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Christian Thread

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


kandj Report 18 Feb 2014 17:11

I'm here and fine thank you.

What interesting and thought provoking posts this morning. Thanks to Cynthia and to John. Are your chosen subjects "coincidence" or "divine intervention"?

The power of prayer is amazing and awesome, no question about that, imho.

I believe that life is a journey and we are given freewill to walk in solitude or seek company with Jesus who has the power to prepare us and enhance our daily lives
Being brought up in a Christian household, my faith has always just been a part of me. I also have worked through several tragic events and yet clung on to my faith, by my fingertips sometimes! Being a Christian doesn't guarantee us a smooth path.

Jesus has been my companion and my friend every step of the way. My daily prayers have been heard and answered but not always as I would wish and certainly not as quickly as I would like....... in His time, and not my own.

This Celtic prayer inspires me towards a deeper fulfillment and sense of peace in my daily life. It is known as St Patrick's Breastplate.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger. Amen.


JustJohn Report 18 Feb 2014 08:49

Good morning everyone :-D :-D Dry and pleasant here this morning.

Prayers for our friends in particular who are affected by these floods. We have been very fortunate in Valleys, and our annual floods in one strategic village on the river (a village called Trehafod) hasn't occurred this winter. And as far as I know, the problem hasn't been passed down the river to one of the villages or towns nearer Cardiff.

I am wrestling with something this morning. It is mid-week prayer meetings and mid-week prayer in general. I have long felt that a strong church is not so much to do with vicars, ministers, priests. They are simply servants, however competent and well-trained. Clerks in holy orders they were called on the censuses. And they are assisted (ably or not) by people like Cynthia and myself who try to do our bit to keep everything in the engine working.

No, the powerhouse of any church is prayer and particularly the midweek prayer meeting. It doesn't even need to be a large group meeting, just a sincere nucleus who look to Jesus in all things and make rest of church aware that they are part of a prayerful church.

Many churches round here are in terminal decline and people get very emotional when they see chapels being demolished or converted into flats. No family chapel to baptise or marry in, or be buried. It becomes a downward spiral. Probably it is worse in South Wales, because there was a major revival here 110 years ago - almost still in living memory. And I honestly think prayer in 2014 (heartfelt, genuine, sincere and positive) is what will herald the next revival in religion in UK.

Edit. Just read Cynthia's lovely post this morning. No, we did not get together first :-) ;-)


Cynthia Report 18 Feb 2014 08:41

Good morning everyone....and hello Emma :-)

We haven't seen kandj for a couple of days, I do hope all is well with her.

The words I have chosen for today, made me think about how often the church tries to keep up with the latest trends by applying the latest 'techniques' to both worship and to governance. Is it always the right thing to do? It fits in so well with something I read a few days ago.

It was from the principal of a Theological College in Oxford and the gist of the article was how the church has faced fundamental challenges in every age. He feels that there are two distinct challenges facing us today which deflect and distract us from the main purpose of the church.

The first distraction he felt, was the divisive debates which go on ie the gender issue, but it was the second one which caught my attention.

Less talk about mission and growth, and more talk about God. He is sure that is what the world needs - and even hungers for. What an interesting thought indeed.

Peace In a Time of Chaos

O how well I remember
in the old-fashioned days,
When some old-fashioned people
had some old-fashioned ways;
In the old-fashioned meetings,
as they tarried there
In the old-fashioned manner,
how God answer'd their pray'r.

Twas an old-fashioned meeting
in an old-fashioned place,
Where some old-fashioned people
had some old-fashioned grace;
As an old-fashioned sinner
I began to pray,
And God heard me and saved me
in the old-fashioned way.

If the Lord never changes,
as the fashions of men,
Even tho He's the same,
why, He is old-fashioned, then!
As an old-fashioned sinner
saved thru old-time grace,
O, I'm sure He will take me
to an old-fashioned place.

- Herbert Buffum

I wish you all a peaceful day......Cx :-)


GoldenGirl1 Report 17 Feb 2014 17:43

HSR words always gets me thinking.

A chance to do better, we can only do our best
and hopefully we can succeed at some things.

Emma :-)


Cynthia Report 17 Feb 2014 08:25

Good morning everyone. :-)

I'm so pleased the baptism went well John and I imagine it lifted everyone's spirits. Names are funny things at times....I do wonder if there will be a sudden upsurge in the popularity of the name Eric... :-)

We have some very 'different' names passing through our baptism families, and it's a bit embarrassing when you have to ask parents to repeat the name of the child when chatting to them, because it's a name you are unfamiliar with. The other thing I've noticed, is that some parents are spelling the child's name phonetically rather than in it's traditional form. I always have to curb the urge to re-write it on the forms :-)

On with today's thought :

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

Cx :-)


JustJohn Report 16 Feb 2014 20:07

I notice on another thread that people are discussing name Eric. Sounds quite an old-fashioned name (seemed to be popular in 1930's). Our little boy today was Alfred (popular in the 9th century!!!!). And baby was as good as gold.

I loved to see chapel so full. And all the visitors seemed to be familiar with churches, confidently gave their vows to Alfred (the not so Great yet) and sang lustily. Chatting to them afterwards, the family is a very solid Valleys family on both sides and they had a variety of traditions. One was a Deacon in a Welsh Baptist chapel, another was a Lay Reader in an Anglican Church near Ponty (very high, someone told me). And a couple of godparents were Roman Catholic.

I think everyone forgot their differences and enjoyed service immensely, and baptismal party went up the hill afterwards for merriment, tea and Welsh cakes :-D :-D

Lovely start to the week. And weather quite good too. :-D


JustJohn Report 16 Feb 2014 09:14

A calm night here and a pleasant (and so far dry) morning. Services to look forward to, to learn new things about our God in three personalities, blessed Trinity :-D

And a rare baptism in my chapel with the congregation swollen from usual 20-25 to probably about 70. Lots of noise, lots of smiles, lots of solemn vows at the altar.

Thy mercy will not fail us,
Nor leave thy work undone;
With thy right hand to help us,
The victory shall be won;
And then, by men and angels,
Thy name shall be adored,
And this shall be their anthem;
One church, one faith, one Lord!


Cynthia Report 16 Feb 2014 08:30

Good morning and thank you for those lovely words kandj and Elizabeth and I am sure that all the people who have been dreadfully affected by the recent floods, will be remembered in many churches today.

It has been so heartening to see how many folk have come forward to offer voluntary aid and to see all of the churches and leisure centres which are offering temporary respite to those in need. God bless them all.

'Lord, help us to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ: in your mercy, hear our prayer'.

The Collect for today:

Almighty God,
who alone can bring order to the unruly wills
and passions of sinful humanity:
give your people grace so to love what you
command and to desire what you promise, that,
among the many changes of this world,
our hearts may surely there be fixed
where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever.

With my love, Cx :-)


Elizabethofseasons Report 15 Feb 2014 23:42

Dear All


This prayer is entitled:


"Give strength, dear God, to the brave people,
who are going to help places that are affected by the weather.

Keep them safe.

Help them to know what is the right thing to do.

Turn their efforts into miracles".



It is dedicated to all the emergency services and volunteers who are helping:

in this country with flooding,

on the USA east coast and where there is drought in other states.

and for Canadian friends and cousins.

Take gentle care
Sincere wishes


kandj Report 15 Feb 2014 12:01

Thanks as always Cynthia and thanks also to John for interesting post today.

Here in Yorkshire we are miles away from a river and so have the warmth and comfort of our humble home whilst looking at tv coverage and seeing the chaos and misery of all the flooded areas in our country.

It is cold, raining and the wind is increasing today but we only see the storms of nature and we are not experiencing personal tragedy as some people are now. During such times God assures us of His help and we are never left on our own.

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. (Isaiah 40:29).

O God, our help in ages past.
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home! (Isaac Watts 1674-1748)


JustJohn Report 15 Feb 2014 09:07

The weather is beginning to subside down in the Valleys - but what a night!!! Hope all are safe, particularly those in north of Scotland and in the already badly flooded areas. Next week looks a bit drier and less windy :-D

I am going to quote a passage from the Qur'an this morning. Just because I am always taken with the similarities of their texts and ours. It is about the ONLY Jewish "minor" prophet to appear as one of the Islamic major prophets - a man called Jonah.

So also was Jonah among those sent (by Us).
When he ran away (like a slave from captivity) to the ship (fully) laden,
He (agreed to) cast lots, and he was condemned:
Then the big Fish did swallow him, and he had done acts worthy of blame.
Had it not been that he (repented and) glorified Allah,
He would certainly have remained inside the Fish till the Day of Resurrection.
—Qur'an, chapter 37 (As-Saaffat), verse 139-144

And, of course, the massive storm that caused the lots to be cast and Jonah jettisoned is known in all 3 religions - Christianity, Judaism and Islam :-)


Cynthia Report 15 Feb 2014 08:32

Good morning everyone from a very wet and windy NW. I certainly don't think I will be hanging any washing up outside today..... Brrrrrrr :-)

Just a short prayer for today :

God whose mystery no tongue can describe and whose thoughts no speech can utter; receive the praise of your whole creation and illumine our souls with the glory of your presence, for you live and reign, now and for ever. Amen.

Gregory of Nazianzus (c.329-389)

I have lots of jobs to do today.....take care my friends. :-)


JustJohn Report 14 Feb 2014 08:57

Lovely thoughts, Cynthia and kandj. Happy St Valentines Day. I had never heard the story behind why we buy cards and chocolates today. Very moving story. And I had never heard of that Roman Emperor, so more amour is much better than war war.

We have a lady saint in Wales (Santes Dwynwen) from 4th century. Her story is equally sad and she ended up on Llanddwyn Island (near Newborough on Anglesey (not far from where Wills and Kate lived). We celebrate her date on Burns Night (and birthday of my OH ;-)) - 25th January.

Love (charity, agape) suffereth long, and is kind.
Love does not envy.
Love does not vaunt itself, is not puffed up.
Love does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked.
Love thinks no evil. (1 Cor xiii verses 4,5)

Out Father who art in heaven....
Deliver us from evil.


Cynthia Report 14 Feb 2014 08:16

Good morning everyone and Happy Valentine's Day <3

The words of that African prayer are so apt kandj and I have been moved to see how complete strangers are rallying round to help others in need. Stay safe everyone.

As it is St. Valentine's Day today, I thought I would put aside the roses and chocolates which are associated with this day, and discover the real St. Valentine.

It appears that there may have been more than one, but the chap who seems to have caught the imagination most, is as follows:

In the third century, the Roman Empire was ruled by Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. He was nicknamed Claudius the Cruel because of his harsh leadership and his tendency for getting into wars and abusing his people. In fact, he was getting into so many wars during the third century that he was having a difficult time recruiting enough soldiers.

Claudius believed that recruitment for the army was down because Roman men did not want to leave their loves or families behind, so he cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome.

Thousands of couples saw their hopes of matrimony dashed by the single act of a tyrant. And no one seemed interested in standing up to the emperor.

But a simple Christian priest named Valentine did come forward and stood up for love. He began to secretly marry soldiers before they went off to war, despite the emperor’s orders. In 269 AD Emperor Claudius found out about the secret ceremonies. He had Valentine thrown into prison and deemed that he would be put to death.

As Valentine was awaiting execution, he fell in love with a blind girl, who happened to be the jailer’s daughter. On the eve of his execution, with no writing instruments available, Valentine is said to have written her a sonnet in ink that he squeezed from violets.

Legend has it that his words made the blind woman see again. It was a brief romance because the next day Valentine was clubbed to death by Roman executioners.

St. Valentine gave his life so that young couples could be bonded together in holy matrimony. They may have killed the man, but not his spirit. Even centuries after his death, the story of Valentine’s self-sacrificing commitment to love was legendary in Rome.

Eventually he was granted Sainthood and the Catholic Church decided to create a feast in his honour. They picked February 14 as the day of celebration because of the ancient belief that birds (particularly lovebirds, but also owls and doves) began to mate on that very day.

It’s surprising to know that Valentine’s Day is really founded on the concept of love in marriage.

- Mark Merrill

With love to you all......Cx <3


kandj Report 13 Feb 2014 09:13

Amen to the HSR words Cynthia...... hope your slate is secured again soon!!

We had gale force winds here in Yorkshire last night and I dare hardly open the blinds to see what damage this had caused but we are hugely relieved that no structural damage is evident and apart from a couple of plant pots and the empty green dustbin upturned in the garden..... like the Christmas Carol... this morning the scene here is-

"All is calm, all is bright", so Thank you God.

The newspaper headlines say two more fierce gale force storms are heading our way. Unbelievable scenes on the TV screen, we wonder what is happening and do pray for the folk who are in the areas most badly affected, and the farmers whose fields are like rivers. No end in sight either. What worry for everyone in such chaos

An African prayer,,,,,,,,,,, O Father God
I cannot fight the dark times
by beating it with my hands.
Help me to take the light of Christ
right into the depth of it. Amen.


Cynthia Report 13 Feb 2014 08:33

Good morning my friends and thank you for the lovely old melodies to hum along to. Whilst I like many of the more modern hymns, I think it's a shame if children aren't given the opportunity to learn some 'old faithfuls' whose words have kept many a generation singing. :-)

What a day it was, weatherwise, yesterday....absolutely dreadful. I opened the blinds this morning and see we have lost a couple of roof tiles:-( Mind you, most of my friends would say I am 'a slate loose' anyway... :-)

God Is Never Beyond Our Reach

No one ever sought the Father
And found He was not there,
And no burden is too heavy
To be lightened by a prayer,
No problem is too intricate
And no sorrow that we face
Is too deep and devastating
To be softened by His grace,
No trials and tribulations
Are beyond what we can bear
If we share them with our Father
As we talk to Him in prayer—
And men of every colour,
Every race and every creed
Have but to seek the Father
In their deepest hour of need—
God asks for no credentials,
He accepts us with our flaws,
He is kind and understanding
And He welcomes us because
We are His erring children
And he loves us every one,
And He freely and completely
Forgives all that we have done,
Asking only if we’re ready
To follow where He leads—
Content that in His wisdom
He will answer all our needs.

- Helen Steiner Rice

Keep safe my friends. Cx :-)


JustJohn Report 12 Feb 2014 11:39

"Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be,
As more of heaven in each we see;
Some softening gleam of love and prayer
Shall dawn on every cross and care."

John Keble (1792-1866), kandj :-) Friend and colleague of John Henry (later Cardinal) Newman, he was a founder of the Oxford Movement and Vicar of Hursley in Hampshire. Keble College is named after him.

Incidentally, if I took religion as my main subject of Mastermind, I would probably get about 3 or 4 points. Far less than some posting on this thread. Less than many on Genes who don't even like organised religion very much. :-( :-( But I am still a work in progress :-) :-)


kandj Report 12 Feb 2014 10:11

New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising proof,
Through sleep and darkness safely brought
Restored to life and power and thought.

New mercies each returning day
Hover around us while we pray;
New perils past, new sins forgiven
New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.

I woke up this morning and had these words in my head and they are still there and so I thought it worth sharing them with you all today. John is sure to know the writer of such a beautiful, meaningful old hymn. I can only remember the first two verses but know there are several others too.

Hello to Sylvia, I hope you will feel better soon.

This is a good thread where everyone can add their thoughts and also think of others who feel ill or are suffering for one reason or another.

We all have the flood victims uppermost in our prayers as we see such chaos and ongoing misery the high river levels are causing for so many. Here in Yorkshire we have no flooded areas close by and so we continue to count our blessings.


Cynthia Report 12 Feb 2014 08:49

Good morning everyone......and I hope you are soon feeling much better Sylvia. Those tummy bugs can be so debilitating and a very drastic way to lose weight.

It's heartening to know that folk are still looking in here, whether they comment or not. Hello everyone.........

The floods are unbelievable......we have been warned of high winds today. It is calm so far but we will have to watch and wait.

Our prayer for today :

Jesus, abject and despised, let us not be ashamed to follow you.
Jesus, hated and persecuted, let us not be afraid to walk in your footsteps.
Jesus, blasphemed and condemned, let us be counted your friends.
Jesus, mocked and scourged, let us bear all things patiently.
Jesus, crowned and derided, let us not be overwhelmed by our injuries and grief. Amen.

John Wesley (1703-1791)

Hope everyone keeps safe today. Cx :-)


JustJohn Report 12 Feb 2014 08:48

Sylvia. So glad you are well again and sylph like. Not the way to lose 7lbs, though :-( :-(

Today we have our midweek prayer meeting. Just a handful. And next door Weight Watchers meet in the hall. They make such a noise, cheering and clapping as members are saved from too much weight and obesity. One day when they have been "saved", perhaps a couple will join us. Something to pray for.

After a lovely winter day with about 6 hours sunshine and crisp mountain air yesterday, there was an inch of snow on road last night. Cleared by this morning - this must have been the mildest winter in our lifetimes.

Floods are getting really bad. OH will remember Towyn near Abergele (now a generation ago) when hundreds of bungalows were submerged. Amazingly, I have heard very little destruction along N Wales coast yet.

But Worcester and all Severn valley under warning today and on Breakfast News this morning it mentioned the floods could be with us until May.

It must be awful for all the families displaced. The stinking floors and furniture, the worry about looting. Fishermen have not been able to earn a living for over a month. Prayer will help them through, that we know.