Greetings CMA NSW/ACT members,
I trust that this communication finds you all well, and keeping busy in your service for our Lord Jesus Christ.
This president’s chat, may be a little bit different to others I have written / may write in the future, but I feel is very worthwhile, important and a great encouragement to all of us. As you may, or may not know, our CMA brother, Richard (Kimbo) Kimball, is currently serving time at Cessnock Correctional Centre. The circumstances for the position he is in, are not important, but I, and other CMA members, have been keeping in contact with him, to offer encouragement and support.
Kimbo, is faithfully serving our Lord, through his witness to fellow inmates, and by his bible study and recording of his thoughts and observations. Below, is one of the devotionals that he has prepared, and he has asked me to share this with you, the CMA membership.
PSALM 23 – QUIET WATERS
This Psalm reminds me of a conversation I recently had with the prison Chaplain. Talking with him, I explained that although I have been a Christian for over 20 years, I was going through a very dry and flat period, in my Christian walk. I said to him, that in my early years of following Christ, I frequently rode on the “mountaintop” experiences, but I was currently down in the valley of despair. I just didn’t have the same passion to serve Christ anymore.
It was not that I had lost my faith, not at all, but I was just feeling emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. The passion was low. This may have been due to my current situation and environment, and other events that were going on in my life. It was all weighing me down. The situation of being incarcerated, can certainly take the smile from one’s face.
The Chaplain listened patiently, then suggested that perhaps a saying that his wife uses, could help me to understand why I was perhaps, feeling this way. Her saying was – “even in the deepest valleys, there are cool streams and shady trees, where God allows us to rest – He makes me to lie down in green pastures”. When King David wrote Psalm 23, he described the Lord as a shepherd. He wrote from his own experiences, in his early years, from when he was a shepherd of sheep. Sheep are completely dependent on the shepherd, for all of their needs and direction.
The New Testament, calls Jesus the “Great Shepherd” (Hebrews 13:20) and the “Chief Shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4). As our Lord is the Good Shepherd, so we, are his sheep. We are not passive, frightened animals, but obedient followers, who are wise enough to follow the one who leads us in the right paths and the right ways. Our Shepherd, knows the green pastures and the quiet waters that will restore us. We will reach these places only, by following him obediently.
In verse 4, we read – “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will feel no evil, for you are with me, your rod and staff, they comfort me”. Because we are helpless in the presence of death, we can struggle with other enemies – pain, suffering, disease, injury, shame and guilt. Our own strength and courage cannot overcome these things, especially death, as it always has the final word. Only Christ can walk with us through death’s dark valley, and bring us safely to the other side. Christ, the God of life, our Shepherd.
Life is such an uncertainty, so as his sheep, we need to rely on our Shepherd who offers us rest and comfort, as he restores us. Jesus said:-
“Come to me, all you who are weak and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. (Matthew 11:28-30). Having said all this, we need to bear in mind, that if the Holy Spirit is leading us, it will not always be beside “still waters”. (verse 12).
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, for a long and difficult time of testing, and we may be led into difficult times, as we continue to serve him. When facing trials and hard times, first make sure that you haven’t brought these situations onto yourself, through sin and unwise choices. If this is the case, repent of your sin and pray to Christ for forgiveness, and that his Spirit will lead you and assist you through the situation. By remaining faithful and trusting in Jesus, we should be wise enough to listen and to take the opportunity to be led beside “still waters” – to rest and to restore our soul.
Kimbo – March 2022
Thanks to Kimbo for providing us with a timely reminder, that in these days we are living in, we need to concentrate on the quiet times that our Lord and Saviour provides to us.
In other CMA matters, the committee, have decided that our main ministry focus for 2022, is to financially support 3 x Christian community organisations, these being:-
- Sherwood Cliffs Rehabilitation Centre
- Salvation Army in Morrisett and Wagga
Donations have been provided to all three, and a CMA representation, will be at the various church planned organised events.
CMA NSW/ACT has been active during these unsettled times, and below is a bit of a summary of what we have achieved for this year so far, and what events are coming up:-
- We have completed the AGM / fellowship weekend for 2022
- The Papa Smurf memorial run was held at Walcha / Gostwyk, in the New England area
- Our CMA witness stand was held at Dubbo bike rally
- Various rides and local events have been organised by area co-ordinators
Planned upcoming events for 2022 still to come:-
- August – fellowship weekend at Coffs Harbour to visit Sherwood Cliffs rehab centre and Sandy Beach Baptist Church
- August – fellowship church raid at Wagga Salvation Army
- September – CMA stand to be held at the Wauchope Motofest and fellowship weekend
- October – CMA stand to be held at Breakfast Torque community event (30th)
- October – CMA National Run (14th – 16th) to be held in Wellington South Australia (see CMA South Australia website)
Details of the upcoming events can be found on the CMA NSW/ACT facebook page, or you can contact myself for details.
Blessings to you all, as you continue to serve our Lord, within CMA NSW/ACT, and in the areas that Christ has called you to. I look forward to catching up with you at an event some time.
Graeme Bingham – CMA NSW/ACT President