a church in carrick-on-shannon




Unbelittleability is one of those amazing words that do not appear on a googlesearch (until now?) and yet encompass something of basic….crucial importance.

It’s all about the way you think of yourself. When this quality develops you stop thinking about your inadequacies and you learn to define yourself by what God thinks of you.

It’s the process going in in Psalm 139, when the writer recognises that he is “fearfully and wonderfully made”. You see it in Acts 4:24-31 where the believers redefine themselves, not in terms of the opposition ranged against them (“Consider their threats”) but in terms of the Sovereign Lord who is the Creator, Revealer and Predestinator (“You made…you spoke…you decided”). You hear it when Joel Osteen invites the people to hold up their Bibles and to declare “This is my Bible. I am what it says I am…”.

So what does it say about you? The quotation that I’m going to use tomorrow in church comes from Leviticus 26:13. The version I have here renders it thus: “I have broken the bars of your yoke… I have enabled you to walk with head held high.” Head held high! Jesus has set you free from sin. He has broken that slavery. You’re a free man. Walk tall.

Remember those questions that Paul flashes out in Romans 8:31-39? If God be for us…who can be against us? If God gave his son, will he not give us everything we need? If God has chosen us, who can accuse us? If Christ declares us free, who can condemn us? It’s as if he’s defying anyone to answer.

And it makes you unbelittleable. Who can put you down when God has raised you up? You are going to heaven, man. You’re going to judge angels. “I have enabled you to walk with head held high.” So be who you really are.

Why do we sing?

Right there in the centre of the Old Testament stands the book of Psalms. It stands as a monument to a great truth: that at the centre of the people of Israel was its praise. Not –as you might think- its law or covenants, nor even its checkered history, but its huge sense of obligation and love due to a living God, expressed in the words of its songs.

And I believe that at the centre of any living church is its PRAISE. That’s why we sing. We sing in gratitude, in wonder, in sheer affection and in vital response to the God who formed us and who keeps us.

It’s interesting to note that it is WE who sing. I don’t sing just as an individual who loves God, but as part of a massive family, an international collective who join together (in earth and in heaven) to bring praise. That “we” is very significant. We belong together.

Ps 136 brings this alive. It’s a summons to praise. It reminds us first of who God is (“He is good!”) and what he does (“He alone does great wonders”) and how he does it (“by his wisdom”). Then the singer plunges into the connection between Creator and Created. He does not stand afar off, but is intrinsically involved with the story of his people Israel. He is the heartbeat of everything that is alive!

That’s why we sing. We remember what God has done, but we also remember that we are part of his doings! God is alive, and still moving in history –in our history. He who “brought Israel through the midst” ((v13) still brings his people through the midst of their troubles.

So “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good…HIS LOVE NEVER QUITS.”

This post is from our friends in http://oasisroscrea.wordpress.com 

And even in the midst of sorrow and trouble, we remember the Lord who holds us safe, whose love never gives out on us.

So join us Tuesday night at TANG SPRING, DRUMSHANBO. The music will not be “Christian” as such but it is a gospel outreach nonetheless and if you guys are there, then it will praise and glorify the living God. If you have friends who wouldn’t be seen dead inside a church… they’re the ones we want to see!

Big smile, why the long face?/ Happening


Well, we’re meeting together at Cluain Oir on Saturday night. Someone told me that Cluain Oir is Irish for “fields of gold“. Now you know. We are having an open house and enjoying some stories from Manipur from Pauline and Heather. Check out the post “Praying for Manipur” on http://riversideministries.wordpress.com and see the YouTube clip above.

On Sunday there are traditional type meetings at Boyle at 10am and Drumshanbo 11.30am, but the main meeting will be back at the Family Life Centre here in Carrick at 4pm. Pastor Noel is speaking on Worship and there will be a time of ministry. Again, later on, we’re taking a group up to Collooney where Pastor Ken is hosting Pauline’s talk on “The Lord who heals”.

Next Tuesday night is the big Drumshanbo event. Come around 7pm for the CHINESE TRAD GOSPEL NIGHT at Tang Spring. 15 euro tickets for all you can eat with live entertainment has got to be the best deal in town.  The band will be playing a  mixture of country blues, skiffle washboard and trad folk music. You mean you haven’t seen Lily playing the spoons?

Call in on kvbaker255@hotmail.com for further details.

“He drew me out of deep waters”


“He reached down and took hold of me…he drew me out of deep waters.” Psalm 18:16

For these last four days we have been meeting together as a family of believers to seek the Lord for healing in body, soul and spirit. It was great to meet and eat together on Saturday night and to meet in different ways through Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Listen, God has a word for us. Read the rest of this entry »

Praying for Manipur/ Rivers of healing


We are very pleased to welcome PAULINE OLNEY and HEATHER RICKMAN from Riverside Ministries (Check out their website http://riversidemission.wordpress.com ). This photo shows a group of Manipuri ladies. Manipur is a particular burden on the hearts of Riverside Ministries, and where a lot of their work goes on. Read the rest of this entry »

Water from all directions


Last Sunday afternoon in Lough Key was absolutely wonderful.

bapo607mary.jpgWe gathered right by the waters edge where Tony and Pam had set up the marquee. By the time I arrived the hard work had been done (accident or design?) and huge platefuls of food were already on the tables…

I guess folks kept arriving pretty much right through the afternoon. Donncha set up an overspill awning and that soon filled up too.

The kids did a sweetie hunt through the woods…Noel sorted out the races (which Steve and Donncha won by a leg, but I suspected furtive practising. No one is that good at three-legged races).

Particular highlights: the cajun band on the back of the truck. Did you ever believe that accordions, guitars, bodhran tambourine, trumpet and tuba could sound so sweet? (Hmm).


Someone wandered by and asked “Is this a music recital?” At that precise point someone (I think it was Reuben?)blew a particularly coarse raspberry on the tuba. So I answered “Yes, classical music).


In fact, many passers-by  just wandered in and out, when Steve was preaching on Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (“Here is water: what is to stop me being baptised?”) and stayed a while, listening. Someone asked Lily: “Is this a private party?” and she answered “Yes! Come on in!”

And then the main highlight was when Anne and Mary stepped down into the water. Steve and Ken led them through  their confessions of faith. The crowd grouping around them at the water’s edge. There is something so exciting about these simple symbols of our faith. I love the expressions of the children’s faces. It was a powerful testimony.


Read the rest of this entry »

Ready for the picnic?



It always blesses me: the thought of the risen Jesus preparing breakfast on the beach for his weary, traumatised disciples… or the sheer consideration he showed for the hungry crowds that resulted in the miraculous meals in the Gospel stories.

So, this Sunday, bring your pack-up (sun-screen and raincoat, like Steve says) and let’s meet together at Lough Key Forest Park waterfront for the baptism at 3.30pm. Expect a miracle!

 Check out the “thoughts on baptism” page if you’re still considering taking the plunge (and you missed last Tuesday’s study night at Trudy’s.

The riversmeeting overflows…

This Sunday (17th June) we are glad to welcome Dr Ken Baker. He is doing a presentation on Hebrews 4:15 “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses but we have one who has been tempted in every way -yet without sin.” It’s an amazing scripture that takes us deep into the person and work of Jesus, into how he understands completely all that we go through, and yet is free of the taint of sin. Come early to get a chair!…for 4pm to the Family Life Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon.

We will run a children’s church and creche as usual, and the service will be followed by refreshments and fellowship. Maybe not quite on the grand scale that we enjoyed last week (See the “God loves food” post and the comments following)… but we’ll do our best!

Then we are splitting into two groups. Some are going with Pastor Noel up to Collooney Methodist Church with the Collooney Ladies Gospel Choir.  Noel is preaching on “God is love” and you’re welcome to go along (7pm-8.30pm). Dr Ken is taking a group to St George’s C of I, to participate in the Ecumenical Pentecost Service. We’re a little late, But I’m sure God doesn’t mind! Come and join in if you’re able. We’re planning on twenty different nations proclaiming the glory of God in their own tongues.

Next week, please note that there will be no service at the FLC. Instead, we are meeting at Lough Key Forest Park at 3.30pm at the waterfront. We will have a large-scale picnic (so long as you remember to bring your food along!) and a service of baptism: we hope to baptise Mary and Anne in the lovely waters of Lough Key. There is no evening service on that day, so we hope to have a large crowd enjoying the blissful sunshine into the evening.

There are play facilities for small children and a range of activities for older ones, plus restaurant and all facilties if you want to make a longer day of it. Phone in if you need transport or further details.  God bless you!

God loves food

Well, that’s probably a tad inaccurate, but he certainly loves the genuine friendship and fellowship that often happens when we eat together.

Food-fellowship is where strangers stop being strange. Especially when you help with the dishes afterwards.

In fact, even to say that God is Trinity is an immediate declaration that God is himself fellowship (and we are invited to join in?).

And when Jesus wasn’t preaching or teaching he’d be at a party. It might be at a tax collector’s or at a Pharisee’s home . The guests might include power men in the community or the riffraff. What seemed to bother the stuffy, “religious” types wasn’t that Jesus went to parties, but that he seemed to enjoy himself too much. That’s probably why they called him a “glutton and winebibber”. So maybe it’s more accurate to say “God loves people…especially when they’re being natural”?

So I hope you can join us this weekend. We have the Edge Pizza Praise thingie at Sligo on Saturday night 7.30mpm and on Sunday down in South Leitrim, at Drumshanbo 11.30am for the traditional type service and from 1.30pm for the food, 4pm for the worship and “a touch of power“!

We are also planning to take over the Chinese restaurant on Tuesday night, but more of that when you get here Sunday.

Something big is coming! June 9/10


For some strange quirky reason, this picture is entitled “the wrath of God”. Anyone got a good explanation for that??

Anyway, here’s the rivers-june-3.doc magazine for your edification and delight.

And just a note to remind us that the special weekend is coming up June 9th/ 10th. A large group from CFC Belfast is coming over to bless and encourage us.

On Saturday night tHE eDGE is on at Sligo with Pizza and Pezazz, 7.30pm. It’s a youth event so act childish. See Pastor Ken for transport details. If you’re going in your own transport, the map is here:  http://www.sligomethodist.org/sligo.php

On Sunday morning the group is down at Roscrea (Pastor Noel’s Elim group in North Tipperary) at http://oasisroscrea.wordpress.com and at 1.30pm on Sunday afternoon we are having a Big Do at Drumshanbo Methodist Church. See the map here. http://www.sligomethodist.org/drumshanbo.php

We will need bigger facilties than we can manage in Carrick. Bring some food (and cushions?) and we’ll have a fellowship meal after the worship time. Kids are especially welcome. There will be a  creche and a childrens church runnning in the halls at back of the sanctuary. Email for info.