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Good morning sisters and brothers,

On Thursday I was able visit with one of my daughters and two of my grandchildren.

I had not seen them since before Christmas, and so to get together was really special.

I was interested to hear from them of how this time of lockdown has been, and there were various stories and much laughter at times.

But, as I listened it was clear that there had been days when life proved to be more difficult.

What was important tough was the sense of family being on hand to support and encourage, where that has been face to face, or from a distance.

That knowledge that we are not on our own during these testing times has been so very important for many people, and I know that I have benefited from the prayers and kindness of the family who are part of the Fellowship at Braehead House.

We all know that family life has its ups and downs, whether it’s our personal family or the church family, there are times when it’s not all plain sailing, and storms can blow up unexpectedly.

It’s during these stormy days that the support of others can help us to navigate our way through.

In recent weeks I know that a number of folks in our church family have been buffeted by sudden storms.

Unexpected illness, bereavement, family disputes, sons or daughters finding themselves in difficult straits, loss of employment, and all this on top of the daily stresses of lockdown.

As your friend, but also more importantly as your pastor I want you to know that I will be here for you to offer support, and to bring to your minds, words from the Saviour.

We read in Scripture, Mark 4:37-39

“ Suddenly a strong wind blew up, and the waves began to spill over into the boat, so that it was about to fill with water.

Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow.

The disciples woke him up and said, “Teacher, don't you care that we are about to die?”

Jesus stood up and commanded the wind, “Be quiet!” and he said to the waves, “Be still!” The wind died down, and there was a great calm."

The wind has risen.

The waves are high.

Water is pouring over the sides of the boat.

The boat is being driven along at great speed..........nothing can stop it. Rocks loom up ahead, disaster seems inevitable.

"Lord, you know what is happening in my life at present, it seems like its just one thing after another..................sometimes I wonder if you are sleeping............are you?"

"And yet, I know you understand, Jesus, for you felt you had been abandoned one afternoon, when the sky became dark, and all seemed lost.

"It looked like the end of the world to those who stood at the foot of the cross and saw you die............."

"Praise God it wasn’t the end, but the promise of a new brighter future for those storm battered followers, and a promise of renewed hope for all of us today."

"So, Lord Jesus, I ask that you give me strength to carry on, to trust that you are with me and will guide me through the storms to calmer waters."

God bless you today.

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