Saturday, 21 July 2012

"Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of wintesses [who have boren testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sine which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and staed and active persistence the appionted course of the race that is set before us, looking awy [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [give the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].  He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at ther right hand of the throne of God."  Hebrews 12:1

This is a very familiar scripture for lots of us who have heard a lot of teaching.  This is one of the Bible readings for this month's Family Worship at St. Mary's Langley.  The focus is families with small children.  Every so often, the vicar will ask me to write a prayer--which is my joy to do so.  Here is the prayer for this month:

Reader:  Looking to Jesus
Response: Help us run the race well.

Dear Father in Heaven,
Thank You so much for letting us know that we do not run life’s race alone.  Others who have completed their race and are now in heaven are cheering —“You can do it!”  They trusted in your promises.  We trust in your promises too.

Reader:  Looking to Jesus
Response: Help us run the race well.

We remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who followed the course you set for them.  The Bible tells the stories of many who were faithful to you.  Let us learn from them—Moses, Joshua, David, Ruth, Esther. 

Reader:  Looking to Jesus
Response: Help us run the race well.

We pray for the Olympic athletes who are coming to our country.  Help us be inspired by their hard work.  But even more, help us to be inspired by those men and women who seek to bring honour and glory to You by using their abilities; men and women like Eric Liddell, Kirsty Balfour, Allyson Felix, and Richard Chambers. 

Reader:  Looking to Jesus
Response: Help us run the race well.

Thank you for our friends and family here who remind us of your love.  We pray that you will bless them; just as they have blessed us.  By teaching us to have faith in you, by praying for us, they have taught us how to run our race.  Sometimes we stumble and fall; they pick us up.  Father God, pour out your grace on them.

Reader:  Looking to Jesus
Response: Help us run the race well.

We want to let go of things that slow us down, and avoid things that make us trip.  Thank You for Jesus, the One we follow.  When our path is hard to see, He promises that His teachings in the Bible will bring light, and that we can trust He is taking us in the right direction.  Help us to keep our eyes on Jesus, because He is our prize. 

Reader:  Looking to Jesus
Response: Help us run the race well.


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Bible reading and thoughts on Job

Some people are very disciplined in their life-style.  Once they make up their mind to do something, they let nothing get in their way of doing it.  Some people do things in “fits-and starts” as it were; I am one of them.  Life is full of diversion, distraction, and interruptions.  So my plans to faithfully read the Bible daily with the intent of reading through it in a year got derailed. 
                 I stared out by going to Radio Bible Class’s website: .  They have several selections of daily devotions, Our Daily Bread, My Utmost for His Highest, Our Daily Journey, Daily Strength.  They also offer Bible study materials, testimonies, and music resources.  The choice I made was Our Daily Bread, published by the Methodist Church.  Each day I clicked on the “Bible In A Year” link on the page—which would open in another window.    
                 Then I went to Florida.  Although I took my laptop, my sister didn’t have a wireless connection I could use in Mom’s room.  And Mom didn’t like being alone for very long.  My sister’s computer was hooked up in the lounge.  At any rate, the situation was a great excuse not to continue with that routine. 
                 Now that I’ve been home almost exactly three months, I find that I have lots of opportunity to make the time to re-establish daily Bible reading.  I refused to try to catch up with the readings I missed.  I simply decided to start on the current day’s reading and just carry on. 
                 Another website I frequently access is  They link with Radio Bible Class for the daily Bible readings.  Since both Our Daily Bread ( and Radio Bible Class used for daily reading plans, I went straight to their website. 
On the homepage is a sidebar with a menu of tools, including Reading Plans.  “Welcome to the Bible Gateway Reading Plans” is the big black banner.  There are two drop down menus on the page:  (1) the type of reading plan you want; (2) Your preference for the Bible version you want.   There is also a calendar on page with the current date hi-lighted.  I clicked on the date and another window opened with the daily reading.  That is how I found myself reading Job. 
I’ve read Job before.  I always thought that what Job’s friends said made sense—that there was a ring of truth in them.  Whilst Job could defend himself to his friends, Job wanted to have an audience with God. 
What caught me this time as I read Job, was that Job did not blame God for the tragedies that befell him and his family.  Job had confidence in God’s goodness.  God was and still is looking for people who will continue to believe in the goodness and faithfulness of God—even when circumstance seems to indicate otherwise.  Job was not going to confess to sinning just to make his friends feel better. 
Bildad said to Job, “Surely God does not reject one who is blameless or strengthen the hand of evildoers.  He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with sounds (shouts) of joy.  You enemies will be clothed in shame, and the tents of the wicked will be no more.”  Job 8:20-22.
There seems to be the premise that if we “are good”, and love God, we will not be allowed to undergo the testing and trial of our faith.  But through Job’s insistence that he had not neglected righteous behaviour, Job proved that we will not be protected from suffering just because we practice good works. 
“Is there not an (appointed) warfare and hard labour to man upon earth?  And are not his days like the days of a hireling?  As a servant earnestly longs for the shade and the evening shadows, and as a hirelings looks for the reward of his work, so am I allotted months of futile [suffering] and [long] nights of misery are appointed to me.”  Job 7:1-3.   
Job seemed to be saying that each person will endure times of hardship.  As a Christian we each will walk through times when it seems like Satan has laid siege to our lives. 
Job’s faith was in God’s worthiness of trust, regardless of how things appeared.  He still believed in God’s ability to heal, deliver and bring salvation. 
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.”  Job 19:25-16. 
“When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.  But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.”  Job 23:9-11
Job was saying, “God has allowed me to suffer because God’s bigger purposes are at work.  Though I can not see what He is doing, or how He is doing it, I do know that He is going to bring me to a good end.” 
Just like Abraham trusted God to provide a sacrifice up on the mountain, Job believed in the wisdom of God.  Job was able to say that suffering worked as a crucible for removing the useless actions, attitudes and motives from our hearts and minds.
When a baker wants to make sure that the micro-organisms in yeast are still active, they will “proof” the yeast.  When we are put into the “hot water” of a trial, God is in the process of “proving” our faith.  It is the goodness of God that we are taken through struggles and challenges.  In order for yeast to grow, it needs to be fed with sugar or honey.   Grace is the feeding agent that God adds to our faith to cause it to grow in times when we are being “kneaded and baked”. 
Because Father God saw that there were men who would believe in the perfection of God’s promises, God’s innate goodness—despite how things looked—God knew He could send Jesus into the world. 
In my own life, I’ve had a moment when my heart ached so badly, all I could do was pray with tears rolling down my cheeks.  A few months ago, I was up late; rubbing my mother’s back, trying to get her settled enough to fall asleep.  She was no longer the mother with a clear mind and full memory.  I hated the dementia that had stolen her away from me.  Why was she still with us?  Why did she have to be humiliated and ill?  Sitting on the chair next to the bed, I said, “God, I don’t understand, but I know You love Mom more than I do.  You have bigger purposes than I can see right now.  Lord, I believe in Your goodness, even though I don’t understand why—especially when it breaks my heart.  But You are worthy of my trust and praise.”  With that I found comfort; there was solace.  
I have now finished with Job and am into Psalms.  
As with anything making a decision with my will, with the determination to keep at it is the only way to bring change into my life.  However, even when I lose my way, the important thing is to start again.  Because I never know when it will turn from“fits & starts” behaviour into a tenacious and persistent behaviour!
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
“Lady Helene”

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Back from the sick bed. :-)

        It was never intended that five weeks should go by without me writing a blog.  But it happened...
        The Maverick began complaining of a sore throat about the Tuesday after the Jubilee weekend (5th of June.)  He struggled with it a few days, and it began to clear up.  But not before he’d managed to share it with me.  Unfortunately, because my immune system isn’t as strong as it could be, when I get a sinus complaint, the virus usually manages to migrate to my chest.  Bronchitis is not fun and I felt like my lungs were being ripped out.  After ringing the doctor’s office, I was given antibiotics and spent from 9th June to the 17th sleeping on the couch and watching television. 
        After recovering, I was busy with doing the layout for the community magazine, Around Langley.  It’s a 20-page magazine produced by the local churches for the people of the village of Langley.  I work with Mr. B., the editor, and do the lay-out in a publisher format.  Then I save it to a PDF format for the printers. 
The Maverick--Ally--Me
        The Maverick and I had some good news on 12th June.  Grandchild number Fifteen was born.  Our youngest daughter, Flossie, gave birth to a little girl—Ally.  She is very sweet, and some of you may have seen her on Facebook. 
        Just as I was beginning to feel really good, I woke up on Wednesday, 27th June with a urinary tract infection.  By Thursday my right kidney was giving me grief, and my bladder was aching as well.  I saw the nurse, who was able to get the doctor’s signature on a prescription for a penicillin derivative.  Within 24 hours my pain was gone, but so was all my energy.  The antibiotics left me lethargic, and tired.  I was glad to finish that course of tablets/pills. 
Lolly's Kimono
        I was supposed to activate the presser foot on my sewing machine.  But I didn’t—I got enticed by my knitting needles.  The result is a pink and white kimono for my granddaughter Lolly.  I was pleased with the way it turned out. 
        I’ve decided to start a second blog, this one called May Woman-November Girl.  It’s about my relationship with my Mom and things we did together.  After getting overwhelmed by remembering all she had invested into me, I thought that it deserved a blog of its own.  So, be looking for those updates as well. 
        The Maverick is a very happy man, as he has begun paid employment again.  His body is still in shock at having to get up at “stupid” o’clock in the morning so he can get to work on time. 
        I’m keeping this blog short, just letting you know what’s been going on with The Maverick and me.  I’ve had lots of other thoughts over the past five weeks, things I want to share.  However, they will be better in separate posts. 
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,

“Lady Helene”