Sunday Thought this week asks for prayer and practical concern for the unemployed and their dependents, especially during and after the present pandemic.
The Sunday Thought this week looks at the importance and excitement of prayer in the Church especially concerning new life post pandemic.
When I call you can .
The Pandemic has changed so much about Christian life and worship. Now we may be called to do new things or even old things in new ways!
Maybe God is saying 'I've a little job I'd like you to do for me'
We may well respond, 'Me! I couldn't do that!'
He also says 'When I call you can'
This is the theme of this week's Sunday Thought - read more.
I wonder if in time we shall be able to look back on these months of disruption and anxious disquiet lived in the fearful shadow of the coronavirus pandemic and discover the main story among the small print - The Divine story within our own? .....
That's the theme for the first article on a new page of this website titled Sunday Thought. Thoughts on the lectionary readings for each Sunday are offered to those who will continue to find attendance at worship difficult.
At the beginning of the first century recycling was probably only the concern of the majority poor. However, I cannot imagine the Roman military in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ execution designing individual crosses for their victims nor ordering a new one for each crucifixion. I read that the uprights – stipes – were often left in place, possibly as permanent warnings, leaving the crossbeam – patibulum – to be carried by the victim, as was the case with Jesus. No doubt even these crossbeams could be returned to stores for reuse or re-cycling. This consideration led me to think of Jesus dying on a second-hand cross …. and the following story …..
Click here for story or on Neighbours Page
Learning the parenthood of God
I WANT TO SEE MY DAD is about my daughter Ruth and our daughter/father relationship. For thirty-five of her forty-nine years Ruth suffered physically and mentally, waging a heroic battle with an extreme eating disorder. This is both Ruth’s and my story. Through the successes and failures of our relationship I gained insights into the parenthood of God. Here are glimpses of a life of sparkling sunshine breaking out of terrifying shadowy places. It relates incidents of an undulating way along which I was privileged to discover what it means to say God is my parent – father and mother.
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The following prayer for Autumn is a new addition to Prayers
Also on the Website are new files in
Autumn is such a beautiful time.
Trees dress for the leaving party
before their leaves fall in glorious
cascades of multiple colours.
Lord, our God, Creator, Saviour, Renewer.
Praise to you for the beauty of your natural world;
for the glory of this season.
As we enter into your presence to worship
we resemble the falling leaf;
restless in the turbulent winds of life;
feeling curled at the edges;
showing the deep etched veins of anxieties and cares;
falling short of your loving expectations for our lives.
But here among your people;
in the presence of Jesus our Saviour,
you will touch us like sunlight on falling leaves;
turning our weakness into golden glory.
Lord, give us grace and faith
to let go of ourselves;
knowing that like the leaf,
we shall fall into your prepared ground;
part of your purpose, through your Spirit,
of nourishing new life for ourselves,
and sharing your love with our own
and future generations.
Show us the glory of Jesus
amid the beauty of The Fall.
Spring reminds me that with God everything of value is renewable.
Through the last weeks I have witnessed a gradual resurrection during a 'stop-start' Spring. Here at the woodland burial ground where I come not because my love is here in precious ashes under a new oak tree, but because I share with her in the slow changing beauty of nature's resurrection, a carpet of bluebells under the trees has lasted long. Across a bank of new lush grass supporting bedraggled remnants of daffodils - their beauty safely locked away for another year - the rowan trees are struggling into their creamy-white new dresses encouraged by senior stately yews - mature with many years still to come. Young copper beech with full lives ahead, spread their arms in shady blessing over many silent graves. New life unites with old and codes of being in every decaying leaf are handed on to be renewed in barely recognised forms of beauty. Crows and magpies startle tits and blackbirds among tender chestnut leaves - busy birds even now creating another generation. There is no death here! - Only life's creative, renewing, eternal love. Only God in cross and resurrection!.
I had hoped the 'blogs' would be more frequent but that has not happened. My last entry told of the trauma of going to the far end. I did not know then that the far end would be even further along an unknown trail. Like with Ezekiel, it seems to me that God took from me my most precious possession - and the wound is still raw. However, God has once again been with us to the far end. He has not let us down and his promise of resurrection life together in Jesus is still ours, as is that promise to Ezekiel that it will all be ultimately for the glory of God.
In the past weeks I have remembered the advice -let your pain be part of The Pain- or let your cross be part of God's Cross. It was given to me many years ago by Veronica, a wonderful lady I met in a hospital side-ward in her last stages of a most painful cancer. She simply told me how she found comfort in fixing her mind on the Cross of Jesus.
I had always believed that in Jesus and the Cross God shares the pain I experience in every 'hurt' time of my life but now my faith is expanded to understand that pain-sharing is two-way. God gives me the privilege of sharing in his pain - only the twinges mind - all the hurt of the world - of living at that place where dark and light meet in a flash of glory - where hope pierces through despair - where death gives life and every cross-pain is the experience of forsakenness, of Father into your hands, and today in paradise!
A five year diary! I have often seen them and am assured how good they are for referencing this year against previous years, but my devotional diary - the only diary I keep - has become a two year diary in that it is two years since my last entry. That is not to say that nothing important has happened in my spiritual experience during that time - far from it!! It is just that events which would be entered into a normal daily-life record have crowded out time to write because those events have been so all consuming of commitment in time and energy - tragic family bereavement and a variety of serious illnesses for ourselves and other family members.
The first entry for two years notes those happenings very briefly giving place to relate the deep lessons in faith and hope and love which we have gained from them. That, of course, is the purpose of a devotional diary. I love that country expression "going to the far end". It often means travelling to the end of a no-through road terminating in the hills at the last farmstead for many miles. Personally and as a family we have been to the far end of life experiences these past two years year - and there we have found God in deeper and richer experiences of him. We have grappled with unanswerable questions, fears and personal weaknesses learning all the time how we can trust God with both the great and minute details of our lives and again and again being amazed at his gracious care and provision as well as his right-to-the second timing. We have discovered more of what it means to live close to him in Jesus - to live in the Spirit - to live by faith - to live on God's timetable. We have proved how resurrections do not come without crosses and how crosses always have the promise of resurrections! The diary entry is one of thanks and of praise. It is a testimony to all we have been through and the fact that our Lord has never let us down.
The Blog is mostly a preview of new items for the Friendship Files website prior to their publication in the site pages.