Meditations with Derek + Karin

Life contains highs and lows, but through it all God’s love remains constant. In these 3 videos, Derek + Karin spend time reflecting on different Bible verses, talking about tough times, and sharing some small practical ways to get through difficulties we face – whatever they may be.

Anxiety & Being in Nature

Prayer

Humility

Issues in Isolation – Relax or Distract

God calls for us to take a day of rest on the Sabbath – but are our normal behaviors actually helping us rest? In this reflective video series tackling issues in isolation, Derek provides some insight and ideas for us to make the most of our time resting in God’s presence!

Issues in Isolation – Made in God’s Image to be Creative

When was the last time you did something new? In our reflection series, Derek challenges us to step into this aspect of our identity. God made us in his image to be creative but we are often too busy. What is God calling you to step out in today?

Issues in Isolation – Finding God in Times of Grief and Loss

How are you coping during this season? Derek Gibbs shares about grief – and what that means for us as Christians. Especially in a time of loss – not only of human life, but also when losing our normalcy of life, our plans, and our expectations – it is helpful to acknowledge these feelings and examine them from a Christian perspective.

Worship Blog – Spring

Ik ben Rianne en ik ben getrouwd met André. Samen hebben we twee geweldige kinderen, Tim en Joanne, allebei tieners inmiddels. Vanaf het eerste begin, alweer negen jaar geleden, zijn wij deel van Redeemer Church en we zijn nog steeds heel blij met deze kerk en voelen ons hier echt thuis. Het is zo bijzonder om te zien wat God doet en gedaan heeft in de afgelopen jaren!

Voordat we deel werden van Redeemer waren we deel van de Wijnstokgemeente in Berkel & Rodenrijs. Deze kerk is ook deel van de New Frontiers familie, maar is een Nederlandstalige kerk. De eerste jaren waren dan ook best wennen aan lofprijzen in het Engels en de preken luisteren in het Engels. Om die reden koos ik er de eerste jaren voor om geen deel te worden van het worshipteam. Met veel plezier heb ik de eerste jaren in Redeemer het kinderwerk gedaan voor de 2 tot 5 jarigen.

Maar vanaf 2017 merkte ik dat God me leidde en voorbereidde op een andere tijd. Ik las toen een boek waarin het ging over de weiden waarin God ons leidt en dat er momenten zijn dat God ons naar een andere weide roept. Ik merkte heel duidelijk dat God me hierin aansprak. Het was een tijd van vertrouwen en wachten, maar ik merkte dat God me weer vaker iets op mijn hart gaf om uit te zingen tijdens de diensten en ik kreeg ook steeds vaker zelf tijdens mijn stille tijd of via anderen een woord of aansporing om me weer uit te strekken naar het lofprijzen en dan ook binnen het worshipteam. Dat deed me besluiten om eind 2017 deel te worden van het worshipteam. Samen met het team en met de kerk zingen en God aanbidden op zondagochtend maakt me zo blij en vult me met dankbaarheid!

Ook in mijn persoonlijk leven gebeurde van alles de afgelopen negen jaar, waardoor ik God van nog dichterbij heb leren kennen en steeds meer heb geleerd hoe ik zijn stem kan verstaan, door zijn Woord, door de muziek heen en door zijn stem die tot me spreekt. Hij is zo trouw en zo goed en ik ben steeds meer verbaasd over zijn grootheid en zijn plan in en door alles heen. De liederen “Jezus Overwinnaar” van Mozaïek 0318 en “There is power in the blood” van inSalvation hebben me de laatste tijd erg aangesproken, zeker in deze tijd rond Pasen. Zijn plan stond al vast vanaf het begin om Jezus te laten lijden en sterven voor ons allemaal om zo de relatie met onze Vader te herstellen. Zijn bloed betaalde de prijs en Hij is de Overwinnaar! Toen, nu en voor altijd.

Mijn gebed voor ons als kerk is dat we allemaal steeds meer gaan zien en ervaren wie Hij is en wat Hij voor ons gedaan heeft. En dat Zijn aanwezigheid voelbaar en tastbaar zal zijn tijdens de worship, dat mensen zullen worden bevrijd en genezen en dat steeds meer mensen de vrijheid gaan voelen en nemen om hun hart bij Hem uit te storten en te delen wat God ze geeft om zo de kerk te bouwen. Oh, wat een vreugde zal het zijn dat de mensen die binnenkomen en onze geweldige Vader nog niet kennen Hem zullen ontmoeten tijdens de dienst. Ik kijk uit naar wat er nog komen gaat!

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My name is Rianne and I’m married to André. Together, we have two wonderful kids, Tim and Joanne, who are teenagers at the moment. We decided to join Redeemer Church from the very first start of the church, nine years ago. We’re still feeling at home in this church and it’s so amazing to see what God is doing and has done in the past nine years!

Before we joined Redeemer, we where part of “De Wijnstokgemeente” in Berkel & Rodenrijs. This church is part of the New Frontiers Family as well, but it is Dutch speaking. So it took me a while to get used to worship and a sermon in English. That’s the reason I didn’t join the worship team from the start, but chose to help with kids work for the 2- 5 year olds in the first years. I really loved to do that over the years.

But at the start of 2017, I noticed a new season was coming. I was reading a book at the time where it spoke about how God sometimes points us in another direction and challenges us to leave the pasture we are in and to enter another. This really spoke to me. It was a time of waiting and trusting, but I noticed that God more often gave me a song again to sing out during worship in church. And through hearing God speak, during my quiet time and through other people encouraging me or giving me a word of God, I really felt that it was time to join the worship team. At the end of that year, I decided to become part of the worship team. To sing and worship God on Sunday morning with the team and the Church really makes me happy and fills me with gratitude!

In the past nine years, a lot happened in my personal life as well, which made my relationship with God grow more intimate. In that time, I learned to recognise His voice more and more, through His Word, through music and through Him speaking to me. He is faithful and and good and I’m more and more amazed by His greatness and His steadfast plan. At the moment, the song “Jezus Overwinnaar “ of Mozaiek 0318 and “There is power in the blood” of InSalvation are two of my favorite songs, especially in this time round Easter. His plan for saving us and reconciliation with the Father through the death and resurrection of Jesus amazes me again this season! He payed the price and He is the Victor! In the past, today and in the future!

A deeper knowledge of God, who He is and what He has done for us, and seeing and experiencing Him more, is my prayer for us as a church. I pray we’ll feel and acknowledge His presence in our midst during worship and that we’ll see people being set free and healed. I hope and pray more people will feel the freedom to speak out their heart before God and feel free to share what God gave them to build the church. Oh, what a joy it will be to see new people, who don’t know God yet, enter the church and have an encounter with our amazing Father during the service. I’m looking forward to what is yet to come!

Love The Hague blog – April 2019

In this blog we want to look back at a wonderful and inspiring time we had with our guest speaker Natalie Williams who visited us in March, giving us so much input from the Bible and helped us to look at how we can practically care for those in need around us. In this blog you will find a very short summary of the Saturday morning seminar and Sunday preaching, followed by some practical information and book recommendations.

‘Called to care for the poor’ seminar

We dived straight away into the Bible. No better place to start then looking at what God says about care for the poor. From looking at how laws were being put into place to provide for and protect those in poverty, to the story of Joseph showing God’s concern for both His own people and the Egyptians to not go hungry no matter what they had done or would do in future, to Esther’s story telling us that celebrating God’s rescuing power included giving gifts to the poor, to looking at how God promises blessings to those who look after the hungry and needy. Then from the Old Testament we went into the New Testament where first of all Jesus’ life shows to be a reflection of Isaiah 61 and Luke 4:18 as He brings good news to the poor through feeding the hungry, healing the sick, forgiving sin, bringing hope to the weary and broken. Acts 2 gives us a picture of the early church, where everyone had everything in common and there was no one in need among them. How would it look like if God’s people in our own city lived life in such a way that there would be no one in need in our city anymore? What a great challenge this is!

Areas, people groups or issues in the city we are concerned about

During the Saturday morning we did a post-it exercise to define geographical areas, people groups to reach or issues we would like to be involved in. Areas that were most mentioned were the red-light district, Moerwijk/Haagse Markt area and the city centre. A lot of different people groups were mentioned but the ones most often were: refugees, youth, those struggling with addiction and/or with mental health issues, women in prostitution, prisoners, children in need, homeless, disabled and lonely people. The issues that came up most were foster care, literacy, (un)employment, loneliness, integration of refugees and human trafficking.

We went into small groups to share and pray about these areas and groups of people.

Seeing ‘the poor’ as gifts from God to us

On Sunday morning Natalie spoke with us about God’s heart for the poor with the central message being God’s mercy. Mercy is not a word often used in society and she challenged us with the question how the city would look different if mercy was most central in the city and how mercy should be the defining feature in the churches of the city, when the church would be known as the place of unlimited mercy.

Natalie shared about how we often feel easier compassion and an urge to help someone in need  when we see a picture of starving children in comparison with seeing a homeless person with a sign up saying: ‘why lie, I want beer’. We looked at two stories from the Bible where compassion was shown to those in need. The first story someone was victimized through circumstances and in the other story need came through own choices, yet the Father figure in both of these stories acted in the same way, with mercy and kindness. (you can look up 2 Sam. 9:3-11 and Luke 15) This is how God treats all of us and He asks us to be merciful as He is merciful. Often we ask ourselves: ‘do we need to help everyone asking for help’, or when people are ungrateful we feel a cut off in our heart in regards to compassion. But we forget that showing mercy and kindness have everything to do with the Giver and Who He is, not with the object of His mercy. As receivers of Jesus unlimited love and mercy we are all called as followers of Christ to extend the same love and mercy to those around us. Natalie ended with sharing how God will bring the poor as a gift to us. As different people in need come into our church or as we come in contact with them, let’s see them as God’s gift to us.

What’s next?

If you want to connect with people having the same passion for a group of people or area in The Hague, let us help you get together to pray and talk about possible ways of getting engaged in the city. And for all of us: let’s in our day to day life try to apply this attitude of mercy by asking ourselves the question: ‘How can I show God’s kindness to someone today?’

Book recommendations

‘The myth of the undeserving poor’ and ‘Church for the poor’, both co-written by Natalie.

Meet Ruth!

I am Ruth (26), married to Bram, and I’m working as a child psychologist. Bram and I moved to The Hague about three and a half years ago. We ended up at Redeemer via a friend and wanted to be part of the church and serve as well. For me, that meant that I wanted to commit myself to the worship team. It freaked me out a bit, honestly, because I had not sung in front of a congregation before on a regular basis. At first, I felt very exposed and not at all comfortable to express my faith on a stage, because it’s personal and intimate to me. I always wondered if it would be good enough. Yet, I noticed that God had a purpose and bit by bit, He gave me more confidence and courage to express myself. Nowadays, I sometimes still feel vulnerable and challenged, but I know that God always provides, that He has the authority and is leading our service. I know that I do not have to be someone else on stage than I am in my personal relationship with Him.

What touches me in my relationship with God is the intimacy of His constant presence. No matter what I’m doing, I know He is with me. That safety and security is my lifeline. When I feel like I cannot face circumstances, I know that God is greater than my worries or the situation itself. He is the hope that no other power or force could equal. When I think about this hope, in my work or on my bike ride home, everything is put into perspective. For me, music plays an important role in expressing but also experiencing God’s Word. God uses a song to tell me something or reveal another aspect of His character. At the moment, the songs that inspire me are  ‘Waterfall’ and ‘By the Streams’ by Jonathan Ogden and ‘Beautiful’ by United Pursuit. Songs like these inspire me and make me look at Him in awe. Although I love singing in English, nothing compares to expressing your faith in your mother tongue. Maybe that’s why I always get a bit choked up when we sing a song in Dutch :).

Ik ben Ruth (26), getrouwd met Bram, en door de weeks werkzaam als kinderpsycholoog. Bram en ik zijn ongeveer drieëneenhalf jaar geleden naar Den Haag verhuist. We zijn via via bij Redeemer terecht gekomen en wilden graag deel uit te maken van de gemeente. Voor mij betekende dat op een gegeven moment dat ik me wilde inzetten in het Worship Team. Ik vond dat eigenlijk doodeng, want ik had tot op dat moment niet regelmatig voor publiek gezongen. Ik voelde me in het begin erg exposed en nog helemaal niet comfortabel om mijn eigen geloofsleven, wat zo super persoonlijk en intiem met God is, op een podium uit te dragen. Ik vroeg me altijd af of het genoeg zou zijn. Toch merkte ik dat God een doel had en mij beetje bij beetje meer vertrouwen en moed gaf om meer van mijzelf te laten zien en horen. Nu nog steeds voel ik mij wel eens kwetsbaar en vind ik het soms een uitdaging, maar ik merk dat God altijd voorziet en de autoriteit en leiding heeft in een dienst. Ik hoef niet iemand anders te zijn op het podium dan ik ben ik mijn persoonlijke relatie met hem.

 Wat mij raakt in mijn relatie met God, is de intimiteit van zijn constante aanwezigheid. Het maakt niet uit wat ik aan het doen ben, ik weet dat er iemand bij mij is. Die veiligheid en zekerheid zijn mijn lifeline. Als ik situaties zelf het hoofd niet kan bieden voel ik dat God groter is dan mijn zorgen of dan de situatie zelf. Hij is de hoop die geen andere macht of kracht mij zou kunnen bieden. Als ik daar aan denk, in mijn werk of op de fiets naar huis, dan valt alles in perspectief. Voor mij speelt muziek een belangrijke rol in het uiten maar ook beleven van Gods Woord. God kan een lied gebruiken om mij iets te vertellen of een ander aspect van zijn karakter te onthullen. Op dit moment zijn dat de nummers ‘Waterfall’ en ‘By the Streams’ van Jonathan Odgen en ‘Beautiful’ van United Pursuit. Nummers als deze kunnen mij inspireren en mij opnieuw verstelt doen staan van wie hij is. Ook al kan ik goed overweg met het zingen in het Engels, het kan niet op tegen je geloof belijden en uiten in je eigen moedertaal. Dat is waarschijnlijk de reden dat ik altijd een brok in m’n keel krijg als we in het Nederlands zingen :).

 

Dear Redeemer friends,

This is a post to give you some resources to help you better read, understand and apply the Bible in your life.

Free apps:

  • YouVersion Bible: This is a fantastic Bible resource with different languages, reading plans and many great resources (including for kids!)
  • Bible in One Year: This is a very helpful tool to help you read through the whole Bible in one year. The Bible passages are accompanied by excellent commentary from Nicky Gumbel. This app also has an audio option so you can listen to the Bible and commentary while you walk/drive, etc.
  • Read Scripture: This is another app to help you read through the Bible in one year. There is no commentary but there are good supporting videos from the Bible Project (see later).
  • Streetlights: This is the whole New Testament in audio form with backing music and ‘read’ out in hiphop.

This could be a good time to buy a study Bible with some tools to help you better understand what you’re reading and hear God speak, such as the ESV Study Bible or NIV Zondervan Study Bible (recently re-released as the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible).

Other helpful resources:

  • “How and Why Should I Read the Bible?” is a talk on the Alpha course. You can watch a version by Amy Orr-Ewingor as part of the Alpha Film Series.
  • Why Trust The Bible? by Amy Orr-Ewing is a short book that deals with the most common objections to the Bible. Other books that deal with similar issues are Unbreakable by Andrew Wilson and Can We Trust The Gospels? by Peter Williams.
  • The Bible Project is a fantastic website with many fantastic resources helping you to engage with the Bible, including a series of videos called “How to read the Bible”.
  • A Bible dictionary can give you more detailed explanations of the words, themes and people you’re reading. Options include the IVP New Bible Dictionary (Third Edition), Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary and Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible.
  • John Piper answers ten questions about Bible reading.
  • Other books to help you with reading and understanding the Bible: The Bible in 100 Pages by Phil Moore, How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, God’s Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts, Women of The Word by Jen Wilkin (a book not just for women!).

May you be greatly blessed as you grow in your delight in the Word of God!

Much love,

Chris

Preparations for coming Christmas are for most of us in full swing! Christmas, the celebration of Gods coming to us on the earth through Jesus. God couldn’t have made the meaning of ‘Immanuel, God with us’ any clearer then by sending Jesus to us.

In Redeemer, this month has been full of many opportunities to share the love of Jesus to people in the city. Moments where through serving and loving people we got to show Immanuel, God with us.

This happened when we went out on the streets and met someone we had never met before who started sharing about his life that was very hard at the moment. He was open for prayer but also needed medical care and some practical help with groceries to provide for him and his wife. Some of us are still connecting with him to help out as far as we can and for the last Sundays this person has been coming to the Sunday meetings and shared how he experiences God’s presence in the meetings.

Women have been coming together to meet in the refugee camp for creative activities and others were able to help out a family in the refugee camp who moved into their new house. The football group of men at the refugee camp are continuing to build friendships through their weekly football evenings and some of them share of their hardships as some of them face situations of needing to go back to the country they fled from.

The foodbank in The Hague provides for many families in The Hague who are weekly in need of food supplies as they don’t have sufficient to live from. As a church we had been blessed with a generous amount of money from the gift day that is partially used for our ‘Love The Hague’ ministry. We decided to set money apart to buy products for the foodbank and donated that to them to hand out before Christmas.

Last week we had our last time of cooking at the Salvation Army for 2017. The team had put a real effort into cooking a great meal and baking nice desserts to bless the people as the weather is so rough these days for those on the streets. One of the homeless man who helped us was actually a former chef who helped and instructed us amazingly.

Some others from Redeemer are involved at the charity Stichting De Haven. There Christmas was celebrated with people from many different churches, nations and backgrounds, including many women who work or have worked in the red-light districts of The Hague. Talking to many of them gave such evidence of ‘Immanuel, God with us’ in their lives. Women who sometimes still are fighting to live a different life but not giving up, others so outspoken about their trust in God for their lives.

Whether we meet with people on the streets, in the red-light districts, refugee camp or homeless shelters, we see people for whom Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, came to earth. To show the earth His love. And sometimes we get to see or be a little part of Jesus showing His love to those around us.

Christmas is around the corner! Our prayer is that the greatest celebration this Christmas will be that the city of The Hague and beyond will know that Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, has come, bringing good news to all.

incredible(?)

Redeemer is doing a mini preaching series called INCREDIBLE(?). Our hope and prayer as elders is that God uses this series to bring Gospel clarity to issues around sex, sexuality and relationships, while seeing God working his restoring and healing power in all of our lives’.

Here are the topics that we will be preaching into:

  • 23 April - Sex

  • 30 April - Gender & identity

  • 7 May - Marriage

  • 14 May - Singleness

  • 21 May - Dating

  • 28 May - Divorce & remarriage

We realise that not every subject will be directly applicable to everyone in the same way but we feel it important for all Christians to have a Biblical understanding of all of these things. These issues play a big role in our lives and/or in the lives of people around us.

Steve and Caz Alliston will be with Redeemer for the first weekend in May. They are a fantastic couple leading a great church in London. God has also used them to bless many others in the area of marriage, and sex in marriage.

On Saturday 6 May, we will host a morning for married couples looking to grow in the blessing of sexual intimacy in marriage. For more details and to sign up, click here.