April Blog 2024

April blog

After 23 years I still see myself as a ‘new’ Christian and probably always will. I’m asked what my favourite Bible verses are. I struggle as I can’t remember them with all their references but I do enjoy the daily discipline of reading some verses and some application of them. I was not raised in a practicing religious family. I’d hear the bells of St Mark’s every Sunday morning and liked the sound and I dabbled with it in various roles – such as choosing the prayers in our Scout troop – but it was only when we had kids and faced the idea of having them baptised that gave us the impetus to step into a church and slowly be included in a new ‘family’.


God’s messages and hints fascinate me. I attended YTHX (Youth X is how it is pronounced) and was taken aback by the enthusiasm which the youth displayed. One activity was quotes given out on little cards. ‘For we are God’s masterpiece’ really stood out (Ephesians 2:10, NLT). I took the card and found it gave me confidence that whatever I felt about myself, God had given me enough resources within myself to deal with the challenges and requests put before me, even down to empowering and trusting others to do things. I thought I’d carry this message alone then at our first hospitality Sunday we went to another house and a coffee was placed before me with the masterpiece quote written inside the lip of the cup!

I was also given another quote which now means a lot to me. I can’t often make our LIFE group these days with working late but we recently had a session on the Holy Spirit. The quote saying ‘your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 6:19 NRSV) stood out strong to me that the Spirit can be found within.

But if we are God’s masterpieces and the Holy Spirit’s temples, what is our role? What are we to do? What are we to look after?

For me, it is this:

The world and what we can do to improve it.

Forecasts and news can be depressing and make me feel powerless, but I’ve come to realise that although I can’t change the big things, the reality is actually that I can’t change them alone, but I can at least put my God-given talents, time and energy to try and inspire, encourage and influence people to do little things that all help, and hope that at some point the small changes will add up. I also like to take any opportunities to join others to stand up for what is right, to show what we believe in as Christians who treasure God’s Earth and help to usher in His new Kingdom here on Earth for everyone to share and enjoy.


To do this I’m learning to set myself Principles to follow, primary of which is sharing what I have already – supporting the church even in small ways using time, effort and money. I took a leap of faith by tithing from my own income years ago and found that the bounty that came back was way beyond my imaginings – within a year my income had unexpectedly and greatly rose more than I was giving. If all I can afford is time I would still try and take actions, to improve the local environment, encourage sharing our green spaces with natural species and wildlife, even spend a little time picking up litter or joining other groups organising such activities.


I hope to be able to say at the end of my life that I tried to help create a better world despite the forecasts and news. As I learn to surrender to my faith and call on the Spirit, I find myself thinking and acting with principles – prioritising my limited time, finding solutions to conflicts where both sides benefit, and helping charities, especially my mother church. I’ll do what I can and feel I should, and with St Mark’s Eco Church I believe in where we are trying to get to and I’d rather do it together.

Mike Jones