Faithful One – a song of encouragement

by Colin Dexter

Loved even with wounds

by Colin Dexter

As Alpha began, I felt the need to reflect on my life with God. Growing up I had always believed in something, I was so sure about a God existing although I had no idea how to have a relationship with him. I did things that I thought would earn me his love and rewards; very rarely feeling anything. Christian festivals or youth group weekends away turned into opportunities to spot the hot boys. I normally hooked up with a few and then felt guilty about it afterwards.

My whole relationship with God and the Church had been a confusing mess. It all stemmed back to abuse that I faced in church when I was 13 years old. Abuse that left me so broken and scared. I was constantly angry with the Church, angry with God and resenting everyone around me who tried to interfere.

At the time when I was 13, I didn’t realise I was so angry. Instead I wanted to find my own coping mechanisms; to find a way to switch off all those things I was feeling. The hurt, the pain, the dysfunction of everyday life. Rather than talk about it, I found my own way. This magical coping mechanism with new my best friend, Anorexia. She did so much for me, controlling my every move but it didn’t matter because she made me feel amazing. Anorexia was everything I needed to get me through day to day and I loved it. Throughout my illness I carried on going to church but was unable to really engage with anything there. I would use it as a chance to skip meals, and be out more.

It was all going swimmingly, or so I thought. All up until aged 17 and with a failing heart and yellowing skin I was admitted to a mental health hospital. I didn’t get it. Why was everyone trying to take away this one thing in my life that made me feel so good? The one thing that I felt was my solution to everything?

People would visit and pray for me. All the while, I was praying for the pain to just go but felt nothing from God. He never had given me what I needed. It seemed to me that he had watched me fall and crumble. That he had watched me suffer at the hands of an abuser. This so-called God; how could he possibly claim to love everyone? That was where faith had stopped for me.

Facing my brokenness

Eleven years ago I walked out of a church and vowed never to go back. I tried church three times at university but once again felt judged, and like no one understood.

Little did I know that eleven years later I would be stood in the entrance to Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB), sweating on a hot summer’s Sunday evening. I looked through the door, debating what to do. Eventually I crept in, hiding in the back row of church so no one would talk to me; so I could keep myself separate.

Then Alpha began. I had no idea what to expect, so my guard was up. I spent the first few weeks resorting back to my old teenage self (that version of me where I so often used to get stuck, trapped in my 13-year-old self that was formed by the abuse).

I knew something was stopping me making a commitment to God but I couldn’t work out what. Perhaps the idea of giving up control? Trust? The guilt I felt? The fact that I couldn’t let go of my past? I felt God had punished me over the summer, and over parts my life because of what had happened to me as a child.

Hope Virgo (extract) “Stand Tall little Girl”

Facing up o Anorexia

A CALL TO PRAYER

by Colin Dexter
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THINK DIGITAL PROJECT AGE CYMRU

by Colin Dexter

AGE CYMRU www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru/gwent/our-services/digital-inclusion/

Think Digital project is a FREE service which covers the whole of Gwent: Newport, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent.

Our service is open to anybody aged 50+ who resides within these boroughs.

The Digital project works with people via the telephone to help them accomplish any digital outcome they would like to achieve. some of the areas they can help with are;

· Basic digital skills

· Getting online and using the internet

· Setting up email and social media accounts

· Learning how to connect digitally with family and friends by email or video call

· Set up online shopping accounts and help them understand how to use it

· Getting set up with online banking.

· How to pay their rent online and linking in with local services

· Being safe and secure online and preventing fraud

· Exploring hobbies and interests e.g., music, art, craft, nostalgic videos

They are willing to a that discussion regarding digital help that a person needs. If you know of anyone who would benefit from the service, please contact:

Chloe Robinson: 07783 710481 or Nia Thomas: 07747 027623 digital@agecymrugwent.org

PRAYER SHIELD UK

by Colin Dexter

Caerphilly Libraries Online Resources

by Colin Dexter

Caerphilly library Service is online only at the moment, but customers can borrow books and audiobooks via Borrowbox, and RB Digital services (e-books, e-audio, e-magazines, and e-graphic novels), and with the ongoing pandemic, the number of books available has been greatly increased. You can download the app through your device’s app store (for example. Google Play, or Apple Store. An overview of our digital content can be found at https://www.caerphilly.gov.uk/Services/Libraries/Libraries-online

All of the services mentioned are available to customers through library authorities throughout Wales. All people have to do is join their local library service whichever one it might be.

Our principle online resources are

· Borrowbox (e-Audiobooks/eBooks) which is a service where you can download 10 e-Books and 10 e-Audiobooks for free on your personal devices for 21 days. Listen to e-Audiobooks and read eBooks on your portable device, tablet, or phone using the Borrowbox App. There is an App for Apple devices and Android devices e.g. Samsung, Huddle. This service can also be used on the browser at – https://fe.bolindadigital.com/wldcs_bol_fo/b2i

· RBdigital (Magazines/Comics) – We use a provider called RBdigital for e-Magazines and e-Comics. An e-Magazine is an electronic version of a magazine. You can read them online or download and keep them for as long as you want. Free – http://www.rbdigital.com/wales?

We also offer the following services:

· Theory Test Pro – A highly realistic online simulation of the UK’s driving theory tests for all vehicle categories. It contains all the official test questions licensed from the DSA, the people who set the tests – http://caerphillylibs.theorytestpro.co.uk/library/efc96f

· Who Else Writes Like? is a readers’ guide to fiction authors – http://www.whoelsewriteslike.com/account/regex_login/

· The National Library of Wales offers a wide range of subscribed resources to Caerphilly Library Service customers – https://psr.llgc.org.uk/psr/psr/register/en/personal/CL

· Family History – Searches and support can be provided via e-mail at libbarg@caerphilly.gov.uk , and access to Ancestry can be found by logging into our library catalogue with your Smarcard number and PIN, and following the Ancestry link on the right hand side of the page:

https://wales.ent.sirsidynix.net.uk/client/en_GB/caer_en

The Welsh Libraries site is where you can find out what’s happening in libraries in Wales and lots more – https:

PLANT MYSTERY

by Colin Dexter

Flowering plants appeared on Earth relatively recently on a geological timescale, then swiftly diversified in an explosion of colour, shape and form.

“In the fossil record they appear very suddenly in the Cretaceous, , and they appear in considerable diversity,” (in keeping with what its says in Genesis 1 )

Darwin was deeply bothered by how flowering plants conquered the world seemingly in the blink of an eye, This problem preyed his mind in his final months.”

So we ask an evolutionary biologist. IS THE MYSTERY SOLVED?

In short, no. “One hundred and forty years later, the mystery’s still unsolved,”

Prayer in hard times

by Colin Dexter

Praying can often feel difficult when we’re experiencing exhaustion, anger or despair. Many of us will have only seen an increase in these emotions over this last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, on top of life’s other challenges.No matter what was going on in the world, Jesus would slip away and pray (Luke 5:16). Even when he was scared (Mark 14:32), Jesus prioritised time with the Father. It sustained him. And we can get the same peace, strength, purpose and joy from following his example and keeping a rhythm of prayer, even when times are difficult.

Tear Fund

Encouragement in hard times

by Colin Dexter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR13fdplHD5teoh1t9jQcYVYWHRoTBHLeoTvalFSxx1PrNmCbMWEgT0mjLs&v=bymFjtocwRY&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=TrinityChippenham

GREETINGS FROM CAP

by Colin Dexter

https://www.facebook.com/CAPuk/videos/842033773286512