Saturday, 31 August 2013

I thought they were donuts!

                A few weeks ago The Maverick came in after work, after I’d gone to bed.  On the table was a brown paper bag.  The paper rustled and crackled as I lifted it.  Upon first glance I thought the bag contained donuts.   But I was baffled when I touched them.  They didn’t feel greasy, or powdery from icing sugar.  Instead, they felt smooth.  I took one out of the bag.  Hmmmm…it was fruit!  More exactly, it was a peach! 
                Never before had I seen a peach or nectarine shaped like a flattened ball!  When I bit into one, I saw the flesh was not a deep golden yellow, but rather a creamy white.  They were perfectly ripe, and the flesh pulled away easily from the stone.   Being small, it didn’t last too long. 
                Today, (31st August) The Maverick went out to pay bills and deliver the churches’ newssheets.  When he returned, he began handing white plastic bags to me:  bananas, oranges, a small watermelon, honey dew melon, large peaches…and “donut” peaches. 
                The sky is clear blue today.  A breeze that is almost cold in the shadow is dancing with the tree limbs.  It is just too nice a day to spend it all inside.  So, after I finish cleaning up the kitchen, I’m going over to the “Fun Day” at one of the parish churches.  It’s a good 20 to 25 minute walk.  A live band will be playing.  They will have a raffle, a baked good stall to buy biscuits (cookies) and cakes as well as serving a cream tea or burgers.  It’s a perfect day for cooking outside.   Most likely, no donuts…but I’ll be happy with scones, jam and cream. 
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
“Lady Helene”

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Hanging out with family

                Here in England, school holidays are about six to seven weeks long.  Holiday season begins the very last week of July and goes through to the end of August or first week of September. 
                When I think of summer holidays, memories of mid-year in Indiana surface in my mind.  Our parents arranged for us to spend time with our grandparents. 
                My father’s mother we called Granny.  (She didn’t like the sound of Grandma!).  She was married to Gramps.    My mother’s mother we called Grandma.  (She had an aversion to the term Granny!)  So differentiating between them was simple.  From the summer of 1970 until we graduated from high school my sister and I spent two weeks in southern Indiana at my Grandma’s house and two weeks in Illinois at Gramps’ and Granny’s house.  Maybe I’ll write about some of my memories later.  But I brought up the idea of visiting grandparents, because my life was enriched by spending time with them.  And I wanted to repeat that practice with my grandchildren. 
                One of the differences between being a grandchild myself and my grandchildren, is family size.  It was only my sister and me that my parents had to arrange transport for.  It was just two that my grandparents had to feed and entertain—whether together or separately. 
                I have four step-children.  Collectively, we have seventeen grandchildren.  There is no way our first-floor flat could contain a group of children.  At the very most, we could handle two for a week or two.    
                Given this, I came to the conclusion that it was easier for me to go spend a week with them instead of them trying to come to me. 
                August 2nd, I with The Maverick and “Trusty Steed” (his bike) took the train to Dorchester, where we spent the night with “Walley & Gaz”   Their Victorian home was snug, with a tight stair case, short landing and three bedrooms upstairs. 
                To my chagrin, I forgot my camera. 
                Whilst “Walley” and I curled up in chairs and chatted, their youngest son, “Morrie”  nonchalantly came over and climbed onto the chair with me.  His favourite thing is play-dough.  I was obliged to roll out a yard-long worm!  But one has a difficult time turning down a six-year-old.   “Gaz” cooked a delicious pork roast dinner. 
                The next day The Maverick had the pleasure of riding from Dorchester to Wareham.   That Sunday was cool, partly cloudy, making for excellent riding weather.
                Happily riding in the front seat of “Gaz’s” car, the rest of us arrived at “Lacy & Mr. Biz’s” house.  They had just moved into this spacious refurbished farm house with it’s large lounge, and five bedrooms.  The kitchen has an old-fashioned gas cooker, as well as a small gas stove and oven.  The downstairs toilet and shower are off the laundry room.  The second bathroom and toilet are at the top of the stairs. 
                When we arrived, it was to find “Lacy’s” and “Walley’s” cousin, “Darr” making a fire in the barbeque.  A 50 gallon drum barrel had been converted into a grill.  Being from Zimbabwe, “Darr” was familiar with the African “Brie” lifestyle.  And being a head chef, he was more than happy to create marinade for the beef and chicken. 
                Including “Darr’s” daughter, eleven children filled the afternoon with playing, laughing, a few tears and happy chatter.  Although cool, the weather was warm enough for half the children to play in the pool in the back garden. 
                Four chickens and three ducks seem unfazed by the extra people meandering in and out of the garden.
                Because we hadn’t seen “Lacy” and “Mr. Biz” for a few months, The Maverick and I found ourselves sitting up till 2.00 am Monday morning, chatting with them.  Guess there was a lot to catch up with. 
                The Maverick caught the train late morning on Monday to come home.  He had to work on Tuesday.  I stayed until Friday.  Several times I was disappointed that I’d forgotten my camera.  But I will make sure to take it next time.
                Tuesday  “Lacy” took me, “Lollie”, “Cookie” and “Man-Cub” to Swanage, a traditional Victorian sea town.  “Lollie” and “Cookie” enjoyed paddling in the waves and playing in the sad.  “Man-Cub”, only 10 months old, was fascinated by all the stones, grabbing sand—with the intent of putting it into his mouth.  Our two-hour stay included having ice cream. 
"Cookie", Me and "Lollie" in front

                Wednesday “Mr. Biz” was chauffer to “Lacy” “Cookie”, “Man Cub” and me.  “Mr. Biz” drove over the hills of Dorset, using back roads to help me see the breath-taking beauty of the area.  Our destination was Lulworth Cove. When we drove into the car park, I looked up the hill and thought “No way!  You’ve got to be joking!”    We were facing a hill of about a 30 degree angle.   The path was graduated, with crushed rock and landings.  We took it slowly, but I made it to the top of the hill.  However I didn’t actually see the horseshoe-shaped cove, as it meant going down the hill.  Physically, I had reached my limits—knowing I wasn’t fit enough to traipse down the hill, then come back up again and back down again.  However, I wasn’t the only one who decided that the top of the hill was sufficient for the day.  Even so, the view from the top  hill was worth the trudge up the hill. 
                Eventually, we made our way back down to the shops by the entrance to the car park.  We had hot, fresh fish and chips.  “Man Cub” using his four teeth, made good work of a sausage.   We had to stand in line for ice cream.  It was made from organic milk from a local dairy. The kind of ice cream that needs to be savoured. 
                Wednesday, “Jame-oh” became ill, running a fevor.  So Thursday, “Lacy” and “Mr. Biz” spent the better part of the day at the A&E (Accident and Emergency).   The doctors kept them, wanting to make sure that “Jame-oh” did not have appendicitis.   Food poisoning was the verdict.  They gave him instructions for a light diet and some tablets.   “Jame-oh” was insistent he was going to Cadet Camp.   So, although uncomfortable, he was glad it was only something he ate. 
                Friday, 9th August, I had a very easy, and pleasant journey home on the train.   By the time I’d arrived home though, I was tired.  Yet, as I looked back at the week, I can easily say it was time well invested.  I’m looking forward to doing it again.

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
“Lady Helene”

Making Mention

Prayer & Intercessions

“...making mention of you in my prayers…”

                 In three letters—to the church in Ephesus, the church in Thessaloniki and to his friend Philemon—Paul uses the above phrase, “making mention of you in my prayers.” 

                 Besides making connection with God, prayer also connects us with those whom we love. 
Because faith and sharing communion makes us one, we can also love those people we have never met—like the Persecuted Church in Syria, Egypt, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc. 

In Revelation St. John the Beloved writes that our prayers are as sweet incense to God.  Remembering to pray for missionaries might seem insignificant.  But when we pray it:
· Releases grace to those for whom we pray
· Opens our minds to hear God’s voice and hear answers to our problems
· Moves us from the natural to the supernatural
· Disarms the works of Satan
· Can lead us into worship, where God lives
· Allows us to access God’s strength, to compensate for our weaknesses
· Provides an opportunity to forgive those who have hurt us
· Is like rain that saturates our soul, and allows affection to grow

There are lots of ways to remember to pray for others.  Photos of my friends who are serving as missionaries are hanging up in my lounge and office (at home).  Some friends have a list of names written down and use it as a book mark in their Bibles.  When they do their daily devotionals, they pray for family, friends, missionaries and Christian organisations.  Some people use diaries to pray for certain people on their birthdays and/or anniversaries.

Lets be like Paul, remembering to pray for the missionaries and the missions organisations we know about. 

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,

"Lady Helene "

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Prayer of Intercessions for 11 August 2013

The Prayer I wrote for today's intercessions.

Psalm 4:3
Amplified Bible (AMP)
But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself [and given distinction to] him who is godly [the man of loving-kindness]. The Lord listens and heeds when I call to Him.
Reader:  The Lord listens
Response: and heeds when I call to Him.

Leaders/Government:  Most Righteous Creator God, who invites us to call You Father, thank you for setting us apart through your grace.  You are a God of order; we know that all authority and government exists by your design.  We pray for world leaders—presidents, kings and royal families—who are appointed to establish and maintain justice and laws for the benefit of the country’s citizens.  We pray that those who know You will seek your wisdom, counsel, and rule with skill, integrity and courage.  We pray the Holy Spirit will bring conviction to rulers who do not know you; that they will come to know you.  We pray all leaders will seek to be servants, doing what is best for their countries as a whole.
Reader:  The Lord listens
Response: and heeds when I call to Him.

The Church: Jesus Christ, Lover of your Bride, the church, we seek for unity in purpose and communion—just as you and the Father with the Holy Spirit are one.  David wrote Behold, how good and how pleasant it is, for brethren to dwell together in unity! ...for there the Lord commanded the blessing— Life forevermore.”  We pray for church leaders : Our Queen who is Head of the Church of England, Archbishops—specifically Justin Welby—Bishops, and all clergy worldwide—Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic.  May they have your word written in their hearts and not just their minds.  We pray for Robin, Colin and Bruce as they work together to bring the message of Jesus Christ to our parish.  Continue to give vision, wisdom, courage to them; and bless them with health and strength.
Reader:  The Lord listens
Response: and heeds when I call to Him.

World and Missions:  All-seeing, All-knowing God, the world is full of sorrow, pain, war, sickness—most of which is caused by the selfishness of mankind.  We thank you for visionaries, prophets and people who are passionate about bringing your righteousness and justice into a broken world.  Relief workers, community development designers, medical and community health instructors work daily to minister to the poor, widows, orphans and elderly—both here in the United Kingdom and around the world.  We pray for these peace-makers, teachers, doctors and nurses who seek to further your Kingdom by serving with compassion.  Please provide all they need—spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.  We pray for the Persecuted Church.  Pour out grace, courage, and provision to all who suffer.
Reader:  The Lord listens
Response: and heeds when I call to Him.

Local Community:  Loving Father, you see our local community, and compared to the world, our needs might seem little.  But we know that there are families who are affected by poverty, sickness and even hopelessness.  Guide us, by the Holy Spirit, to be your hands and feet, to bring hope, encouragement, and the resources to broaden your Kingdom.  We pray for those who are recently married or have become parents.  Help your Church to make connections with these families to be a resource for stability, counsel and practical help during these life-changing events. 
Reader:  The Lord listens
Response: and heeds when I call to Him.
The Sick and Bereaved:  Teacher, Friend, Healer—Jesus Christ, as the four men brought the man on his pallet to you, being persistent enough to dig through the ceiling and lower him into your presence for healing, so we bring our friends and loved ones to you for your touch.  Impart your peace to them, help hope to grow and ease their suffering.  We specifically bring to you:  Robert Sharp, Ruby Trotter, Simon …see page
Father of Compassion, let those who have experienced the loss of a dear one, find consolation in faith.  Help them walk through the shadows of grief, knowing that although away from us physically, they live on in us—in our memory—and for some of us—through our DNA. 
Reader:  The Lord listens
Response: and heeds when I call to Him.
Merciful Father, Accept these prayers for the sake of our Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.