Tuesday, 29 March 2016

26 Saturday--Easter Activities

Every year St. Mary's Sunday School does an activity with the young people around the story of Gethsemane.  The result is a beautiful flower display that the children create with potted blooming plants.  Above is this year's result.

"Maverick" and I had lunch with friends in the afternoon, as well as spending the afternoon with them.  

With Meat on the left--and beans on the right 
On Thursday I'd cooked two pots of chili; one vegetarian and one with meat but no beans. 

Cooking two pots of chili wasn't too difficult.  I cut up celery, onions, carrots (Yes, carrots, okay!), and bell / sweet pepper to brown in oil.

To the two pan I added a packet of Old El Paso taco seasoning.  This shortcut helps with getting the flavour just right--but can easily adjust if someone wants to add tobasco sauce.  

At this point I added the meat to one pan.  Once the meat was browned, I added to both pans one tin of chopped tomatoes and 1 tin / box of passata (sieved tomotoes).  To the pan without the meat, I added one tin of pre-cooked kidney beans.  After stirring well, I let it come up to a soft boil and then turned it down to simmer for about half-an-hour.  

When it was cooked through, I turned off the heat.  I let it cool overnight on the stove.  The next morning "Maverick" was kind enough to find containers to transfer it into.  It sat in the refrigerator until Saturday.  

 I knew it would taste better after a couple of days.  All the soup was eaten, which did please me.  I made a double batchof cornbread (as I was feeding 13 people), of which there were three pieces left over.  Now that is a complement.   

Most of Saturday afternoon was spent inside just talking.  That's because the weather was cloudy and raining.  

 I went to bed kind of early, as the clocks were due to turn an hour forward.  So I wanted to make sure I was refreshed for our Easter Sunday.

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith.
"Lady Helene"

Friday, 25 March 2016

2016 Stations of the Cross

          Brought up as a Protestant Christian, I thought only the Catholic Church provided services for the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.  I was unaware that the Church of England provided opportunities to corporately worship, focusing on Jesus’ journey from the Mount of Olives in the garden of Gethsemane to the tomb. 
Gethsemane and Pilate Washes His hands
For the past few years I have joined the service at St. Mary’s.  Since the building is small, the stations are indicated by poster-sized illustrations, providing focus.  Each station has a caption, written by the artist. 
          Two readers guide the service; at each stop there is a narrative reading based upon scriptures.  Then there is a song by the choir, or a hymn sung by the congregation.  (One is usually, When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.)  The second reader reads a prayer, which also has a response. 
      The last Station is the tomb.  The service takes about an hour-and-fifteen minutes. 
          As I pondered the death of Jesus, I realised that I could never truly relate to the disciples on the first Good Friday.  I can acknowledge the confusion, the fear, the anger and frustration.  But I have grown up knowing that Jesus DID rise from the dead.  The disciples truly must have been bewildered by Jesus voluntarily going to the cross and experiencing death.  They had to live through those two nights when Jesus’ body was in the grave.  No wonder the Disciples were stultified by the news that Jesus had arisen.  They had hope; Jesus had called Lazarus back from the dead.  But His resurrection was like the thing that is expected, yet shocking when it does happen. They were "Gob-smacked" when they learned of His victory over the grave.
          The first disciples experienced a very different “Good Friday.”  It wasn’t until Sunday morning they could revel in “He is Risen!”  Today, I am living in the “He Is Risen”, while still remembering His walk through suffering and sorrow.
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
“Lady Helene”

It Is Done!

       No, I am not trying to set the Guinness World Record for most blog posts in one day.  Rather, it seemed prudent to make each topic its own post; thereby adding to the list towards my goal of 200 blog posts for the year.  I hope you will indulge me on this occasion.

          I’ve not posted daily during the last week as I’ve been busy with cooking, cleaning, laundry and work.  I humbly confess to wasting time playing on-line games, as well as solitaire, free-cell, and spider solitaire on my computer. 

           However, I made a commitment to finish the afghan I was making for my grand-daughter “Phe-Phe”.  It is now down!  I’m pleased with it—and very grateful that it is finished.  

          I’ve sent a photo to “Chantilly”, who is “Phe-Phe’s” mother.  I wanted her to see if before I posted it here.

          Now I can start on some sewing projects.  I’m ready to befriend my sewing machine again!

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,

“Lady Helene”

Changes on Meadow Road

Changes are coming to our neighbourhood.  The council has purchased the property where the Merrymaker Pub has stood for years.  It is to be razed and a new medical centre and community building constructed.  

It is only recently that we were informed that the plans had indeed been approved of by the council.  Now work has begun on the buildings being prepared for demolition.   

This means I will be taking regular photos of the progress on the new look on the road behind us.  Here is the first.

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith
“Lady Helene”

Maisy's imprompto bed

          At least once a day Maisy will do something really sweet, or silly, which in affect makes me smile.  

          This post has to do with sleeping.  When Maisy first came to us, I made a point of putting her into her kennel carrier at night to sleep.  I was NOT going to allow her on the bed at night.

          But that didn’t last—but that’s another story.  She now comes to bed with me, and “Maverick” usually comes a couple of hours later.  Some nights “Maverick” just can’t get comfortable.  He turns over again and again, like a chicken on a rotisserie.  Occasionally my snoring is exceptionally loud.  

          On Tuesday night Maisy must have gotten fed up with the noise and the constant movement.  She jumped down and found her own bed; the laundry basket with dirty laundry in it.  That is where I found her Wednesday morning.  Hence the photo.  Cute, ain’t it!   But that’s my Maisy!

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
Lady Helene

20th March 2016 Sunday Intercessions

Psalm 141:1-2

141 I pray to you, Lord!      Please listen when I pray and hurry to help me.
Think of my prayer as sweet-smelling incense, and think of my lifted hands as an evening sacrifice.

The Reader:    Father, listen when we pray
Response:        Receive our prayers as sweet-smelling incense.

The Church:  King of Heaven, Lord of Earth, Spirit of Truth we are still before you, recognising how amazing and awesome You are.  We, your church, love You.  We trust in your grace to save us.  We invite You, Holy Spirit, to empower us to share the message of forgiving love.
  • Guide our leaders: 
  • Arch Bishop Justin Welby
  • Arch Bishop John Sentamu
  • Area Dean, Rod Cosh
  • Our vicars; Bruce, Robin and Colin.
  Protect and provide for those
  • Who live and work in politically hostile situations;
  • Who work in countries without infrastructure, seeking to reach those who have not heard the gospel;
  • Who are persecuted for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Reader:    Father, listen when we pray
Response:        Receive our prayers as sweet-smelling incense.

Creation, Human Society, The Sovereign, Those in Authority:   As Your children, we are called to stewardship. 
  • Teach us how to honour You by showing respect for our physical world and help us diligently manage the natural resources that you have provided for us. 
  • Guide our governmental leaders as they debate issues of taxes, education, the National Health Services and a referendum on the EU.
  • Bless and prosper us so that we can support and encourage the work of NGO working to provide clean water, safe habitats and food to the people in undeveloped and/or war torn countries.
  • We pray for government leaders worldwide dealing with civil war, natural disasters and the growing immigrant/refugee crisis.  Guide them forward into peace.

The Reader:    Father, listen when we pray
Response:        Receive our prayers as sweet-smelling incense.

The Local Community:  As we celebrate Passion Week here in Langley and Slough, we pray
·         for many opportunities to share the message of Jesus Christ with all children in the local Easter outreaches to schools
·         that hearts will be touched and curiosity stirred as they observe the Walk of Witness
·         for lives to be changed during this season of celebrating Christ’s death and resurrection.

The Reader:    Father, listen when we pray
Response:        Receive our prayers as sweet-smelling incense.

Those who suffer:  Many in our community, friends and family are hurting physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.  Jesus, send your word to provide solace and comfort.  Holy Spirit touch them and heal them.   

The Reader:    Father, listen when we pray
Response:        Receive our prayers as sweet-smelling incense.

The communion of saints:  Loving Saviour many, who have believed in Your promise to become children of God, have gone on before us.  Sometimes we rejoice that they are now free from suffering of this world.  Sometimes we pine for them, wishing for just one more opportunity to talk with them.  At this time we pray for those newly bereaved: 


Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole of creation to Your unfailing love.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of Your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.