Sandyknowes Blog

Living beside the busiest roundabout in Northern Ireland gives plenty of opportunity for watching the world go by. Sandyknowes Blog is the personal blog of Niall Lockhart (minister of Ballyhenry). Pull in and have a read…

I’m not an X Factor devotee but I caught the start of the ‘Live Shows’ earlier this evening. If you were watching you will have heard Paul Akister singing Ella Henderson’s Ghost. The song (first released in 2014) includes the lyric: ‘I keep going to the river to pray / Cos I need something that can wash out the pain.’ I’m not sure the story behind those lyrics, but for me there a real echo of a story found in the Bible book of the Acts of the Apostles.

Recently in church we mentioned The Jesus Storybook Bible, and commended this as an excellent Bible for children of primary school age. This Bible is particularly good at helping us see how the Old Testament points to Jesus. On Sunday we quoted the following extract:

At the centre of the story, there is a baby, the Child upon everything would depend. From Noah to Moses to King David, every story whispers His name. Jesus is like the missing piece in a puzzle – the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together.

On Sunday morning (11am) we come to the second part of our series on the Sermon on the Mount. This week our topic is 'Beyond the Law' when we will be looking at Matthew 5 vs 17-26. One of the big questions that lies at the heart of this passage is 'How can I enter into a right relationship with God?' That question (of particular interest to those who aren't yet Christians) is balanced by a discussion within this passage on what it means to live the Christian life.

This Sunday morning (11am) we begin a new morning series on The Sermon on the Mount. This week Niall will be opening the series by looking at Matthew 5 vs 1-16 under the title 'The Good Life'.  If you have time read through the passage in advance of coming along to church seeing how in particular Jesus paints a picture of what it really means to be 'blessed' by God in the ordinary everyday things of life.

Home Based Fellowship Groups meet regularly on alternate Wednesday evenings throughout this term.  Fellowship Groups have become a central, and appreciated, part of our life together in Ballyhenry over the last few years. Meeting in six homes around Newtownabbey groups give individuals the opportunity to meet together, to enjoy a cup of tea, to chat, to read the Bible and to pray together (though no one has to say or do anything!)

This term we are working our way through the book of Ephesians under the overall title 'Building a Community where Jesus is at home.'