Thursday, 7 November 2013


What is a Missionary—And are YOU one?

                 If I say the word “Missionary” who comes to your mind—Dr. David Livingstone, or perhaps Gladys Aylward, or even Eric Liddell?  These are a few people who come to my mind.  

                 What else comes to mind?  Is it someone who leaves family, friends, a nine-to-five job to travel off to a developing country and live in primitive circumstances?  You know—without running water, electricity or a mobile phone?  Maybe that’s an old-fashioned picture.  Maybe it’s a person or a couple who go onto a poverty-stricken estate and work with kids who are prone to become gang members. 

Look up the word online at (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) and it defines a missionary as:  “a person who is sent to a foreign country to do religious work (such as to convince people to join a religion or to help people who are sick, poor, etc.) “

On that same webpage is another definition:  “A person undertaking a mission, especially a religious mission.“

Matthew (chapter 28):records Jesus giving instructions to His disciples:  18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore[c] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”[d] 

There it is—an assignment from Jesus.  In the book of Acts, Jesus tells us that once the Holy Spirit comes, we will be witnesses—first in Jerusalem, then in Judea, into Samaria and then the ends of the world.  Basically, He was saying we begin where we are born and raised.  Then, He will lead us, by His precious Spirit, to where he wants us to invest into the lives of others.

Jesus has given us a mission—therefore we are all missionaries.  Not all of us will be like Abraham and be told to “start walking”.   For "Dale Doug Maccard", his mission is to return home (South Sudan) and tell of all the Lord has done for him.  For some of us, our mission is to support, encourage, finance, and pray for those who have gone to the ends of the earth—"Adair & Verina Hisscock", and/orThe "Clemmer Family" --" James", " Nita" and "Jannie". (Names are changed to protect idenity.)

From one missionary to another, let us listen to the Holy Spirit and find out the specific mission He has for each of us. 

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

Sunday, 22 September 2013

I did Dance...

                Yes, I danced!  Last night (Saturday, 21st September) I joined a group of about 100 people at this year’s Harvest Barn Dance, hosted by the parish churches.  The Maverick was at work, but I still had a partner for the folk dancing; a lovely Korean lady named Jeesun. 
               The Maverick and I got acquainted with Jeesun over Christmas 2011.  The organisation, HOST UK , connected us with Jeesun, and she came for Christmas.  Looking back, I’m surprised I didn’t write about more of our UK Host guests.  I did write about HOST UK in a previous post:
                Because HOST UK places serves students, most of the adult visitors return to their home countries after they finish their masters’ degrees.   In general most HOST UK visitors only visit their guests homes once or twice.  So it seemed unlikely we would get to see any of our new friends more than once.  But I am on the social network, and sent out an e-mail to people in my e-mail address book; one of whom was Jeesun.  She accepted my invitation to link-up and sent me a message.  I discovered that she was still in London.  So I invited her to come for a visit. 
                She came yesterday, bringing with her a tin of lovely Korean biscuits.   We sat on the couch, chatting, drinking tea and crunching the crumbly treats until it was time to walk to the school where the dance was being held.
                Unfortunately, Jeesun had purchased a return ticket for Saturday evening—and she had to leave the dance an hour into the event.  Her fish dinner was packed into a courier bag and I walked her to the entrance to the park she would have to walk through to get to the bus stop. 
                Besides the dancing, and a take-away dinner that was catered in, there was a raffle.  I passed on the opportunity of purchasing tickets, because I have so much stuff around here that I don’t really need I didn’t want to bring anything else home! 
                I really enjoy the social events hosted by the church, as it gives a person a chance to talk to other people you see on a Sunday morning, but don’t really have a chance to talk to, get to know. 
                The dance finished at 9.00 pm.  Several people from the three congregations busied themselves with stacking up the chairs, folding up the tables and setting the hall in order.  The trash had been collected through-out the evening, so it was also carried out.  All was done in 10 minutes—almost before one could turn around twice.
               Usually I just sit on the side-lines, chatting with friends, and secretly wishing I was bold enough to get up and dance.  This time, I was glad that I decided to “get over myself” and join the others on the floor.  I wasn’t the only one who was a novice.  It wasn’t a contest.  And at the end of the evening, my heart was still dancing—right until I went to bed.

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

Monday, 9 September 2013

This Saturday just past...

  I took an old-fashioned walk today.  What is an old-fashioned walk?  I went without a mobile phone, no heavy rucksack and no particular destination in mind.  Actually, I had a little errand to perform—posting a letter at a local pillar box.  But that part of the walk was over in about 10 minutes. 
                I truly admire people who love to go out walking, just for the sake of walking.  I confess to enjoying sitting at home, watching a film on television, or reading a book or sewing.  The Maverick is a person who enjoys being active.  He uses up so much energy at work, and doing favours for others, that when he does sit down on our couch, he frequently is overtaken with sleep. 
                Although the sky was blanketed over by grey clouds, it wasn’t raining when I went out this morning.  Now, into the early afternoon, it is raining; soft, soaking, tiny droplets of rain, decorating the windows like wet glitter.  It’s so soft, you can’t hear it.  Yet, watching it is restful, peaceful.  It makes it’s a good tool for meditating.  Autumn is hinting at her arrival.
                Sometimes when I’m out walking, I think of so much I want to write, to share.  But then I get home and it seems my ideas have flown away, like a flock of geese heading to warmer climates for the winter.
                The Maverick works some crazy shifts—which means I go places by myself.  Sometimes I feel like a singleton.  Thankfully, that feeling doesn’t last for long.  This past Saturday, (7th September,) I went to a wedding by myself.  Thankfully the bride and groom attend St. Mary’s, so there were friends to sit with. 
After the ceremony
Each time I go to a wedding, I mentally repeat the vows along with the bride—reaffirming my commitment to The Maverick and my family.  Not a bad thing to do.  Especially when I think about my life and know I would certainly marry The Maverick again.
                The Lord blessed the Wedding Day with sun, a day of perfect warmth.  The wedding was at 3.00 pm, but the reception was at 7.30 pm.  I came home after the ceremony, having arranged for a lift to the reception later.  And since The Maverick finished his shift at 3.00pm, he was home by the time I arrived home.
The reception—being held at a cricket club house—being scheduled for 7.30 pm,  meant that The Maverick had time to get home, rest, shower and then be ready to go out to the party.  I must admit, The Maverick was very handsome.  Spending time chatting with friends, listening to music, eating nibbles and enjoying whilst watching the children run around, allowed opportunity to deepen friendships.  Since we caught a ride with the Vicar and his wife, and it was a Saturday night, we left about 9.30 pm.  This meant all of us could get good sleep before Sunday morning. 
                I’ll write more about Sunday later.
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
“Lady Helene”

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”