The Rock is back!

…and we’re back!

“The Rock 4 Kids” is starting back in September.

The Rock is a fun filled club that helps primary school children to learn about Jesus from the Bible and includes games, crafts, singing and more!

The Rock - Teaching

This year we’re moving from a once a month format to a twice a month format.

We’re also excited to announce that The Rock will now be in two groups – one for juniors (Junior Infants up 2nd class) and a second group just for the older ones (3rd class to 6th). We’re sure that the kids will enjoy the more age specific focus and activities that we will now be able to run.

For all the dates, times and details check out “The Rock 4 Kids”.


Today we wake to the news that Britain has voted to leave Europe. While no one is certain what this will mean we can say without doubt that it will bring huge changes not just in Ireland but in all Europe. Will other country’s follow suit? Will we see a physical border dividing our country? Will our economy stand strong? However, while there will be many changes at another level nothing has changed.

One Lord

As I woke this morning to the sun rise it reminds me that this world and our universe are in the hands of our Mighty creator God.

‘Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breath of his hand marked off the heavens? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding? Surly the nations are like a drop in the bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales;…He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.’ Isaiah 40v13-15, 23-24

The fact is nations come and go, rulers come and go but the Lord Remains in sovereign control. Britain does not rule, Europe does not rule and Ireland does not rule – The Lord rules over all the kingdoms of this world and he will do as he pleases. God is not surprised or stumped by any Brexit, so do not fear or worry. God is King.

Two Kingdoms

While commentators talk at length about what this will mean for Europe and whether it will provoke others to leave and seek independence the fact remains their remains only two Kingdoms. There is the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the world, The Kingdom of light and The Kingdom of darkness. What counts is not “Are we Irish, British or European” but are we in God’s Kingdom?

‘For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.’ Colossians 1v13

Each one of us are born outside of God’s kingdom, we have rebelled against God’s good and loving rule and chose to ‘exit’ and live independently from him. To stay outside of God is to stand in opposition to his King, the Lord Jesus Christ. That is a problem because God will not let us rebel against him forever. He will return as Judge and we will be separated from his Kingdom for all eternity. However God through his Son Jesus has come to rescue us. Jesus has come to die in our place so we might be forgiven and share in his eternal Kingdom forever. What counts is that our identity is in Christ and our citizenship is in heaven.

Three Responses

We will have to wait and see what this will mean for Ireland and the rest of Europe. But as we wait we are not powerless. We can pray.
Three things to pray for:

Pray for the leaders of our country north and south and those across Europe. It is a delicate and fragile time so wise and careful decisions will need to be made. Pray that they will act in the interests of all people for peace and prosperity.
Pray for the people of Europe that they will not trust in Political or Economical institutions which are all doomed to fail and fall but that they will trust in the one true King, The Lord Jesus Christ. May God use this ‘shake up’ to turn people to him.
Pray for the church that her priority and focus will be to work together in unity for the building up of his Kingdom. May the Church rise to be a light of hope, with a clear message of truth and with courage to speak and be his ambassadors here on earth.

Slaughter of the Innocent – Terror in France

The recent events in Paris were both brutal and barbaric. Watching the scenes of bullet riddled windows, covered bodies and wounded people; Listening to the stories of survivors and victims, grieving over friends who never came home. It truly was a Slaughter of the Innocent. An evil and henious act that demands justice.

The heart breaking cries of Mothers and Fathers weeping over their children reminds me of another mindless act of terror.It’s captured well in the painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525-1569), with the title ‘Massacre of the Innocent’. The scene seeks to capture the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. Seeing the birth of Jesus as a threat to his kingship, King Herod ‘gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and it’s vicinity who were two years old and under’ (Matthews Gospel 2 verse 16). One could only imagine the absolute fear and terror as Mothers stood by helpless, watching their innocent little boy slaughterd by the sword. Matthews account captures their pain with a quote from the prophet Jeremiah: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.’ The pain in Paris is the same ‘because those they love are no more’.

As Mothers weep in Paris so Mothers wept in Bethlehem. But the true story of Bethlem is not just similar it gives us hope as we face a world gripped by fear and terror.                            The brutal and savage attack by Herod was not against the innocent children – it was an attack on Jesus, God’s chosen King of the world. The killing of the children was an effort to rid the world of the true King he should submit to. I see the events in Paris in a similar light. Yes it is an attack on Liberty, Equality and the Brotherhood, but this act of terror is ultimately an attack against the King of the world – Jesus Christ. The King who rules, the bringer of justice and peace. The acts of these terrorists reveal a much deeper issue – it reveals a heart that will not submit to the rule and authority of King Jesus. This is ultimately God’s world not ours and so first and foremost these events are an attempt to usurp God’s Son Jesus Christ.

However a closer look at the story in Bethlem offers us two things we all long for in the midst of such suffering and slaughter; Comfort and Restoration.

Comfort. The ‘weeping’ and the ‘mourning’ comes in the context of God’s great comfort for his people. Yes there has been great pain but God promises that will all be replaced by joy and comfort: ‘I will lead them beside streams of water…I will watch over them like a shepherd…I will turn their mourning into gladness, I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.’ (Jeremiah 31). Jeremiah the prophet points to a Shepherd King who is not immune to our suffering and comes to us in our pain. This comfort is experienced as we turn, in our heartache, to Jesus and trust him as Lord and King. Jesus may have escaped the slaughter of Herod as his family fled to Egypt (Matthew 2 verse 13) but He did not escape his death at the hands of eveil men when he died on a cross. He understands and he alone can bring comfort.

Restoration. Following Herods slaughter of the innocent we read that an angel said to Joseph: ‘Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who are trying to take the child’s life are dead. So he got up, took the child and his mother and went…’ (Matthew 2 verse 20-21). Herod the evil King dies and the true King returns! That pictures for us the restoration we all long for. One of the questions I keep hearing people ask is ‘when will it all end?’. Well just as Herod came to an end so one day all evil will come to an end when the King returns. Jesus did die but he rose again three days later to prove who he was and all that he had come to do. One day the risen King will return and restore this broken world, establish peace and correct every injustice. The true King has seen and he will restore.

The slaughter of the innocent in Paris fills us all with pain and anger not least those who are closest to it. But as we get close to Christmas look back to the slaughter in Bethlehem and see a King who comforts and restores. In Jesus we find hope for today and hope for the future. He will bring it all to an end.



The Greatest Story, The Greatest Person

The Bible contains many books but they must not be read as separate stories, rather ‘each book is like a chapter of one great true story which is united in it’s theme and purpose’. That great theme and purpose is a person – Jesus Christ. One author put it like this: ‘The Bible is not a series of disconnected stories, it is a single narrative in which every story, every character and every act points beyond itself to one who is greater.’ The story of the Bible, therefore, is all about God’s Son Jesus Christ, through whom he has come to redeem our broken lives and restore this disordered world.

In the New Year we will be staring a new series God’s Big Story. Together we will take a trip through the entire bible starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation. We will read true stories of people who met God, listen to great events orchastrated by God and through them all we will see how they point us to Jesus. Of course reading the bible and connecting all these themes can be hard, especially when reading through the Old Testament so to help you we are encouraging you to get your hands on some great Bibles & Books that help you to connect the stories together. Why not make it a Christmas gift for your spouce, a member of your family or a friend! Happy Reading.


Adults:  New NIV Study Bible. The NIVSB centres on biblical theology—the “ways in which many important themes work their way through Scripture and come to a focus in Jesus Christ.” With this focus on God’s unfolding revelation in the storyline of Scripture, the NIVSB unpacks his redemptive work in Christ book by book. Check it out here:

Early Teens: Action Bible Study Bible (Age 7-13) Check it out here:

Children: Big Picture Story Bible (Age 6-9). The Bible is a big book about a big God who keeps a big promise! It is the real account of God’s love for the world. The Big Picture Story Bible presents this remarkable true story. Simple words and striking illustrations unfold the storyline of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation. All ages will enjoy this exciting discovery of a God who keeps his big promise.

Jesus Story Book Bible (Age 5-11). The Jesus Storybook Bible tells that Story beneath all the stories in the Bible. From Noah to Moses to the great King David, every story points to a Child. The one upon whom everything would depend…There are lots of stories in the Bible. But all the stories are telling one big story. The story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them. And at the center of that story is a baby. And every single story in the Bible whispers his name.

Smallies: The Beginners Bible for Toddlers (Age 2-4)


Adults: The God who is there by DA Carson. Most people do not have a basic working knowledge of the Bible. This book unpacks the whole biblical storyline through the lens of God’s character and actions, to help you know what we should believe and why we should believe it.

God’s Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts. A big picture overview showing you how the different parts of the Bible fit together.

Teens: Big Truths for Young Hearts by Bruce Ware. Check it out here:

Children: The Ology by Marty Machowski. Two young children discover a hidden treasure—a carefully wrapped ancient book full of deep truths about God presented in simple language using everyday examples. The children are captivated by the book and by the life-changing truths they find inside about God, their world, and themselves. Families with children of all ages will also love this multilayered resource that systematically teaches the great truths of the Bible to six-year-olds through preteens. Check it out here:

Smallies: Everything a Child Should Know About God by Kenneth N Taylor. Help your child discover the wonders of biblical truths in simple terms our child can understand. Dr. Kenneth Taylor explains in child–friendly language the essential Bible truths you want your child to know. He tells children about God’s creation of the world, why Jesus came to earth, how the Holy Spirit helps us, and so much more! Give the child you love the greatest gift of all – a deeper understanding of God. Check it out here:

Service Moved – Sun 27th September

There will be no Sunday Morning service in Carrigaline this Sunday 27th September.

Instead we will be joining with our sister churches from around Cork for our Annual gathering: Sunday 27th, 11am, Bandon Grammar School (map).
Directions: travel through/around Bandon on the N71 for Clonakilty.
The entrance to the grammar school is on the left hand side just after the Top Garage and before Westside Baptist Church. Please encourage people to allow enough time to travel, park and make their way to the SPORTS COMPLEX before 11am. There will be refreshments afterwards.

Refugee Crisis & God’s Grace

‘And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6v8

The tragic and heart breaking scenes captured by the picture above are hard for us to comprehend from the security and comfort of our own homes. As we watch the hundreds of families trying to board a train in Hungary, as we listen to the reports of yet another boat that has capsized we need to pinch ourselves that this is not a film – this is unfolding before our very eyes just a few hundred miles away!

The loss of little three year old Aylan Kurdi is a shocking reminder to us all of what countless more families and children will face if things don’t change. At a political level there is still a long way to go but what can we do?, what should we be doing?

Speak up

First we should speak up for the most poor and vulnerable because God is concerned for the poor and vulnerable. ‘For the Lord your God…shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow and loves the Alien (refugee), giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens (refugees). Deuteronomy 10v17-19

God is not immune to the heartache of these peopel broken by acts of injustice, greed and war and so we should also share the same concern and speak up for their needs.

Act Justly

Second we should act justly. ‘Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?’ Isaiah 58v6-7. This desire is portrayed by the teaching of Jesus: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ Luke 10v27. Those we see on our television screens are our own flesh and blood. They are our neighbours.

To act justly is to give what people are in need of, and in this case it is obvious what people need: Homes, Food, Security, Peace. We should do all we can to give and make their lives better.

Welcome In

Third we should provide a rich welcome to those who are without homes in need of homes. ‘There should be no poor among you…if there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you do not be hard hearted or tight fisted towards your poor brother or sister.’ Deuteronomy 15v4,7. Gods desire was that their should be ‘no poor’ and to ensure that happened various laws were given to his people to welcome and provide for the most vulnerable. It was also God’s command to the church: ‘Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.’ Galatians 6v10. While we care for the church family we are to ‘do good to all people’ regardless of their race or religion.

As people, children, Mums, Dads, Families make their way to this nation make sure we are at the forefront of welcoming and providing and not ‘crossing the other side of the road’.

Perhaps more important than all this is why we should do it.

We have been shown incredible mercy by God. God has shown us grace upon grace every day. We have homes, schools, hospitals, work, social benefits – there is so much to be thankful for. But above all this God has Welcomed us into his family. God through his Son Jesus Christ entered into the poverty of this world, this broken God-rejecting world, and made it possible for us to be forgiven so that we might have the hope of an eternal home, heaven itself. God took us, who were wandering away from him, without hope and gave us a new life, peace with God and the security of life eternal. When we were in the crisis of our sin God showed his amazing grace to us. Let us show this same grace to others.