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Good morning friends,

I remember my last Christmas assembly with the children and staff at Sunnyside Primary School, Alloa.

I was feeling quite emotional because I had had a long and happy association with the school, and was leaving the very next week to come down to be the assistant chaplain here at Braehehad House.

However, when I visited with the head teacher the week before the assembly, she asked me if I would refrain from praying with the children, as there would be parents there who would not approve. I knew the head was sorry to have to ask for she was a lovely Christian lady. I said well.........ok........but it didn’t feel right.

The day of the assembly arrived and I led it up to the point where some presentations were being made to some pupils. We then sang the last song, and before I knew what I was doing, I said a short prayer and then lifted my hands as I always had in the past to bless the children.

As I began I saw a couple at the back of the hall stand up and walk out. I said my goodbyes and went into the playground where the couple were waiting for me. “Just as well you’re leavin hen, or I wooda reported ye, we were telt there wid be nae prayin”

I have to say I felt an overwhelming urge to slip into the Lauren Cooper character and say “Am I bovered?” But thank the Lord I didn’t, and instead said “Bless you” and walked away.

There will always be those who don’t want to hear the gospel message, and who will try to prevent it from being shared.

Yesterday we reflected on the account of the lame man who was healed by the powerful name of Jesus at the Beautiful Gate. The restored man was so excited that he ran though the temple courts praising God.

Those who were present were amazed and Peter began to preached the gospel message to them. Some heard and believed, but there were others whose hearts were closed and disturbed by the message, namely the priests, Temple guard and the Sadducees. Peter and John found themselves in jail overnight, and the next morning they were commanded not to speak or teach again in the name of Jesus.

After some more threats they were released and returned to their own people.

They shared what had happened, and immediately began to pray.

“And now, Lord, take notice of the threats they have made, and allow us, your servants, to speak your message with all boldness. Reach out your hand to heal, and grant that wonders and miracles may be performed through the name of your holy Servant Jesus.”

When they finished praying, the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim God's message with boldness.”

You can read the whole account in Acts 3- 4

The early church would face many difficulties as they moved out with the Good News, and so it is today for there will always be those who oppose the gospel. But, we can look to those early men and women of the church and see that whenever difficulties arose, prayer was the first response.

So, my friends be of good heart today whatever comes your way. And don’t miss the opportunity to give testimony where you can to the powerful saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.” Matthew 5:10 The Message

God bless you.

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