What Is Your Favourite Bible Verse?

 I asked various well known people to share with me their favourite Bible verse and any memories with which they associated their chosen verse.

And 120+ people in the ‘Public Eye’ have very kindly sent me their favourite Bible verse, which has led to the creation of this special book,

“What Is Your Favourite Bible Verse?”    
Contributors include:-   
Lord David Alton
Lord Jeffrey Archer
Baroness Joan Bakewell
17 Bishops
Gyles Brandreth
Alun Cairns, MP (Secretary of State for Wales)
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, MP
Chris Grayling MP
Lord Leslie Griffiths
Lord Michael Howard
Carwyn Jones (First Minister of the Welsh Assembly)
Lord Neil Kinnock
Adrian Masters (Political Editor for ITV Wales)
Lord David Owen
Rev Gareth Powell (Secretary of the Methodist Conference)
Lord David Steel
Hannah Thomas
Rev Steven Wild (President of the Methodist Conference (2015/16)
Rev Roger Walton (President of the Methodist Conference 2016/17             
Plus many other well known people.
Many of the memories and insights are amazing.
For further information and to order your copy of “What Is Your Favourite Bible Verse?” please go to:-
Profits from this unique book will go towards the much needed repairs of Clydach Methodist Church (near to Abergavenny).
With many peaceful blessings
Geoffrey
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What Is Your Favourite Bible Verse?

I asked various well known people to share with me their favourite Bible verse and any memories with which they associated their chosen verse.

And 120+ people in the ‘Public Eye’ have very kindly sent me their favourite Bible verse, which has led to the creation of this special book,

“What Is Your Favourite Bible Verse?”    
Contributors include:-   
Lord David Alton
Lord Jeffrey Archer
Baroness Joan Bakewell
17 Bishops
Gyles Brandreth
Alun Cairns, MP (Secretary of State for Wales)
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, MP
Chris Grayling MP
Lord Leslie Griffiths
Lord Michael Howard
Carwyn Jones (First Minister of the Welsh Assembly)
Lord Neil Kinnock
Adrian Masters (Political Editor for ITV Wales)
Lord David Owen
Rev Gareth Powell (Secretary of the Methodist Conference)
Lord David Steel
Hannah Thomas
Rev Steven Wild (President of the Methodist Conference (2015/16)
Rev Roger Walton (President of the Methodist Conference 2016/17             
Plus many other well known people.
Many of the memories and insights are amazing.
For further information and to order your copy of “What Is Your Favourite Bible Verse?”
please go to:-
Profits from this unique book will go towards the much needed repairs of Clydach Methodist Church (near to Abergavenny).
With many peaceful blessings
Geoffrey

The Marriage between Charles Wesley and Sally Gwynne

As an active member of the Wesley History Society I take a great interest in the works of both John and Charles Wesley.

I also am the Publicity Officer for the Methodist Philatelic Society and I have a large collection of Methodistic stamp covers going back to 1970 (the year when the Methodist Philatelic Society first came into being).
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The Rev Charles Wesley (1707-1788) and Miss Sarah (Sally) Gwynne (1726-1822) were married at Llanlleconfel Church, Breconshire, South Wales (in the UK) on 8th April 1749.

In August 1748, Charles became friends with Marmaduke Gwynne of Garth, Breconshire and he was especially attracted towards one of Marmaduke’s nine children, his daughter, Sarah.

His first introduction to Marmaduke, a wealthy magistrate and early Methodist patron had been on July 31st 1745, when he and his brother John Wesley accompanied Marmaduke to examine the Bristol Society. And during the following five days in Bristol the three of them, together with others, held the second Methodist Conference.

Charles’s friendship with Sally quickly ripened into romance, hampered only by his unsettled life and lack of a guaranteed income. The problem with having no regular income was overcome when his brother John guaranteed him an income of £100 per year from the publication of Charles’s hymns.

Sally and Charles were married by John Wesley in Llanllconfel Church on April 8th 1749. John Wesley, in his journal, tersely writes, “I married my brother and Sally Gwynne. It was a solemn day, such as became the dignity of a Christian marriage.”

Charles, in his journal, writes more fully about his marriage. How he was up at four and, with John and Sally, spent three and a half hours in prayer before going to the church at eight.

Charles writes, “Mr Gwynne gave Sally to me (under God). My brother joined our hands. It was a most solemn season of love! Never had I more of the Divine presence at the sacrament. John prayed over us in strong faith. We walked back to the house, and joined again in prayer.”

Though it did not put an end to his itinerant life, marriage proved to be a source of great strength and comfort to Charles. He poured out his ardent devotion to Sally in a series of poems, some of which were later adapted for more public use.

One such still in use is the hymn, “Thou God of Truth and Love”, with its lines, “Didst Thou not make us one That might one remain.”

Soon after their marriage, Charles and Sally made their home in Bristol for the next twenty-one years until they moved to London in 1771.

They had eight children, of whom five died in infancy. The three who did survive were all very gifted. Their daughter Sally had wit and some literary talent, while her brothers Charles and Samuel were among the most eminent musicians of their day. And Samuel’s son, Samuel Sebastian Wesley, became an even more gifted musician.

Marriage of Sally Gwynne to Charles Wesley (1)

Have a blessed Saturday

Geoffrey

My Walk With God – Rev Rick Ormrod

(Rick is a Methodist Minister of the Bramhope, Timble, Pool and Norwood Methodist Churches in the Wharfedale and Aireborough Methodist Circuit)

I’m one of those very fortunate people who was not only brought up as a Christian, but also brought up as a Methodist.

One if my earliest memories is of sitting with my mum in what then seemed to be the huge pews at Poulton Le Fylde Methodist Church and thinking what a nice man the Minister (not Presbyter in those days), Rev John Harris, was!

A second memory comes from around the time I was nine and the Minister, then Rev J. Gordon Sutcliffe, asked us all what we wanted to be when we grew up!  I decided I’d quite like to be a Minister because they only work one day a week, little knowing that was what I’d become!

My time in the Sunday School and Youth Group gave me a good grounding in the Bible, but I never really came to understand that Christianity was about a personal relationship with Jesus.

That changed aged 21 when I went with a church youth group to the Hollybush Christian Fellowship Youth Camp in the Yorkshire a Dales.  At the Saturday evening service the speaker was Roy Crowne and he spoke of the love of Jesus and of the personal relationship he wants us all to have with him.

When the altar call same I was one of the first to stand up!  John Wesley wrote that his heart was “strangely warmed”.  I felt more like my heart had been courteously dynamited with the love of Jesus and I gave my life to him!

Interestingly, prior to what I still think of as my “conversion experience”, I had already felt that God might be calling me to full time ordained ministry, but had pushed it to one side.  Interesting that God first called me before I gave my life to him.

After Hollybush I started to read Christian literature voraciously.  The books I was reading were largely from the evangelical end of the theological spectrum, books by God inspired men like David Watson, David Wilkerson and Michael Green.

Together with Bible study they helped to build the foundations of my Christian faith.

My marriage to Susan and the birth of our daughter Alice a few years later distracted me for a while from a growing conviction that God was calling me to become a Local Preacher in the Methodist Church.

I knew, in truth, that it was just the first step of a call to ordained ministry, and that was a step too far for me.  So, I busied myself with other church roles, becoming a Sunday School Teacher and Church Steward.

Eventually I came to realise that these were things I was doing to avoid God’s clear call on my life, and that if I really meant the words of the Covenant Prayer then I’d better stop denying God’s call on my life and, instead, embrace it.

I offered to go ‘on note’ as a Local Preacher and soon found myself ‘on trial’ and deep in the Faith & Worship course, which I loved because it opened me up to a much wider range of theological perspectives.

Very soon my Local Preacher Tutor was challenging me about a call to ordained ministry and after several confirmations from God I offered myself as a candidate for ore-ordination training and was accepted by the Methodist Church in 2010.

I was fortunate enough to experience two wonderful years theological training and formation at Wesley Study Centre in Durham where my theological knowledge and understanding expanded still further and where my walk with Jesus both deepened and broadened as it never had before.

I finished my two years with an absolute and complete conviction of the reality of Jesus Christ as fully human and fully divine and the understanding that no one branch of theology, whether it be conservative, evangelical, liberal or progressive, provides all the answers.

I have just come to the end of my period as a Probationer Presbyter in the Wharfedale & Aireborough Circuit.  It has been a period of my life that has been both challenging and exhilarating and that has confirmed for me that God has indeed called me to give the rest of my life as a Methodist Presbyter.

In my walk with Jesus I cannot imagine myself ever doing anything else.

On Sunday 29th June 2014 I was ordained at Coventry Central Hall as a Presbyter in God’s church.  The Holy Spirit came upon me in a very powerful way and, as a result, I’ll never be the same again.

Quite how I’ve changed I still need to discover!

Up until now my walk with Jesus has been largely, though not exclusively, about my journey to ordination.

I can’t wait to see where my walk with Jesus will take me now!

(Rev Rick Ormrod)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey