We welcomed back Keith and Laurel Barnes after an absence of nearly four years.

Laurel read from Psalm 103 v 1-18 and Keith entitled the first part of his message “Our faithful Redeemer”. Keith drew on memories of being a teenager in the 1950s and how Jesus found him and made him His own. One of Keith’s favourite passages of scripture is Psalm 139 and his powerful testimony of how God changed him completely and how he grew in natural devotion, drawing closer to God and having his strength renewed like the eagles was so inspiring.  God longs for a deep relationship with us.  He pursues us and is ready to receive us and restore us if we mess up.

We then sang, ‘God forgave my sin’ and ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds’ which reminds us in the last verse that when we see God as He is, we’ll praise Him as we ought! Food for thought indeed!

Keith then told us a remarkable true story within his family unit. The other Grandad to his own grandchildren is a direct relation to a man called Charlie, a Welsh coalminer who was miraculously saved in the Welsh Revival of 1904. Charlie a man who lived his life under the influence of alcohol, sometimes neglecting to provide for his family, was passing by a Baptist Church when he paused to hear the Gospel being preached. He fell on his knees overcome by the state of his own wretchedness. On going home, he told his wife he wouldn’t drink anymore alcohol and he didn’t.  His life was transformed. He eventually became a Deacon at his local church and lived a life of devotion and service. The impact on his family was amazing and all of them would eventually dedicate their lives to God – all ten children!  And not only that, this example of faith and devotion has come down the generations so that even today so many within the family have a powerful faith in God. Isn’t it amazing what God can do?

We were reminded to never give up hope. Let’s continue to pray for our children and grandchildren and all those who have rebelled and fallen away from the truth.

Keith concluded his talk with the hymn, ‘In heavenly love abiding.’ My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free; my Saviour has my treasure, and He will walk with me.

If you would like to join us and are free on a Thursday afternoon at 2pm, pop along to the Parish Room of the Holy Cross for an hour of fellowship.