March 2015 - Stornoway Free Church

March 2015
He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning...
the LORD is his name (Amos 5:8 ESV)
Overcoming Temptation
For a Christian, temptation is a real issue which he takes very seriously. In fact when a person comes to faith he is likely to discover
weaknesses that he never knew existed: new temptations and pressures to encounter and new battles to fight, some with an intensity
that is quite overwhelming. And there are times when, in the heat of
such conflict and when failure happens too often, you may well conclude that you were never a Christian in the first place.
Let me say first of all that I know what that feels like. 45 years in the
Christian life have seen their fair share of disappointments and regrets. But failure is not the end. If it was then nobody would survive
the Christian life. We are continually coming afresh to Jesus confessing our sin, believing that his blood cleanses us from it.
But that doesn’t give us an excuse to go on sinning. There is a battle
to be fought in which there are alluring voices and influences which
can be overcome. Is there a key to overcoming temptation? My experience as a Christian tells me that there are several, none of which
are a guarantee but all of which provide for a healthy defence
against temptation.
The first is a regular prayer life. Prayer doesn’t always come easy. It
is hard work, involving discipline, time, determination and honesty
before God. A real prayer life is not a mechanical lifeless routine but
one in which we truly believe that we are conversing with God or as
Spurgeon said, “doing business with him”.
Second, we have to continuously remember who we are in Christ.
When a person comes to faith in Jesus, God unites him to Christ.
That means that we become like Siamese twins with Jesus. Now just
imagine he was your Siamese twin! Just think of the difference that
would make the next time you are tempted. Where you go, he goes.
When you open your mouth he is there, joined to you, listening to
your every word. When you make a move, he is present, watching
you. Just think of how your sin is going to offend and hurt the Jesus
who loved you and gave himself for you.
In a similar vein, we should always be conscious of the indwelling
Holy Spirit. In fact a Christian is actually indwelt by God as Trinity.
Just remember next time you’re tempted that if you give in, God is
right there. Just ask what he would think of your foolishness.
Third, we should always think of the aftermath of sin. In the garden
when the serpent spoke to Eve, the momentary prospect of the pleasure of the forbidden fruit obscured any sense of rational thinking. And
before she knew it, it was too late. The line had been crossed and she
was now faced with the enormous sense of guilt which ruined all her
hitherto perfect joy. When David was tempted he was overcome by
the passion of the moment, giving absolutely no thought to the consequences of what he was doing.
Fourth, temptation always begins in our minds. Or in the Bible’s language, in our hearts. This means that if our minds are trained to think
straight then we will be all the more prepared. Peter tells us to prepare our minds for action. (1 Peter 1:13)
Fifth, the Bible must take the central place in our hearts. We need to
know it, use it, live by it and feed on it daily, not in some mere mechanical sense, but as the living word of God. Psalm 119 asks: “How
can a young man keep his way pure?” Answer: “By guarding it according to your word.”
Sixth, avoid every occasion where you even might be tempted. Jesus
warned: If your hand or your eye causes you to sin, cut it off. Know
where and when you’re likely to fall and keep away.
Finally, we need to become occupied. Whoever said, “the devil finds
work for idle hands” was right. The best antidote to wrong thoughts
are right thoughts. The best solution to sinful actions are good actions. Live an active, busy life. Think of how you might be a help to
others. In a word: Fill your life with the right stuff!
I Martin.
Cover Photo: The Aurora Borealis in the night sky over Broadbay by Alasdair Macleod
TESTIMONY: Coleen Campbell
I was brought up in a Christian home in Poolewe on the
mainland. We went to church twice on a Sunday as a
family and my two brothers and I went to Sunday school.
The ministers and missionaries were good family friends
and were regularly in our home, having times of prayer
and worship. Our house, looking back, was filled with
Christian people. At communions we went to our relations in the next villages for most of the weekend and
they came to us when it was ours. We were brought up
very strictly, never being allowed outside at communions or when prayer meeting was going in or out. We
had worship morning and evening and I always knew
there was a God and he was watching me.
I was twelve years old when the first man was landing on the moon. It was the
summer and we had lots of family home for the holidays. Everyone came to our
house and was talking about the man that was to land on the moon and saying if
God wanted us there he would have put us there from the beginning of time.
They really did not think it would be successful because God would not be
happy about us taking it into our own hands. I began to think about it and then
began to worry. I now know that I came under my first experience of conviction
of sin. I could not sleep at nights worrying that the end of the world was coming. I remember lots of thunder and I would go into my parents’ bedroom crying, scared that the end of the world would come. They gave me books to read
as well as the Bible and suggested that I should pray. When I went outside I felt
that God was seeing me through a tunnel from heaven and was coming for me. I
was so scared I stopped going out with my friends and stayed home. One night I
had a dream and I dreamt that I was travelling in my father’s car with the rest of
my family. Above the hills I saw a ring of fire. Inside it had two logs crossed and
fire coming from the centre. We all realised it was the end of the world. I woke
up and told my parents about my dream. I was terrified and would stay in my
room to pray that the world would not end. I knew God wanted me to become a
Christian but it was too scary and I did not want it at that time. I wanted to be
left alone. I thought I would like to become a Christian later in my life when I
was old. As the day of the moon landing came I was sure that the world was going to end and I had no peace. As I grew up I always remembered the fear that I
had then. I could not speak to anyone. The only Christians I knew were older
and there were none of my age in the area.
I am ashamed to say that I did not give myself to God then or for many years
afterwards. I can look back now and see God influencing my life at different
stages. I lost a close friend very suddenly. She had a family and I could not un-
derstand why she had been taken and I, with no children, was left. There were
times when I would start following again and other times when I would not attend church at all. My mother would come over from the mainland to try to get
me to start attending church again. I always heard the closing statements of the
sermons about where was I spiritually if anything happened to me. I knew there
was a God and that I was one day going to be judged for the way I lived my life.
I would get close but was scared and thought my husband would not stay with
me if I became a Christian. I lived a life of going out at weekends drinking and
dancing. The last time mum came to try to get me back to church was when we
came to Kenneth Street. I started to realise I was hearing the whole service.
Then I started going around the communions with friends. One Sunday night
Iver preached on Revelation 7, "These in white robes--who are they, and where
did they come from?" I felt that night that people were watching me because I
got upset. I felt scared again and that was a turning point for me. I had gone
through IVF treatment but always miscarried. I often wondered what happens
to the babies who are living but die before they are born. Iver told me that night.
I had people who supported and encouraged me. The late Ken MacLeod phoned
me one night to ask me to go to the Caberfeidh meetings on a Tuesday night. He
asked me to just come and try it once and I did and continued going. I also went
to Rae Mackenzie’s fellowships. I am not sure if people realise the support and
encouragement they give in these situations when there are so many questions.
I began to get a hunger to hear more and would go to services and listen to sermons on CD. I was asked to go to the prayer meeting one Wednesday night but
said I can’t go as I am not following. But I was told that the first of the month
was in the hall and was more relaxed and I could go. I started to feel I wanted to
hear more and it would be good to attend something mid-week. When I decided
to go I got in touch with people but for the first two weeks there was no one to
go with. On the third time I just went on my own.
I felt I had been at this point before and turned away. I had a decision to make
and I decided I would not turn away this time. I went to the SU in the College
and the speaker said that she had been waiting for something to happen to her
to tell her she was a Christian but she then realised all she was asked to do was
believe in Jesus as her Saviour. I knew I had always believed so that was just
what I needed to hear.
My concern was that if I went forward I would not be able to continue but
would fall by the way. It has been about seven years now and I know that it’s
the Lord’s hand that has upheld and kept me. I lost my mother over two years
ago and I thank the Lord for the family I was put into and the upbringing we
had, with a mother who prayed for us. The last three weeks of my mother’s life
were an amazing blessed time of family coming together in the Lord.
‘So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man
do to me?”’ (Hebrews 13:6 ESV)
Aberdeen congregation seeks new youth worker
Bon Accord Free Church in Aberdeen is seeking to employ a full
or part time Youth and Community Worker. The position will involve directing
the work of the congregation among students and young adults and coordinating the outreach efforts of the congregation to the community with a
particular focus on internationals. More details are available at:
Christian teachers urged to relocate to Moray to help solve teaching crisis
Two Free Church figures are urging Christian teachers from across the UK to
consider relocating to Moray-shire in a bid to help solve the local authority’s
teaching crisis. Earlier this month Moray Council’s education director Laurence
Findlay warned that pupils may be sent home because of a lack of staff – there
are currently around 70 vacancies in the region’s 53 schools. Now Sheffield pastor Peter Turnbull, who is moving to Burghead in the summer with his family,
has teamed up with Elgin Free Church’s Rev Colin Morison by issuing a joint call
to UK Christian teachers to come to Moray-shire. The duo believe that Christian
teachers relocating from better-served parts of the UK will benefit local schools
as well as prospering Gospel work.
Eastern Europe for Christ (EEFC) summer camps opportunities
Have you ever thought of serving the Lord in a camp out in Eastern Europe?
Would you like to work with a great team of leaders teaching conversational
English and the gospel to teenagers? Got a week to spare in the summer? Contact Maryburgh minister Rev Alec Stewart on 01349 863 367 for further information or visit the EEFC website:
Cooks and female camps leaders needed for the summer!
The Free Church Youth Camps team would be delighted to hear from any potential female camp leaders who would be willing to serve at a camp as short-term
mission work. Prospective cooks are also urged to get in touch at
[email protected] or at
Congregations thanked by Board of Trustees for faithful giving
The Board of Trustees is thanking all congregations for their faithful giving to
the Lord’s work, after it was announced that congregational remittances increased by £130,000 for 2014 compared to the previous year. The Board commended smaller congregations who had given sacrificially to meet the ministry
levy. Now that church finances are on a far more stable platform, it is hoped that
a development fund could be set up to allow for investment in growth opportunities. Thanks to all congregations for this encouragement.
SY Connect Returns
The SYConnect men’s activity group has been inactive for some time now
and there have been several reasons for that. However, the committee met
again recently and they all agree that they would like to see the group up
and running again. A meeting has been arranged in the MA Hall on
Thursday 12th March at 8pm with a view to reforming the activity group.
This initial meeting is just to get together to have a short discussion on the
way forward and decide what activities/events you would like the group to
Previously, SYConnect was for men aged 25 years and over. There is now no
lower age limit and so all men in the congregation are invited to the group.
If you are interested in being involved, whether it’s on a regular or occasional basis, please come along to this meeting for a get-together and chat.
Perhaps you could drop Ian Murdo a quick text or email so the committee
will have an idea of numbers to expect that night. Also, if anyone cannot
make it to the meeting but would like to be involved in the group, let Ian
Murdo know and he will get back in touch with you.
Ian Murdo’s contact details are:
Mobile:07887722269. Email: [email protected]
The above photo was taken a couple of years ago during a SY Connect trip to
the bowling alley in Ness.
March Events & Notices
Sun 1st There will be a retiring collection after all services in aid of Day One (LDOS)
Mon 2nd Monthly Bilingual Prayer Meeting meets in the seminary at 7.30pm
Tues 3rd Youth Club meets from 7.30-9.30pm in the hall for S2-S6.
Mon 9th Deacon’s court will meet at 7pm in the session room. The Kirk Session
will meet at 8pm after the Deacons Court.
Mon 9th Hebridean Men's Cancer Support Group have their Annual General Meeting at the Retirement Centre, Bayhead at 7.30pm. Donna Parkes and Chrisann Maclean will speak on There is Life After Cancer. All Welcome
Sat 14th There will be a Soup and Pudding Lunch in the hall from 12-2pm in aid
of the Lewis Independent Christian School.
Sun 15th The Congregational Fellowship will meet in the hall after the evening service and all are welcome. We hope to interview a senior couple in the congregation.
Fri 20th The Senior Fellowship will meet from 2.30-4.00pm in the hall. The speaker
will be Dena Macleod from our own congregation.
Sun 22nd The Youth Fellowship will meet after the evening service. Venue and
speaker will be intimated nearer the time.
Sat 28th There will be a Soup and Pudding Lunch in the hall from 12-2pm in aid
of Dwelling Places.
Stornoway Free Church – Audio & Video Ministry
February 2015 Communion Services
English Communion Services
Cat. No
Rev NL Macdonald
Ephesians 2:13
CE 505
Rev NL Macdonald
Mark 14
CE 506
Dr R Sydserff
Romans 8:1-13
CE 507
Dr R Sydserff
Romans 8
CE 508
Dr R Sydserff
Romans 8:1
CE 509
Dr R Sydserff
Romans 8:31-39
CE 510
Rev Dr ID Campbell
Genesis 1:5
CE 511
Gaelic Communion Services
Rev M Macleod
Isaiah 62:1-3
CG 512
Rev Dr ID Campbell
John 4:34
CG 513
Rev Dr ID Campbell
Luke 24:26
CG 514
Rev Dr ID Campbell
Ezekiel 47:9
CG 515
Rev DA Macdonald
Romans 8:28-29
CG 516
CD’s & DVD’s are £2.00 each plus P+P where applicable. Order forms with remittances
clearly marked ‘Audio Ministry’ may be left at the Church and Seminary doors.
Enquiries to: Mrs Erica Macleod, Tel No: 705028 (Home)
12 Holm Road, Isle of Lewis
703860 (Church)
Greetings from Glasgow!
Rachel Thomson, pictured in the centre of the above photo, is a member in our
congregation who is working with Navigators in Glasgow for a year on their
‘Connect’ programme. Below is an update of her work. Please remember her in
prayer, along with other recent graduates who are members in the congregation.
May they be a blessing in their various fields of service.
Term two is in full swing here in Glasgow Navigators and our second lot of studies are already well under way. There is a continued sense of excitement and
real momentum within the small groups as we explore 1 Thessalonians together and examine Paul’s heart as a disciple-maker. As a ministry, our aim
with this term’s study is to challenge the students to think generationally – to
make disciples who make disciples – and to equip them to do so.
God has also continued to teach me an incredible amount over the last few
weeks. My usual frantic impatience has been replaced with an increased trust
in His perfect timing. I had the privilege of helping out at the Caledonian University CU Missions Week last week, and it was so encouraging to see the enthusiasm and commitment of this relatively small CU as they sought to make the
Lord’s name known amongst their fellow students on campus.
Please pray for those who came to the lunch time and evening talks, that something they heard might have provoked the search for God in their lives, and also
for the members of the CU as they seek to follow-up with those individuals who
have already expressed an interest in finding out more about Jesus. I’d also
really appreciate prayer for myself, that God would help me model sincerity and
vulnerability and growth to the girls I’m meeting up with, and not feel the pressure of society to appear perfect and as if I have it all figured out.
I am constantly thankful to God for all your thoughts and prayers.
Love and blessings,
Road to Recovery: Road to Recovery is a Christian outreach ministry aiming to support people with addiction problems. These meetings are very
warm, welcoming and relaxed and are open to all who may be suffering
from any addiction problems or for those who may have family members or
friends with addiction problems. All meetings and discussions are highly
confidential. Please remember this worthwhile work in your prayers. There
is a meeting every Monday in the Cearns Community Centre at 7.30pm; Back
Community Hut at 7.30pm and Carloway Community Centre 7.30-9.30pm.
Please tell someone you may think would benefit or feel free to take someone along. Please note Back and Carloway are every second week. For more
information please contact Davie Chisholm on 07770 492356
Lost Property: There are now Lost Property boxes at the front door of the
Church and Seminary containing items such as gloves, umbrellas, scarves
etc. If you have lost any such items recently, please check these boxes in the
first instance.
Key Record Update: Donnie the Church Officer would like to update the
key record for the church, seminary and hall. If you have a key for any of the
church buildings, can you please email Donnie at your earliest convenience
letting him know your name and the keys held:
[email protected]
Anne Marie Macphail
Kay Macleod
Betsy Macleod
8 Mar
Liz Macleod
Kate Macdonald
15 Mar
Dena Macleod
Anne Macleod
22nd Mar
Mairi Macleod
Marion Mackenzie
29th Mar
Chrisanne Mackenzie
Chrisell Macleod
5 Apr
Karen Mackay
Could the person in bold please bring milk and biscuits, set up before the service
and close the hatch before the service begins. Please lock up after everyone leaves
the hall and post the key in the locked letterbox on the outside wall to the left of the
hall door. If you are unable to do your turn please try and swap with the following week. Any difficulties covering the rota please contact Elizabeth Ferguson
1st Mar
8th March
15th March
22nd March
29th March
5th April
Annabel Maclean
Mairi Martin
Catriona Neally
Kathleen Walker
Liz Macleod
Christina Morrison
Alison Macdonald
Diane Macdonald
Annemarie Macphail
Marina MacLeod
Maighread Macphee
Diane Morrison
Dolly Mackay
Mary Morrison
Mairi Martin
Karen Mackay
Ishbel Macleod
Kate Macdonald
Moira Morrison
Mairianne Campbell
70 2618
70 2279
70 0830
70 4586
70 4038
70 0153
870 034
Anna Maclean
Sarah Macleod
70 4389
Laura Macleod
Anna MacLean
70 3274
70 6707
70 4594
70 2279
860 418
70 5745
Marion Morrison
Hannah Morrison
Emily MacNeil
Caitlyn Macleod
Abby Macdonald
Hannah Morrison
70 4738
Michelle Morrison keeps the creche rota up to date. If you would like to remove your
name from the rota, update your phone number or become a volunteer with crèche
then please contact Michelle on [email protected] Please swap with someone if you can’t do your slot. REMINDER: All crèche volunteers should arrive no later
than 10.45am on a Sunday morning to set up for crèche. Crèche equipment is in the
upstairs cupboard.
Eng AM
Gaelic AM
Eng PM
8 Mar
KI Macleod
Rev J Macdonald
KI Macleod
15 Mar
KI Macleod
I Martin
I Martin
22 Mar
KI Macleod
I Martin
I Martin
29 Mar
KI Macleod
I Martin
I Martin
5th Apr
KI Macleod
I Martin
I Martin
Laxdale:- C Finlayson
Culregrein:- I Mackenzie, JA Macleod
If these dates are not suitable, please swap with someone else
Stornoway Free Church of Scotland, Kenneth Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
Scottish Charity Number: SCO11447
Rev I Martin
Rev KI Macleod
46 Francis Street
Tel 70 2279
Mobile: 07810552916
email: [email protected]
14 Constable Rd
Tel 70 3681
Church Officer:
Mr D Macleod
[email protected]
Tel: 70 4680, 07864 034437
email: [email protected]
Youth and Admin Assistant:
Mairianne Campbell
Tel : 70 3860 (also Audio Ministry Contact No.)
email: [email protected]
Hall Caretaker:
Elizabeth McGowan, 07900 586930, [email protected]
English Service in the Church
Gaelic in Seminary
(Crèche in the hall during morning service)
Sunday Schools
Meeting Place
Church, Kenneth Street
Marybank Meeting Hall
Laxdale Primary School
(All Sunday Schools close during school holidays)
English Service in the Church
Prayer meetings (all at 7.30pm):
Monthly bilingual prayer meeting 1st Monday of month, in the Seminary
Wednesday English in the seminary (1st Wednesday of month in the hall)
Thursday Gaelic in the Seminary
Saturday English in the Seminary
All groups meet in the hall. All groups off for the summer.
C Club
Cross Trax
Kidz Zone
Youth Club (monthly)
Parent & Toddler Group
6:00pm - 7:00pm
7:00pm - 8:30pm
6:15pm - 7:30pm
7:30pm - 9.30pm
1:00 - 3:00pm
9.45 - 11.45am
4 years to P2
P6, P7, S1
P3, P4, P5
Please direct minibus & transport related enquiries to Roddy Martin—705501