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Christian Thread

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kandj Report 4 Mar 2014 10:49

ooooppps! Forgot to tell you that my chosen reading for Lent this year is the Rick Warren book entitled The Purpose Driven Life. It has 40 chapters and I will read a chapter every day throughout Lent....... well, that is my plan. I remember using this same book about 5 years ago for a Lent Course and I found it to be challenging yet helpful and inspiring too. I look forward to reading this thought provoking book again.

John, I hope you will have a good time in London and meeting up with a group at not one but two restaurants....... eat plenty and enjoy yourself today. Safe journey home.


kandj Report 4 Mar 2014 10:24

Amen indeed Cynthia,
Shrove Tuesday a time to empty the shelves of goodies and eat well before the preparation of Ash Wednesday the beginning of fasting and abstinence for Lent, when we can focus and reflect on the 40 days Jesus was tempted in the wilderness,

Every year I take up the challenge and I personally feel a need to prepare myself and be still in my body, mind and soul for some little time each day during Lent.

This is no easy task, but it is doable, and so I aim to do my very best and be as disciplined as I can be during this special event in the church calendar and use my time in meditation and prayerful reflective mode.

LEISURE written by William Henry Davies (1871-1940).

What is this life, if full of care,
we have no time to stand and stare?
no time to stand beneath the boughs,
and stare as long as sheep and cows:
no time to see, when woods we pass,
where squirrels hide their nuts in grass;
no time to see, in broad daylight,
streams full of stars, like stars at night.
no time to turn at Beauty's glance,
and watch her feet, how they can dance;
no time to wait till her mouth can
enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
we have no time to stand and stare.

My plan for the next 40 days is to embrace the Christian season of Lent in all its wonder and find the time to stop and stare, to pray, to meditate, to focus and to reflect and prepare and walk the way of the Cross.........God willing of course.


Cynthia Report 4 Mar 2014 09:10

Good morning everyone... :-)

I am so 'at one' with kandj and her thoughts on Lent, and I too, will be TAKING up rather than GIVING up and it will probably be in the form of some online faith reading.

So here we are, Shrove Tuesday - the day when pancakes were made to use up all the bits and bobs in the pantry in order to prepare for the fasting of Lent.

This is the time when Christians observe Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days before His teaching ministry began.

During Lent, we recall the events leading up to His crucifixion and, many churches, including my own, will use the purple altar frontals and vestments to denote His pain and suffering on the cross.

Purple is also the colour associated with royalty and denotes His sovereignty over the world.

A short prayer for today:

Jesus, you prayed and fasted. As your disciple teach me about spiritual discipline in my relationship with you. Amen



JustJohn Report 4 Mar 2014 08:03

Have a happy Shrove Tuesday with lots of shriving and shroving. Because tomorrow we fast and coat our faces with ashes. Mine are always still burning hot from raking the fire :-0 :-0

Then 40 days of eating hardly anything in Godly penitence. Good job my mermory is so bad that I will forget my task :-D :-S ;-)

Realised no pancakes today, but good reason. Off to London for a day out and have booked lunch and tea with a groupon in an Italian and a Persian restaurant. So no room for anything else.

"And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
The name of first is Pison, which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
The second is Gihon, which compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
The third in Hiddekel, which goeth toward the east of Assyria.
And the fourth is Euphrates.

Note the rivers Hiddekel and Euphrates are both rivers of Babylon, which we remember in Psalm 137. It was by these rivers that the captive Jews wept, when they sat down and remembered Sion.

Adam's paradise was their prison.


kandj Report 3 Mar 2014 10:07

I can take your meaning on board John and wish you luck with that one. I find church folk don't take easily to change but you can only give it a try so you won't have lost the opportunity. Nothing ventured, nothing gained springs to mind. It will be interesting to hear how you get on. Please keep us posted.

I agree fully with your thoughts Cynthia. If I am not in church on a Sunday, then my week days are all mixed up, and something is very definitely missing from my soul.

I LOVE LENT and the journey through the weeks leading to Good Friday and the Resurrection and glorious and Holy Easter Sunday. It is an opportunity for me to add something to my already busy day. To become focused and committed and reflect on my own personal Christian belief and association with Jesus.

Long gone are the days of giving up sweets/chocolate/cake/bread. Hard though that was it pales in comparison to now add something and not give up something for Lent. Time is so very precious and most find there aren't enough hours in the day to do what we need to do for ourselves and others who rely on us for so much.

I plan to spend this year's Lent by reading a little more each day. Easier said than done, but not impossible. I will just have to use my time more effectively for next 6 weeks. I have several Christian books, some I have read previously and others are new and gathering dust.
I need to look through and see which book will "speak to me" at so special a time.
The Holy Spirit guides us into knowledge and spiritual growth and what better time than Lent to accept so blessed a gift.


JustJohn Report 3 Mar 2014 09:10

I went to bed in a very bad mood last night (see other thread about "last night").

But awake full of joys, and loving words this morning and ready to do my bit - which is only helping with housework today but how I enjoy it (never thought I would say that :-D)

The hymn by Tersteegen that we had yesterday in chapel was only 4 verses in our Methodist hymn book, but Minister said it was originally ten verses. I think it is excellent, and so typical of that wealth of early hymnology in the German language that Wesley so ably translated.

No, we did not know either words or tune, but did our best and a few of us took words to heart.

Cynthia, have moved my position quite a bit in last 15 years. I quite disliked modern hymns and even found Victorian hymns very emotional rather than Bible based like Wesley and Watts. But the language and the tunes are just not encouraging young people.

Whilst we have to hold hard to our doctrine (which is waving about like a reed in a hurricane in some churches now), and we must read our Bible and pray, singing can be a release and should be fun.

When Watts wrote his hymns about 300 years ago, most churchmen and churchwomen were horrified. Up till then, they had only chanted the psalms and the idea of modern words and modern music was an anathema to them.


Cynthia Report 3 Mar 2014 08:37

Good morning... :-)

I've always found that not going to church on a Sunday feels really odd and throws the week out completely. Hope the car is soon fixed kandj, and then normal service will be resumed. :-)

I like a good mixture of hymns John. Whilst I agree that some of the old ones can be heavy and 'dirge like', I also find some of the more modern ones don't actually 'say' much. If that makes sense.

Lent is rapidly approaching - the season of repentence, moderation and reflecting on the suffering of Christ as we build up towards Easter Day.

Whilst we have read these words before, I thought they were rather fitting for today:

How often we wish for another chance
to make a fresh beginning.
A chance to blot out our mistakes
And change failure into winning.

It does not take a new day
To make a brand new start,
It only takes a deep desire
To try with all our heart.

To live a little better
And to always be forgiving
And to add a little sunshine
To the world in which we're living.

So never give up in despair
And think that you are through,
For there's always a tomorrow
And the hope of starting new.

- Helen Steiner Rice.

Cx :-)


JustJohn Report 2 Mar 2014 20:31

So sorry to hear about car, kandj. Hope it is not too expensive to mend.

Have just watched the St Davids Day service on Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol (start singing, start praising) on S4C. It was from St Mary's Collegiate in centre of Swansea.

A large church absolutely packed to the gunnels with people singing and praying in Welsh.

The hymns were not well known to many, all old ones that I heard and a bit dirgy. And loads of teenagers were in congregation. Now I know that many were there because their mam had told them that the cameras would be there. But it was an opportunity lost, I feel. Modern Welsh hymnology can be as bouncy and youthful as English is now with writers like Graham Kendrick.

It has given me a grain of an idea. Young people love speaking and singing in Welsh (it is becoming cool). And old Welsh independent chapels (like the couple I occasionally preach in) are lovely warm Christian and potentially nurturing places - but with sparse and elderly congregations. Will 2+2=4. Idea worth pursuing possibly.


kandj Report 2 Mar 2014 18:26

Didn't make it to church this morning. My car failed to start yesterday and now is in the village was collected by our garage mechanic and I will await a phone call tomorrow to see what the problem is. Having paid almost £300 last week, I am hoping that this will be less harsh on my purse strings!!
Hubby had a bad night and so we overslept this morning and I didn't have the half an hour it takes to walk to church today. Now I will be all out of sorts until I go to the Ash Wednesday service to begin our journey in Lent.

Thank you for the collect for today Cynthia and John, that is a completely new hymn to me. Don't recall singing the words ever. Was the tune a familiar one at all?


JustJohn Report 2 Mar 2014 12:38

The bells toll, Cynthia. How lovely it is to wake up to church bells. That is something I really miss in the Rhondda. There are one or two churches that make an effort, but not round where I live.

I was very pleased to see what had been written about St David. He was indeed a Welshman and a great Christian - who went out and about evangelising.

Our Minister is a Welshman and went to school (In Heath in Cardiff, I think). He described what it was like in schools on St David's Day and that there was weeks of preparation and parents had to see what their children had done, and lots of singing and glee.

He said the verse (which was his text this morning) was a favourite of St David. It is Jeremiah Chapter 31 and verse 33:

"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people."

And he introduced a hymn that I had not heard before. It was by Gerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769) and translated into English by John Wesley:

"Thou hidden love of God, whose height,
Whose depth unfathom’d no man knows,
I see from far thy beauteous light,
Inly I sigh for thy repose;
My heart is pain’d, nor can it be
At rest, till it finds rest in thee.

Thy secret voice invites me still,
The sweetness of thy yoke to prove:
And fain I would: but tho’ my will
Seem fix’d, yet wide my passions rove;
Yet hindrances strew all the way;
I aim at thee, yet from thee stray.

’Tis mercy all, that thou hast brought
My mind to seek her peace in thee;
Yet while I seek, but find thee not,
No peace my wand’ring soul shall see;
O when shall all my wand’rings end,
And all my steps to thee-ward tend!

Is there a thing beneath the sun
That strives with thee my heart to share?
Ah! tear it thence, and reign alone,
The Lord of ev’ry motion there;
Then shall my heart from earth be free,
When it hath found repose in thee.

O hide this self from me, that I
No more, but Christ in me may live;
My vile affections crucify,
Nor let one darling lust survive;
In all things nothing may I see,
Nothing desire or seek but thee.

O Love, thy sov’reign aid impart,
To save me from low-thoughted care:
Chase this self-will thro’ all my heart,
Thro’ all its latent mazes there:
Make me thy duteous child, that I
Ceaseless may Abba, Father, cry!

Ah no! ne’er will I backward turn:
Thine wholly, thine alone I am!
Thrice happy he who views with scorn
Earth’s toys, for thee his constant flame;
O help that I may never move
From the blest footsteps of thy love!

Each moment draw from earth away
My heart that lowly waits thy call:
Speak to my inmost soul, and say,
I am thy love, thy God, thy all!
To feel thy power, to hear thy voice,
To taste thy love, be all my choice."

It was very powerful this morning, I thought :-) :-)

Tomorrow is Lent Monday. Then Pancake Day :-D :-D :-D. Followed by Ash Wednesday :-( :-( So prep, feasting, and penitence - all in 3 days. The roller coaster life of a Christian ;-)


Cynthia Report 2 Mar 2014 08:19

Good morning all....... and I hope everyone is well :-)

The Collect for today:

Almighty Father, whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Off I go to start getting ready for church Cx :-)


kandj Report 1 Mar 2014 09:26

Happy Saint David's Day to all our Welsh friends. Hope it is very special and an especially happy one for you all. Gather the daffodils in, they are so bright and blessed


Cynthia Report 1 Mar 2014 08:33

Good morning and yes, I do find it encouraging and helpful to know that others are looking in because it's always lovely to see friends. :-)

A very Happy St. David's Day to all our Welsh members on GR and a fitting prayer for the day....

Almighty God, on this special day for the people of Wales,

we remember Saint David, your servant.

We give thanks for his passion for the Gospel

which helped to spread Christianity;

We give thanks for his purity and simplicity of life

which enabled his pursuit of Christian perfection;

We give thanks for his gentleness, but clear spiritual leadership.

Grant that we may learn from him

and respond to the words that are thought to be his last:

‘Be steadfast, and do the little things’;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

- Anthony D. Miles

Enjoy your day.........Cx :-)


JustJohn Report 28 Feb 2014 23:19

Sorry Emma. I did notice your kind comment and never thanked you. But I really appreciate it when you write a word or two of encouragement. And many thanks to others (too many to mention) who write lovely words when the spirit moves. :-D :-D

And a big thankyou on behalf of us all to lovely Cynthia, who seems to be so tireless and dependable - whether on this thread or helping in her church. Sometimes there are so many baptisms that my computer screen gets drenched :-) :-)


kandj Report 28 Feb 2014 23:06

Another hymn we haven't sung in our church for some time John. This one we do clap to though, it's just so catchy I think.

Nice to have you join us Emma, thanks for your kind words and I hope you are well.


JustJohn Report 28 Feb 2014 20:15

And of course

"Lord, the light of your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth you now bring us
Shine on me, shine on me

Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light"

(Graham Kendrick)

I can see you waving now :-D :-D


GoldenGirl1 Report 28 Feb 2014 13:00

Don't add often but I do look in everyday.

I love your contributions Cynthia, kandj and John :-)

Keep up the good work.

Emma :-)


kandj Report 28 Feb 2014 12:46

Cynthia, your daily words are varied and always interesting, thank you.
Could we pray please for the GR members who are struggling with illness?

John, Hope you enjoyed your time in Manchester (a change is as good as a rest).

Isaiah 60 v 1-2 reminds me of an Evangelical church I have visited locally where these words were sang with loud dancing and clapping. A real genuine worship and praise. No doubt that the Holy Spirit was present at their services.

Arise and shine for your light has come
Arise and shine for your light has come
The Glory of the Lord is risen upon you
The Glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

For darkness has covered the earth
And darkness has covered the people
But the Lord will rise upon you
For the Lord has risen upon you
And you shall wear His Glory
And you share bear His Light.

The Chorus is repeated again..... and often again and again and again!!


JustJohn Report 28 Feb 2014 09:43

A lot of the chat traffic now is on one thread. So those who like to contribute on other threads are probably very busy and other threads are very quiet. Almost dormant. And we probably all like to feel that out words are not wasted.

I was away all yesterday (in Manchester - how I live it up :-D ;-)) and notice some of the threads I was looking at on Wednesday night have hardly moved off Page One.

Here is a message to all those who love God from Isaiah Chapter 60:

"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."

That verse and the subsequent passage applies to a great number of people in our generation. And a goodly number who watch and/or contribute to Genes chat. Friends, we are especially blessed. :-) :-)


Cynthia Report 28 Feb 2014 08:32

Good morning.....we seem a bit quiet on here. If anyone has any requests or likes a certain type of prayer or story, please let me know and I'll do my best to find something suitable. :-)

Mind you, the whole Chat board seems very slow these days. I can remember when it used to whizz round and you couldn't keep up. I only pop in once or twice a day now myself though, so I guess others are busy too.

A thought for today:

Each Day Brings a Chance to Do Better

How often we wish for another chance
To make a fresh beginning,
A chance to blot out our mistakes
And change failure into winning—
And it does not take a special time
To make a brand-new start,
It only takes the deep desire
To try with all our heart
To live a little better
And to always be forgiving
And to add a little “sunshine”
To the world in which we’re living—
So never give up in despair
And think that you are through,
For there’s always a tomorrow
And a chance to start anew.

- Helen Steiner Rice.

Spring is on it's way! Cx :-)