivered a criticism of Damascus, Gaza, Edom, Ammon and Moab.
Today we are turning to a man in the Bible called Amos who also has a book named after him. We’ll call our talk, “Part-time Workers.” We live at a time when more and more employees do not have full-time permanent employment. There is an increasing number of people who construct a week’s work by joining the hours from two or even three different jobs together. In the world of agriculture, farmers have been no stranger to this way of working either. For generations, many have worked their farm and worked part-time somewhere else or developed a business side-line such as engineering or building etc depending on their skills.
This week Solomon takes us on the journey of exploring pleasure only to reveal to us at the very start in verse one, “But that also proved to be meaningless.” Solomon declares that pleasure is vanity, meaningless and empty.
We move on from the general conclusion of Solomon in the opening verses of 1-11 that everything is meaningless or empty and goes around in circles to examine the subject of wisdom. Solomon wants to explore if wisdom will satisfy the inner longing of human beings. As an introduction Solomon to v12-v18 we are reminded that as author he is the Teacher/Preacher and that he was king over Israel in Jerusalem. He was saying to his audience give me some credit here as he says in verse 16, “Look I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me.” He has had the time and the money and the means to explore the subject of wisdom more than most people. In the Bible, teaching on wisdom goes hand in hand with Solomon. He asked God for wisdom in 2 Chronicles 1:10. Much of the Book of Proverbs with its wise sayings is attributed to Solomon. In Proverbs 9:10, the fear of the Lord is called the beginning of wisdom. In Proverbs 8:22–31, wisdom personified is described as being present with God before creation began and even taking part in creation itself. In the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon wants us to see the world as it truly is so that we might avoid the temptation to make creation or created things our ultimate treasure or indeed our god. Jesus took the same approach when He said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19-20). The wise person might well say, “How do we lay up treasure in heaven?” The answer from Scripture echoes back, ‘Fear God and keep His commandments’.
We live, we work, we die and that is the end of story. Where is the lasting satisfaction from our work? There is none. We just keep doing it. No Profit in our labour 3-4 No Purpose in our labour 5-7 No Progress 8-11 V4-7 give a list of circular events or cycles in life. The writer means that our work is of no lasting significance and of no benefit. We use the term rat race or on the treadmill. We have in our minds eye that there is no end to this, we just keep on going. What for? There is no lasting benefit from a lifetime of labour because labour does not satisfy the human being. Work, careers or business will never be able to supply or fill the inner cravings of humanity. You will never be able to achieve enough, own enough, buy enough to be satisfied. Work is like an addiction and work needs to be managed. Work by itself will prove to be like a mist or a vapour on a frosty morning. The only work that carries any eternal value is that which is done for the Lord. The work we do for the Lord on earth will be factored into our reward in heaven.
Today as we meet on the first Sunday of a new year we are going to embark on a leisurely but meaningful study of the book of Ecclesiastes. The month of January is regarded by many as the toughest month of the year. No doubt this year will be fuelled by Covid-19 pressures and the uncertainty of Brexit. Ecclesiastes makes us confront why there are people who have no foundation in life, why there are people filled with fear, and why everything appears to be empty and evaporates like a mist from the oil burner on a frosty morning. We shouldn’t be measuring things against the latest personal or national crisis we should be making our decisions in the full knowledge that death and eternity come irrespective of the causes, that is the cycle of life
The Old Testament Christmas Story We could think of Isaiah as a kind of ‘mini Bible.’ There are 66 books in the Bible and 66 chapters in Isaiah. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. If you took the whole book of Isaiah, you could divide it between chapters 39 and 40. Chapters 1-39 are dealing with Isaiah talking about exile, saying, “People need to repent and turn to God. We’ve strayed from God, He’s going to lead us back to him and it’s not going to be pretty, so let’s just go ourselves.” Chapters 40-66 is Isaiah setting out a vision of their place in exile and the place of God who turns up in their exile. V1-2 Words of Comfort Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
We will read from Daniel 4:24-27 Facing the facts of Dream No.2 There has been a lot going on in the life of Nebuchadnezzar’s. Nebuchadnezzar had been made into a god and a huge statue or idol erected for people to worship. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship the idol and were thrown into the fiery furnace and survived. Now Nebuchadnezzar has a second dream that torments the life out of him. Again he calls on Daniel to explain what the dream meant. The last time Daniel interpreted a dream for the king it wasn’t bad news for the king. Daniel was the only person who could give a true and accurate explanation. Daniel received his promotion. This time it is different. The explanation that Daniel has is bad news, it is humiliating for the king. How will the king respond to Daniel?
Respect for God’s Plan How many times have you heard people quote the verse from Jeremiah 29:11 “11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” People quote it and cling to it as they seek direction for the future relating to a job, retirement, a role in the church, going into full-time ministry, getting married, etc. Saul was anointed king in 10:1 “Has not the Lord anointed you leader over his inheritance?” There what did I tell you? Jeremiah 29:11 “11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Saul at the age of 30 was going to be the first king of Israel and his family was going to reign over Israel forever. Saul reigned for 42 years.
Daniel and his Promotion As we learned last week Daniel graduated from Nebuchadnezzar’s university and entered employment in the civil service. We are not told very much about his initial activities until we read about this major promotion to the cabinet-level of the government.
These verses at the end of Daniel chapter 1 are a summary of three years of hard study, human contribution, and the result of God’s blessing upon the four faithful young men, divine contribution. The young men were probably twenty years of age plus. Now they had knowledge, skill, intelligence, and a thorough understanding of the Chaldean way of life. They also had insight into its true meaning. Every business has a culture and a way of doing things and they want their employees to buy into that. Amazon's mission statement, “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.”
In the Lunchtime Talk this week the Rev Boyd will be examining how Daniel introduced a change. Evidence suggests that none of us like change and as individuals some cope with change better than others. When companies change things it has to be done in a measured way to get both employees and customers to adopt the changes. Today we are focussing on how Daniel persuaded the person in authority to change the system. Some of you might say depending on your experiences of change that Daniel was a glutton for punishment.
Achish has sent David and his soldiers back to their home in Ziklag. These 600 men had thrown in their lot with David and now they head back to Ziklag with their tails between their legs rejected by the Philistines and on the run from King Saul and unable to return to their homeland. When they trudged over the hill to Ziklag licking their wounds of embarrassment they see their adopted city still smoldering after the fires of destruction.
This Sunday morning the Rev Trevor Boyd will be teaching about, "Respect for our identity in Christ." Today as we return to First Samuel and our sermon series on ‘Respect’ we get to chapter 29 where we can learn from the life of David about, “Respect for our Identity in Christ. Identity can be defined as "the collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known." If we claim that our identity is found in Christ then we should display characteristics that are recognizable as belonging to Christ. In our congregation we have people who are confused about their identity or who by their actions are confusing others about their true identity.
In this Business Lunchtime Talk, we are starting a new series based on the life of Daniel. The Old Testament book of Daniel is where we will be going for the next few weeks as we explore the life and leadership qualities of a man called Daniel. You may have heard about Daniel and the den of lions or that Daniel prayed three times every day. These are all true but there is much more for us to explore in terms of business leadership.
In this Business Lunchtime Talk, we are starting a new series based on the life of Daniel. The Old Testament book of Daniel is where we will be going for the next few weeks as we explore the life and leadership qualities of a man called Daniel. You may have heard about Daniel and the den of lions or that Daniel prayed three times every day. These are all true but there is much more for us to explore in terms of business leadership. Let’s read from Daniel chapter 1 verses 3-7.
This Sunday morning we will be studying Psalm 97 as part of our Remembrance Sunday worship in First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church. We will also have an act of Remembrance as we remember those who gave their lives in two world wars and in conflicts around the world including the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland.
In our Business Lunchtime Talk today we read the end of the book of Esther and summarise some of the leadership traits of Esther and encourage you to take time and explore the book of Esther for yourself and see how together we can put the Bible back into business. If you have questions feel free to get in touch using the contact details at the end.
Hebrews 10:21-39 Our text for today is verse 23, Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. With regard to standing up for what we believe we live in delicate and interesting times. We are in a generation where we are encouraged not to rock the boat and hold fast the confession of our hope in Christ without causing too much embarrassment or opposition. How can anyone have absolute faith in God alone for salvation? How can we have a faith that we will not give up, a faith that we would die for?
The Rev Trevor Boyd will read Esther 4:13-17 and teach about 'Courageous Esther.' The stark reality is that we all face problems, handicaps of different kinds, and hardships inside and outside of work. But, they in themselves are not the crippling factor, rather it’s the person concerned that is key. Esther had disadvantages that we learned about last week or go back and listen to the Business Lunchtime Talk here on YouTube. All around us we can see people overcoming the odds and achieving goals that no one thought possible. These are often highlighted in sport and business in how people or a sports club or a business achieved something unexpected. You can search on Youtube under Top Ten Inspirational Videos for some examples. If these people had allowed their handicaps and hardships to get in the way they wouldn’t have evolved into the person they were to be or brought into being their inventions for the benefit of many people.
Today as we come back to the second part of this 28th chapter which with last week’s sermon give a fuller picture of what is going on regarding Saul and the woman at Endor. The story of the Medium or witch at Endor commanding the dead prophet Samuel to come up out of the ground is the only biblical account of someone being visited by a deceased person. King Saul, having cut himself off from any legitimate means of spiritual guidance as a result of his disobedience and rebellion, searched for a medium. This was not harmless fun. This was a dark tragedy from which we need to learn. The devil is the arch deceiver and in life we need to respect this fact. The devil has powers which are not to be laughed at or taken lightly as we too can be sucked in and deceived. As we approach Halloween it would be good to think about our actions and our conduct and whether it is in line with Bible teaching or whether we are being deceived by the devil.
The Rev Trevor Boyd will read Esther 4:13-17 and teach about 'Courageous Esther.' The stark reality is that we all face problems, handicaps of different kinds, and hardships inside and outside of work. But, they in themselves are not the crippling factor, rather it’s the person concerned that is key. Esther had disadvantages that we learned about last week or go back and listen to the Business Lunchtime Talk here on YouTube
We have the privilege of knowing the whole story of Esther as we read it from start to finish in a few moments and understand how Esther and Mordecai live happily ever after. However, it would have been much different for them as they lived through these events not knowing how things were going to pan out, wondering each step of the way had they made the right decisions, what lay in front of them, would life be long or short
In this Sunday morning worship service broadcast online via Youtube, the Rev Boyd will lead us in worship. As part of our worship, we will read and reflect upon 1 Samuel 28. At the start of lockdown, Saturdays and Sundays became very busy days for manse broadband and YouTube as churches scurried to get their Bible message uploaded for Sunday service. I heard of one minister who clicked on the upload button for his broadcast and his computer screen told him that it would take 36 hours to upload his recording. It was the slow broadband, not the length of the service. At times other congregations had to send out a message that there would be no online service due to technical problems. People became frustrated because they couldn’t hear the message from their minister and from God’s Word and when that happened many sought out, Bible messages from the Moderator’s service or other churches online. They had a desire to hear the message of God from the Bible
In this Business Lunchtime Talk, we are going to parachute into the lives of individuals and pick up on a few of their leadership examples or characteristics and see how they might apply to your business or situation. Today we are focusing on a young girl called Esther who takes centre stage in this Cinderella story that takes her from rags to riches. Esther is someone who could help to bring you encouragement in your work situation at the present time.
In our Harvest Sunday Morning Worship Service, the Rev Trevor Boyd will lead us to consider who is, "The Lord of the Harvest" by reflecting on Jeremiah 5:21-25. The lives and businesses of many people have been paused at home and abroad as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic but if you were to stop and chat to a farmer they would say, don’t be foolish, life on the farm is just going on as usual. We are sowing fertiliser, putting out the slurry, feeding the animals, harvesting the crops. Farming never stops, we can’t furlough the sows or tell the crops to stop growing
In this service of Sunday Morning Worship in First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church, the Rev Trevor Boyd will be teaching from 1 Samuel 27:1-12 on the topic of "Misplaced Respect." The chosen Bible Text for this Sunday Morning Worship Service which is also available online is 1 Samuel 27:7, "David lived in Philistine territory for a year and four months.
Today the Rev Trevor Boyd will guide us on a subject that will be relevant while humanity exists. It is relevant inside and outside of business, it affects both men and women. The subject is that of sexual purity. We are going to learn from Joseph about, sexual purity. Read Genesis 39:7-12
Our text today is verse 9. “But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” Have you ever had a bad leader? A politician? A boss? A football manager? A minister? What would you do about it? Would you respect them or rebel against them? David was in a pickle like this. David had a bad boss, he had a bad king so what should he do? Should he show respect or lead a rebellion? There were also these bad wee rips called the Ziphites and they were always agitating and egging Saul on to attack David
Today we are thinking about Joseph and “Planning.” Joseph implemented a successful plan to manage a national food crisis in Egypt. Genesis 41:53-57. Joseph Creates a Long-term Agricultural Policy and Infrastructure (Genesis 41:46-57) Joseph was learning and gaining from his experiences in life. There were opportunities to plan when he worked in Potiphar’s house when he managed the prisoners in jail and now Pharaoh appointed him at the age of thirty to deal with seven years of famine.
This week we are looking at Joseph and Trust. Historically a lot of business was done on trust. Your word was your bond. You would shake hands on the deal and each party was willing to trust each other. The word trust in the dictionary means. “reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person. In other words, you have confidence in that person. A person on whom one relies is a person that you trust. You may trust people with your money, with your private thoughts, your problems, or your love. When someone betrays that trust you feel very let down or angry.
This Sunday at 11.30am we are picking up again in 1 Samuel at chapter 24 to start a new series on "Respect." We would encourage you to pray for our online service and the message that reaches out through Social media.
Our worship tomorrow, Sunday 23rd August 2020 at 11.30am will be online and our guest speaker will be Mr. Stephen McIlroy from Release International. All too often we fail to see that the Church of Jesus Christ is spread across the whole of planet earth. Too often we fail to see that many Christians across our world are less well off than we are. Too often we fail to see that many Christians around the globe are persecuted for their faith.
We invite you to join us to learn more about the Bible and the Christian faith around the world. We in First Rathfriland are part of something much bigger than one congregation
In this Sunday morning service the Rev Trevor Boyd of First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church will help us to study the Bible in Genesis chapter 39. There we will learn about how God was with Joseph and that God blessed Joseph.