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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

kandj

kandj Report 27 Feb 2014 23:08

So much more than the widows mite Cynthia..... that made me smile. Thank you.

Cynthia

Cynthia Report 27 Feb 2014 08:42

Good morning everyone..... :-)

I love church bells - we are fortunate that we have some which are used regularly by a team of volunteer bellringers. :-)

Talk about bedlam last night......my word! We had our new priest-in-charge in church taking evening prayer with the lay reader; we had the organ chamber buzzing away with a couple of folk printing the parish magazine and the meeting room was hectic with families as they arrived for Baptism Preparation classes. It was lovely to be part of it all though and I'm sure our late lamented vicar would have been delighted to see us getting back onto an even keel. :-)

After the class, I always take the parents into church to show them where they will be sitting etc. At one point, I realised that a dad was looking round for something and then I realised what he was looking for - a little curly head suddenly emerged from under one of the front pews - the little chap had crawled away and was exploring the church. :-)


A smile:

God Winked

She'd go to church each Sunday morning,
And afterwards, she'd grocery shop
The requirements of both events
Determined how much cash she brought.

The church was neither rich nor needy,
But was entitled to support,
The pastor's words were most uplifting,
Thus she must not sell the good man short.

A Ten dollar bill? Yes ... quite enough,
A good deal more than others,
And it would not clink, like coins do,
In the plate and make her shudder.

Then she checked out her cupboards,
And found them nearly bare,
That called for major shopping,
So many things not there.

She made herself a grocery list,
Which grew to several pages,
The poor soul was out of everything,
Which was really quite outrageous.

So she grabbed a Hundred dollar bill,
Which she had put away,
For just such type occasions,
As grocery shopping days.

Now with her Ten and Hundred,
Tucked snugly in her purse,
She felt very well prepared,
For shopping and for church.

The sermon was inspiring,
The hymns stirred her to the depths,
And brimming with emotion,
The woman sang and wept.

When the collection plate was passed,
Still in tears, she sought her Ten,
Oh Oh ... you're way ahead of me,
That's right ... she dropped her Hundred in.

Her error not discovered,
Till she reached the grocery store,
Thank God she had her credit cards,
(Yep, that's what they are for.)

For in her purse, all by itself,
Sat a lone Ten dollar bill,
The Hundred dollar bill now gone,
Resting neatly in the church's till.

If you think she was surprised,
Imagine how the pastor felt,
Some parishioner, he thought,
Must be loaded down with guilt.

Such a large amount for anyone
To drop into the church's plate,
But if it eased a guilty conscience
The pastor guessed that would be great.

The Lord works in mysterious ways,
The preacher took the bill and smiled,
A homeless family on the streets
Would find that cash worthwhile.

When the lady later told her tale,
About the money and its path,
At first folk sympathized with her,
But shortly they began to laugh

Her friends and family teased her,
About the communion wine she drank,
Re its potency and quantity,
And had she drained the church's tank?

They ribbed her about how much she paid
For a reservation up above,
"But dontcha' know," they further teased,
"Cash can't buy the good Lord's love?"

They taunted her about the credit,
She'd now built up at church, perhaps,
Now, she could attend for "free,"
And let the plate go right on past.

She denied their accusations,
Though she was flustered and red-faced,
Of course, she knew her way to heaven,
Was strictly through God's grace.

But good naturedly she took their gibes,
And basically had no regrets,
The cash had gone to a worthy cause,
So how could she be upset?

When she reached into her purse that day,
God took her hand, I think,
And guided it to the proper bill,
And then ... I think ... God winked!



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

kandj

kandj Report 26 Feb 2014 09:43

A long time since we sang that hymn in church Cynthia. Now I may well be singing it in place of the Calon Lan tune lol.

Next Sunday we will have a baptism during the morning service and then after tea and biscuits a poorly baby will be baptized and at 12noon 3 families will come to bring babies for baptism........ so it will be a busy Sunday and I know Rev Jan will make each child feel very special and will remind the families that all their babies are now a part of our church family. It would be good to have them join us, but that rarely happens which is very sad imho. We desperately need young families to be as committed as my generation has in serving the church and the village for years.

What I forgot to mention previously (blame my age, senior moment ha ha) was we have the church bells pealing out once again on a Sunday morning. The church warden was pulling on the ropes and the bell is in the belfry....... ask not for whom the bell tolls?? came to mind last week. Another step forward and thanks to Jan.

Cynthia

Cynthia Report 26 Feb 2014 08:41

Good morning everyone... :-)

kandj's lovely reminiscence from yesterday, made me think of the following hymn which we sing occasionally:


1 When I needed a neighbour were you there, were you there?
When I needed a neighbour were you there?

[Refrain:]
And the creed and the colour and the name won't matter,
were you there?

2 I was hungry and thirsty, were you there, were you there?
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there? [Refrain]

3 I was cold, I was naked, were you there, were you there?
I was cold, I was naked, were you there? [Refrain]

4 When I needed a shelter were you there, were you there?
When I needed a shelter were you there? [Refrain]

5 When I needed a healer were you there, were you there?
When I needed a healer were you there? [Refrain]

6 Wherever you travel I'll be there, I'll be there,
Wherever you travel I'll be there.

And the creed and the colour and the name won't matter,
I'll be there.

- Sydney Carter


The words are inspired from the following bible readings:

1 Corinthians 12:13; James 1:27; Leviticus 19:18; Luke 10:25-37; Luke 10:33-34; Luke 19:19-31; Matthew 28:20; Proverbs 25:21; Psalm 107:5-9


There are many recordings of this on You Tube, but I thought this was a little different....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYHwl4A6dqM


Another hymn to rattle around in my brain all day..... :-)



Hoping to get a walk in this morning as it looks so nice out......and then it is Baptism prep class tonight .......... five families I think....... :-S



Take care all......Cx :-)

kandj

kandj Report 25 Feb 2014 10:46

Wonderful and profound words Cynthia and so, so true.

John, having the ability to listen is a gift from the Holy Spirit (imho). It gets better with practice, and God loves a trier.

I have been told many times that I am a good listener and feel blessed when others share their innermost thoughts with me. It is even more of a blessing to spend time listening to elderly folk who are confused and disorientated.

For the past 16 months I have visited a wonderful couple who have lost their independence and now live in our village Care Home .They are my Catholic friends and I used to attend special Masses with them over very many years. I pray with them both at the end of every visit, it just feels right and I need the closeness of God

H is a wonderful gentle man who will be 95 in August. He is in a world of his own, bless him. He recognizes my face but is no longer able to tell me my name. H has no recollection of the many happy years we have all shared together over the years, but I go each week and sit and listen to H talk about his past life. He repeats himself constantly but I listen and reply as if I am hearing his news for the first time ever. H always thanks me profusely for spending time with him. It is my privilege.

His wife F was 84 last Tuesday. They have been married for 65 years. F is very alert in her mind but has chosen to remain in bed for so long that her muscles have wasted and F is now skeletal. It upsets me but I am committed to visit my friends
I have to stop myself from getting angry when I see F wasting her life when she has received so many blessings and graces throughout her 84 years.

It is a learning curve for me to witness my Catholic friends now and see how their lifestyle has changed so drastically in a relatively short time. The priest visits fortnightly, F tells me which priest but H has no memory of the visits, bless him.

How blessed we are to be in a position to live in our own homes but can reach out to others who are now so much in need of a helping hand and also a listening ear.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 25 Feb 2014 09:27

These thoughts this morning, Cynthia and kandj, are so wonderful.

And I speak as one who is a terrible listener. But one who appreciates when people empathise with my problems.

One of the worst things (and I know I do it a lot) is when someone gives you a problem and you say that you fully understand - because a distant niece in Bechuanaland had exactly the same problem - and this is how she coped. :-( :-(

I would just throw in one from my own experience (yes, I know I am doing it again). About 10 years ago, we had a close family member who was very ill and we all had a lot of counselling and it was very professional.

At ther beginning of the process, we attended a very professional power point presentation. Four health and social services experts in front and about 30 in the audience. It was 2 hours long and covered the whole history of counselling techniques, and how each person was an individual and responded differently..

Yet I had to ask a question at the end. Do you not think that prayer is a very important counselling tool? The experts dealt with my question politely and abruptly, quickly changed the subject, as if some Neaderthal was in their midst. But I noticed a number of the audience of perhaps 30 nodded in agreement.

And, whilst pills and modern techniques can help, I would still maintain that prayer is the most important and oldest technique. It worked for us. :-)

Cynthia

Cynthia Report 25 Feb 2014 08:05

Good morning everyone. It sounds as though Betty must have been a very special person indeed kandj - what lovely memories you have of her.

The words kandj quoted reminded me of something which I will share with you all. I find these thoughts incredibly powerful and they certainly made me think when I first read them:


Please Listen

When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice,
you have not done what I have asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel the way I do,
you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do or say something to solve my problem,
you have failed me ... strange as that may seem.

When I am feeling angry, depressed, worried or discouraged let me express my feelings while you simply listen, and care.
Do not try to change my feelings.

You may feel uncomfortable in the presence of my pain, but please just be there with me.
I’m uncomfortable, too.

When you try to distract me with humor or premature optimism, I start to feel ashamed of my negative feelings,
as if they are unimportant or a sign of weakness on my part.

You do not need to tell me if you feel my pain and understand what I am feeling.
I will be able to see that in your eyes.
Trying to tell me when I do not see it in your eyes will only assure me that you really do not understand.

Let me be weak or angry.
I am struggling with pain and I need support ... not advice.

Do not appear impatient or disinterested.
This just compounds the pain and makes me doubt myself even more.

When you reject my emotions as unimportant,
harmful or even unspiritual, this merely adds to my feelings of isolation and failure.

When you listen to my pain and frustration with tender-hearted compassion
it strengthens my faith more than quoting a million Bible verses would do.
I know the spiritual truths already, that God cares and will guide me.

I need to experience God’s love and compassion through your caring and listening and ministry of presence.
I need God in your flesh to hug me, cry with me, and assure me of your concern, love, and support.

I do need your prayers for me and with me, but to be there with me is the best answer to prayer.

I do not need professionalism ... I need a friend.
Do not try to help me analyze my feelings and understand why I am feeling them.

Do not reassure me by using cliches such as “Time will heal all things” or “God is in control.”
I know these things, but at the moment I need to express my pain and hurt to someone who cares that I hurt.
The truths that I already know will surface later when the raging emotions are calmed.

Be a help to me in the storm, even when you would rather not enter into the pain with me.
Often the feelings of rejection and loneliness are the most painful of all the feelings I have.

When you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational it may seem,
then I can quit trying to convince you and can get about the business of understanding what’s behind my pain.
When that is clear, the answers will be obvious and I can move beyond the anguish.

So, please listen and just hear me.

And when you find yourself in pain, please let me be your friend, and listen to you,
for I have learned just how important listening really is.

~ Author Unknown ~



Food for thought indeed. Love to you all....Cx :-)

kandj

kandj Report 24 Feb 2014 12:35

Appropriate words to share I think, given Cynthia's poem.

HOSPITALITY SWEET

Thank you for joining me in my world.
Thank you for stooping so low to enter.
Thank you for standing here with me
while I show you my little collection of pictures,
memories, mistakes, triumphs and sadnesses.

Thank you for not being too eager to get home,
Thank you for not telling me about your
front room: thank you for not bringing your
collection of pictures and memories,
knowing they would crowd out mine.
Thank you for not feeling the need
to give me advice.

Thank you. You are a friend, who, for me,
Looks and feels very much like God.
(Simon Parke).

kandj

kandj Report 24 Feb 2014 12:06

Can't get the Calon Lan tune out of my head John,and singing along again this morning.
Well worth a look Cynthia, we have kept it on the recorder and will no doubt have another good old sing song another time (or three lol). A real spirit lifter.

I do recall The Crabbit Old Woman poem and feel it's so sad when the elderly are perceived as being OLD and never having been young.

I visited my elderly neighbour for 8 years as she had Dementia and needed to be in a Home for 24x7 care. Betty was a hard and willing worker in our church before this illness took away her mind.
When she was no longer able to hold a conversation with me I used to hold her hand and sing hymns and Betty would join in and sing all the verses..... just very strange but wonderful to witness.

Betty's favourites were As The Deer Pants For the Water and You Are The Vine, We Are the Branches, she was word perfect, God love her.
It is 3 years since she passed away, with me at her side and I find it difficult to sing these hymns in church now without thinking of Betty who was a very special Christian lady. We shared our journey in faith and although she was married, but had no children, she had many within our church family who loved Betty dearly.


Cynthia

Cynthia Report 24 Feb 2014 08:27

Good morning. I missed that programme kandj - I must remember to have a look on iplayer too. I know that clergy have often said that, when taking Holy Communion out to those in nursing homes etc., that the people who are suffering from some form of dementia, rarely forget the words of the service and the hymns. It's as though everything comes flooding back once the opening words are used. Lovely thought.


These thoughts have reminded me of a poem which, I am sure you will all have heard at some time :



A Crabbit Old Woman

What do you see nurse,
What do you see?
What are you thinking
When you look at me?
A crabbit old woman,
Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit
With far away eyes.
Who dribbles her food
And makes no reply;
Then you say in a loud voice,
"I do wish you'd try."

Who seems not to notice
The things that you do,
And forever is losing
A stocking or shoe.
Unresisting or not,
Lets you do as you will;
With bathing or feeding,
The long day to fill.
Is that what you're thinking,
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes nurse,
You're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am,
As I sit here so still,
As I move at your bidding,
As I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of ten ...
With a father and mother,
And brothers and sisters
Who love one another.
A girl of sixteen,
With wings on her feet;
Dreaming that soon,
A lover she'll meet.

A bride soon at twenty ...
My heart gives a leap;
Remembering the vows
That I promised to keep.
At twenty-five,
I have young of my own,
Who need me to build
A secure and happy home.
A woman of thirty,
My young now grow fast,
Bound together with ties
That forever should last.

At forty, my young ones
Have grown up and gone;
But my man is beside me
To see I don't mourn.
At fifty, once more ...
Babies play 'round my knees;
Again we know children,
My loved ones and me.
Dark days are upon me,
My husband is dead ...
I look at the future,
I shudder with dread;
For my young are all rearing,
Young of their own,
And I think of the years
And the love I have known.

I am an old woman now,
Nature is cruel,
‘Tis her jest to make old age
Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles,
Grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone
Where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass,
A young girl still dwells,
And now and again
My battered heart swells.

I remember the joys,
I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living
Life over again.
I think of the years ...
All too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact
That nothing can last.
So open your eyes nurses,
Open and see ...
Not a "Crabbit Old Woman,"
Look closer ... see "Me."

~ Phyllis McCormack


Cx :-)

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 24 Feb 2014 00:13

kandj. Just watched it on iPlayer. Wonderful programme - the work with dementia sufferers, the wonderful Welsh/Tongan rugby player Toby Faletau. Loved it all.

I finished my service today with a Welsh hymn. Calon Lan. Can you believe it? Yet another Godincidence :-D :-D

kandj

kandj Report 23 Feb 2014 22:07

Wow! We have just finished watching the Songs of Praise recording from Llandaff Cathedral for an early St David's Day celebration.

It featured a Forget Me Not choir for Alzheimer sufferers and their carers.

All our very favourite hymns were sung with great feeling. We wouldn't have expected anything less from the wonderful Land of Song, and hubby and I sang along loudly too.

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Ave Maria
How Great Thou Art
Bread of Heaven
Calon Lan...... sung in Welsh and brought me out in goosebumps!!

An amazing programme and well worth watching on iPlayer if you missed it.

kandj

kandj Report 23 Feb 2014 17:05

The postings reflect yet more "God-incidents" methinks!

No mention of Thinking Day in my church this morning Cynthia. As an ex Brownie/Guide this was interesting to know.

Today was a Holy Communion service and during the time of receiving the bread and wine a CD was played of the hymn Faithful One, So Unchanging ((Deuteronomy 7:9)

Faithful one so unchanging

Ageless One, You're my rock of peace
Lord of all I depend on you
I call out to you, again and again
I call out to you, again and again.

You are my rock in times of trouble
You lift me up when I fall down
All through the storm
Your love is the anchor

My hope is in You alone. My hope is in You alone.

The hymn words became our prayer and the stillness in church was awesome.

Leviticus 19 verses 17-18 Slightly different wording in Good News Bible.

17. Do not bear a grudge against anyone, but settle your differences with him, so that you will not commit a sin because of him.
18 Do not take revenge on anyone or continue to hate him, but love your neighbour as you love yourself. I am the Lord.

Well done John, I am sure your sermon gave the congregation food for thought.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 23 Feb 2014 10:16

Many thanks, Cynthia. I often think JW's helped my conversion. Because I was a rebel to God, and they were sincere and kept calling. They made me go back to church to find out what I was missing, and what they were missing.

I won't print out whole sermon, because I tend to not keep to script. But felt called to deliver this:

"Though our enemies can be ever so bad themselves, that does not discharge us from the great debt we owe them, of love to our kind, love to our kin. And our kin includes a Roman Catholic man living in Perth, Western Australia and a Muslim woman living in Allahabad in Pakistan - just as much as it includes our granddaughter living in Aberdare or Cardiff.
They are all our kin. We wish them all well in their lives. God loves them all. And we should try our best to reflect His love to them all. "

And I honestly think someone in a Muslim country will be quoting the Qu'ran and preaching the same message back this week.

Cynthia

Cynthia Report 23 Feb 2014 08:18

Good morning.


Looking back over the years, I remember so many who have helped me on my Christian journey.....whether they knew it or not.

A tricky subject to tackle this morning John but I am sure you will cope. We have to remember that there are many tricky subjects within scripture and learn to deal with them the best way we can. Hope all goes well.


Today is World Thinking Day in the guiding movement, so we will be inundated with lots of girls - big and small - in their various uniforms. The flags will be paraded and the groups will make their commitment to guiding.

Following this, we have two baptisms.......I may need to lie down in a darkened room later.... :-) :-)


The collect for this morning:

Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. Amen.


Cx :-)

Cynthia

Cynthia Report 23 Feb 2014 08:18

Good morning.


Looking back over the years, I remember so many who have helped me on my Christian journey.....whether they knew it or not.

A tricky subject to tackle this morning John but I am sure you will cope. We have to remember that there are many tricky subjects within scripture and learn to deal with them the best way we can. Hope all goes well.


Today is World Thinking Day in the guiding movement, so we will be inundated with lots of girls - big and small - in their various uniforms. The flags will be paraded and the groups will make their commitment to guiding.

Following this, we have two baptisms.......I may need to lie down in a darkened room later.... :-) :-)


The collect for this morning:

Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. Amen.


Cx :-)

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 23 Feb 2014 07:06

Up with the lark this morning and am back preaching today for first time since retired from work in October (given myself a short sabattical after 14 years of doing a bit most weekends).

Am following Lectionary and what pops up today? Leviticus Chapter 19. Verses I am going to tackle are 17 and 18:

"Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke they neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord"

And I will be making the point that these verses are central to the teaching of all 3 of the world's major religions - Islam, Judaiism and Christianity. And the interpretation of these verses is clear in teaching of Jesus within the Sermon on the Mount. For Jew, Muslim and follower of Jesus.

It does not say "Hate thy enemy". This text says the exact opposite. If you do not rebuke and love your enemy, Allah or God will not love you. God cannot forgive you your many sins if you do not first forgive your enemy.

Hard teaching for religious leaders and followers of all 3 major religions. And then this morning I see those last two posts of Cynthia and kandj.

Have a lovely day, everyone. May your week start aright today and may it continue in God's unconditional love. :-) :-)

kandj

kandj Report 22 Feb 2014 10:14

Thank you Cynthia. I can remember clearly the people who have shared my journey in faith. Some are no longer on this earth but their kind words and encouragement will stay with me forever.

We are meant to love our neighbours as we love ourselves..... not always an easy task, but well worth the effort imho.

Real love is helping others (friends or strangers) for Jesus' sake, knowing that they can often never return the favour given at the time.

Teach me to love, this is my prayer
May the compassion of Thy heart I share;
Ready a cup of water to give,
May I unselfishly for others live. (Peterson)

Cynthia

Cynthia Report 22 Feb 2014 08:31

Good morning everyone. :-)

I, too, love the sea kandj and can sit spellbound watching it - from the gentle waves lapping on the shore, to the ferocity of the breakers as they crash mercilessly into anything within their scope. Awesome indeed and very frightening at times.



Some words for today which make me think of how other people may view us....as Christians.



You Never Know

You never know when someone
might catch a dream from you.
Or something you say may open up the windows
of a mind that seeks light;
The way you live may not matter at all,
But you never know, it might.

And just in case it could be
that another's life, through you,
might possibly change for the better
with a better and brighter view,
it seems it might be worth a try
at pointing the way to the right;
Of course, it may not matter at all,
but then again, it might.
-unknown




Cx :-)

kandj

kandj Report 21 Feb 2014 10:09

Amen to that prayer Cynthia.

John how blessed you are to live near the sea. It is awesome and frightening to see.

Faith is believing, the promise is true,
Trusting in Jesus your strength to renew:
Resting so sweetly, secure in His word,
Shielded from danger with Jesus the Lord. (W. Teasley).