This week's theme

Balancing work and life: 2 Work

Today's reading

Ecclesiastes 3:914

Today's prayer

God of creation, give me a heart to find you wherever your business for my life takes me and to welcome all who come and share in it with me. Amen

From Fresh From the Word 2018

For further thought

Take time to meditate on what kind of work brings enjoyment and happiness to you and to your community. What might it tell you about Gods provision for you?

What are the ways your church uses online media? What ministries of your church must be done with touch and physical presence?

What would be the equivalent of the three-legged pot or mate in your own culture?

Discuss the reality of violence against women in your country and think of ways to support those who help survivors.

Where do you desire rest and refreshment in your life at the moment? How can you take steps to practise it?

Find out more about the working conditions in the garment industry around the world, especially in developing world.

What harvest traditions do you have in your culture? How are harvest festivals celebrated in your church?

In what ways have you known Gods winning love in your life?

How can you choose life today (Deuteronomy 30:1520)?

What kind of person was Jacob in the Genesis story? What kind of model for faith is he?

What relationships that went sour have you started again? What about your relationship with God?

What is some of the fallow ground around you that you must break up?

What other gods tempt you from dedication to the God of life?

How can Christians be the active ingredient, like the yeast in bread, in their local communities?

Look up the words of the hymn Will Your Anchor Hold by Priscilla Jane Owens (18291907).

What in Hosea would be helpful to victims of war or violence today? What do you think would be unhelpful?

How do you encourage those people you know who are in Christian leadership?

How can you live out the phrase love wins today?

How can you support friends in challenging family situations?

Take some time to think about people whom you struggle to be around. Lift each of their names to God in prayer and ask for help in specific areas of your relationship with them.

Is there anything that your church might be doing that unintentionally discourages some in your local community from being part of the congregation?

Consider how to set apart a time during Sunday worship, or even a service itself, for all those who are carers, to give thanks for what they do and to commission them publicly.

Is there a saint commemorated by the church, or an individual who had a significant impact upon a community known to you? Where would you be without that person?

Pray about your role within your community. What particular role could you take on that helps to shepherd it?

Where are there areas of difference or disunity in your local community? What would it take to bring about unity?

How do you feel towards God about how things have changed in your life? How are Gods creativity and blessings revealed today?

Have I lost contact with someone who would like to hear from me? Why? Could I find a way to be reunited with them?

What have you or your community experienced that makes you lament? How can your lament be heard more widely?

What makes life worth living for people whose circumstances cause them to be isolated, ignored or even abandoned?

Does our thinking or speaking ever silence others? How can we hear more about peoples hardship without hardening our hearts?

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International Community

'For many of our readers IBRA notes have become a habit. There are using them for years. The notes cover the Old and New Testaments in a balanced way. The little stories and simple method of exposition are attractive.'

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This week's writer

Erice Fairbrother is a Solitary of the Order of the Holy Cross Associates in New Zealand. Called to this work by her community, she is their Chaplain and leads the OHC Spirituality Centre in Napier. Her work includes teaching, leading courses in formation

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Celebrating 135 years!

Join us in celebrating 135 years of the work of IBRA!
To mark this auspicious occasion we have a special celebration edition available.

Read about our rich history and the origins of our founder Charles Waters, bank manager and Sunday School teacher – not a scholar, preacher, or public speaker – who had a gift for organisation and a vision for making the Bible accessible to all.

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