Monday, 25 February 2013

A parallel

            The whole Bible is about Jesus.  I don’t remember when I heard the saying: “The Old Testament is Jesus concealed; the New Testament is Jesus revealed. “ 
            As a young Christian I decided to read the Bible all the way through—as it seemed that it would be a forgone conclusion that someone who professed to be a Christian (a) would want to and (b) should know what was in the Bible.  So my eyes ate up the stories, trudged through the statistics, related to the Psalms, puzzled about the prophets and personalised the letters to the churches. 
            As with any instructional book, sometimes you have to read through something several times; one has to become familiar with it before one begins to understand its meaning.  But over the years I’ve begun to discover interesting parallels and corresponding instances between the Old Testament and Jesus. 
            Here is an example.

Numbers 11
So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, “Moses my lord, forbid them!”
29 Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” 30 And Moses returned to the camp, he and the elders of Israel.

Luke 9
49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”
50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us[a] is on our side.”[b]
            In both instances young leaders, in the training programme, are “tattling” to the leaders (Moses and Jesus) about people “outside the clique” experiencing the Holy Spirit.  And in both cases, the reply is:  “God is at work—let the Spirit flow.” 
            Paul wrote to Timothy “16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16). God made sure all the indicators were in the scripture, so that when Jesus comes, we cannot fail to recognise Him. 
            Like a parent who plays “peek-a-boo” or “hide-and-seek” with his/her child; The Father rejoices in our delight when we recognise His Son—as revealed through the Bible, which is brought alive by the Holy Spirit. 
            Yes, there are times I struggle as I wade through reading Numbers and the census reports of the twelve tribes.  But, then I come across one of these “moments of reveal” and I’m so glad I’ve persevered.  I hope your reading time is just as fruitful.
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
Lady Helene

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Sharing A Prayer

Isaiah 65:24:  24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

Response:  As we pray, You promise to hear.

Church:  Most Marvellous God, we are both amazed and humbled to call you Abba, Father.  As Paul wrote, our citizenship is in heaven; we live in a hidden kingdom whilst on this earth.  We pray that all of your children follow in Jesus’ foot steps—making seen the unseen Kingdom.  In countries where Your church is persecuted, fill them with supernatural joy.  You are their light and salvation; enable them to be fearless during trials by ordeal. 
We pray for church leadership worldwide.  We remember the Catholic Church as they go through the process of selecting a new Pope.  May he be strong in vision, purpose and direction. 
We pray for our new Arch Bishop, Justin Welby.  Thank you for his courage to speak into the life of our political leaders.  We ask for your continued blessing on his work.
We thank you for our new Area Dean, Rev’d Roderick Cosh.  Inspired and filled with the Holy Spirit, may he have wisdom, insight, compassion and humour to serve in his new post. 
For our local vicars—Robin, Colin and Bruce—we give you thanks; for their commitment to our community; to teaching and equipping us to effectively make a positive difference in Langley and Slough.

Response:  As we pray, You promise to hear.

World:  May we, Your Children, reflect Your light and salvation in a world of brokenness, strife, selfishness and greed.  We often feel overwhelmed, inept, frustrated at our limited ability to make a difference in such a big world.  Give us eyes to see the opportunities we do have.
          We pray for government leaders—that you would use them to make righteous laws. 
The world has come to us, here in Langley and Slough—having been listed as the most culturally and ethnically diverse community in the country.  Let us take advantage of each situation where we can share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those we meet in our daily life—through actions and words.  Touching one person here can mean touching another life far away. 

Response:  As we pray, You promise to hear.

Community:  We give thanks for libraries, learning centres, and volunteer groups that provide places for people to gain new skills, make friends and give opportunities to serve in the neighbourhood.  Help us in the church to continue to enable and facilitate the work they do.  Let us be motivated by compassion and a desire to use our abilities and talents to participate with them, whilst also being a witness to your love.

Response:  As we pray, You promise to hear.

Those who are ill/suffering:  Jesus, You were wounded for our wrong doing, you were beaten for our wickedness; you suffered our punishment so that we can be healed.  Speak Your word and send your healing to those you are suffering in spirit, soul and body.

Response:  As we pray, You promise to hear.

Those who have died:  Father, we bring to you those who are recently bereaved.  Comfort those who are feeling the recent sting of death.  Let those walking through this time of shadows and sorrow sense Your Presence with them. 

We remember others who have been a part of the fabric of our lives; for some of us they live forever in our hearts only;  for others of us, they reside in our DNA as well. 
Give us the courage and ability to move through our grief, not to be stymied by it. 

Response:  As we pray, You promise to hear.
Most Merciful Father,
Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ,--Amen

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Boots and a Bag

     After five days off, The Maverick returned to work--and worked a double shift.  What a way to spend his Valentine's Day.  

     But I'm not complaining.  On Monday The Maverick met me in town and we had a lunch date.  It was a cold, overcast, day with snow falling until about 2.00 pm.  

     On Tuesday, The Maverick prepared eggy-bread/french toast with bacon for breakfast.  Yummmm...  Then we made plans to meet up in town again.  Only this time it was to be about 3.00 pm, as my sewing class is from 12.00 pm to 2.30 pm.  

     Since I've been bitten by the sewing bug, and been taking classes, the kind of tools I need and want are becoming more apparent.  So, I ordered a rotary cutter, a self-healing cutting mat, and 25 yeards of continuous zipper.  Amazon is a great place to buy items from several different merchants.  The Fiskars Rotary cutter arrived on Monday.  Also on Monday, a card was delivered from the post office saying a parcel for me was waiting at the sorting station, as it was too big to deliver.  Believing it was the A1 sized (33" by 23") in a flat box, I thought I'd have to pick it up after class.  But, The Maverick offered to pick-up the parcel from the post office while I was in class.  He had time to get it, take it home and then come back into town to meet me.  

     After my class, I was heading out the door from the Learning Centre when my mobile rang.  It was The Maverick.  We confirmed where  in the bus station we would meet.  Walking at a moderate pace, I was at the station in about 10 minutes.  

     Smiling as we approached each other, I noticed the crooked grin on The Maverick's face.  He'd done a little shopping--because a green bag hung from his hand.
     "Hold our your hand."  he instructs.  He then produces from the green bag a bunch of green grapes.  That's perfect!
      "I am so hungry.  I didn't even leave class for a cup of water today."

     "Oh, and here's this! 
     "What is it?"
     Into my hand he puts a parcel that is about 9 inches long and twelve inches around.  Obviously this is NOT a cutting board.  Instead, it was the continuous zip kit I ordered.  :-)  

     We both laughted as we walked toward the coffee shop.  The Maverick saw a bargin of a cup of tea and a piece of cake for £2.50.  That is a good deal.  I nibbled grapes as well and felt my energy levels rise for our shopping trip to Windsor.

My new boots--A Valentines's Gift? 
     Since the weather has been snowy, cold and wet, he decided that I might like to have a pair of solid hiking boots; with a firm traction and waterproof, (gortex if possible.)  Millets is a camping store, and it was only after we got to Windsor that we learned that they were closing.  We went down Peascot Street, and found that Millets was decorated with "Closing Down" posters in the window.  We went in, but found nothing that we liked.  

     However, we meadered over to Cotswold, another outdoor gear store.  A friendly, informative and attentive Scottish lad waited on us, giving us good information as well as finding shoes for us to try on.  This time, my feet were fitted nicely and The Maverick asked it I wanted them.  After a few minutes of mulling, I decided yes.  
     The clocks were indicating it was getting onto 5.00 pm. and I still wanted to go to C&H Haberdasher/craft shop.  It was just around the corner and I left The Maverick to try on shoes himself.  

     I had a bit of a look about, and spent at least 10 minutes trying to decided on a pair of shears--how long did I want them, which make was the best quality, how much did I feel I wanted to pay for them?  Once I decided on a pair of Fiskars, I picked out a few other bits and bobs.  As I was browsing over the remnants, the lights flickered.  That blatant hint that it was closing time. material this time.  I still have lots at home to use up!  

     The Maverick was outside the shop waiting for me.  He decided not to buy himself any boots.  

     We rode the bus home and enjoyed the rest of our evening in front to the television.  And that's why I'm not complaining about The Maverick working on Valentines' Day.  We just had it early. 

     Today, I finished a hand-bag for my friend and prayer partner.  It matches an outfit that I previously made and gave to her.  I'm truly looking forward to giving it to her.  

     I hope my cutting mat comes tomorrow.

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

A prayer for Lent

Each month our St. Mary's has a family Worship service specifically geared toward young families, those with pre-school children.  This month the Vicar asked if I had time to write the prayer for this month's service, which is on the 17th.  I said of course.  Here it is.

Reader:  Jesus, You lead us into life               
Response:  Please help us follow.

Jesus, even today you ask each of us, “Who Am I?”  Our faith answers you, “You are God’s Son, the One who saves us."  We know that if we want to be saved, we must follow you.  You have taught us that we must take up our cross, every day, in order to follow you. 

Reader:  Jesus, You lead us into life               
Response:  Please help us follow.

Jesus, you explained that to finish your mission:
You must be rejected;
You must suffer
You must die first.

We want life, just like You. 
We must be rejected;
We must suffer;
We must die—pick up our cross, daily.
We fear pain.  We fear suffering.  We fear facing death.

Reader:  Jesus, You lead us into life               
Response:  Please help us follow.

Jesus, in order to follow you, we must walk in your steps. 
You rejected fear.  We speak your words and courage comes.
You embraced suffering.  We embrace you, and comfort comes.
You arose from death.  We rejoice in your resurrection and we find hope.

Reader:  Jesus, You lead us into life               
Response:  Please help us follow.

Jesus, during this Lenten season, help us to let go of the world—which will leave us empty.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, help us to take up our cross(es) which will fill us with the fruit of you kingdom.  We want our hearts to hug the Holy Spirit and feel love, peace, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, healing and being right with You. 

Reader:  Jesus, You lead us into life               
Response:  Please help us follow.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Just a quickie for you.  I created a pattern for Christmas Stockings.  They look rustic, are made from jeans and calico, and each is personalised.  These are just some of them. 

Friday, 8 February 2013

A Funny thing happened on the way to the blogspot...

                                   A funny thing happened on the way to my blog-spot....
                                   By the middle of December I had plotted my course for Christmasville, with what I thought was sufficient time to successfully achieve all my preparations.  However, on the journey, I encountered a couple of extra junctions on the round-about—like the Burg of unfinished sewing projects, and the German-inspired Gingerbread Town. 
                                   Lots of messy fun had to be scheduled, as icing sugar flew up from the mixer in super-fine powdering snow, dusting the work-top and everything on it with a film of sticky whiteness.  Most of the houses were ordered constructed and decorated, so I used literally pounds of icing sugar (powdered sugar), dozens of eggs and perhaps a tablespoon of cream of tartar in mixing royal icing to “glue” the houses together and put on the sweets.  However, two friends wanted to have a go of decorating the houses themselves. 
"Mrs. Cardlady"
                   Thursday, 20th December 2012—Mrs. Cardlady came for a wonderful time of chatter and construction.  By way of coaching, I assembled a house along side of Mrs. Cardlady.  We ran into a bit of trouble when her house began to come apart.  We managed to rescue the house, amidst some creative thinking and extra gingerbread.  Mrs. Cardlady and I became firm friends during the afternoon.  

 She had brought several bags of Allsorts liquorish, as this was one of her favourite sweets.  (By the way, liquorish and gingerbread go together very well!)   Being a bubbly, chatty, extravert, Mrs. Cardlady told me about taking an “embroidery class” that was more of a 3-dimensional design class.  


One of her assignments was to design and create a pair of house slippers.  Her first thought was a pair of pink, high-heeled boudoir slippers; but once home, inspiration hit by way of the Allsorts.  I’ve seen said slippers and here is a photograph of them.  Mrs. Cardlady lives literally just down the block and her husband, “The Mothman” came and carried their gingerbread creation home for her. 
"Reba" at work.
          Saturday, 22nd December—“Dr. Surry” brought her youngest daughter, “Reba” on the Saturday before Christmas.  “Reba” is 11 years old and a very articulate young lady.  Spending the day with “Dr. Surry” and “Reba” turned into a surprise for me.  We finished the gingerbread houses, and suddenly I was invited along to watch a film at the cinema (movie at the theatre) with them; Tinker Bell—Secret of the Wings.  The animation, artwork and colours in the film were striking, refreshing.  While the story might have been predictable, it wasn’t trite or boring.  They also bought a Chinese take-away for my dinner.  I was truly blessed that afternoon. 

"Grandy, Ally & Nanna"
Monday, 24th December—“The Maverick” and I went over to “Floss & Harry’s” for a couple of hours—delivering their Christmas presents.  Sharing Christmas with a child in the picture has a certain degree of delight in it.  But, to share it with your own child and grandchild is truly a time to be cherished and revelled in.  Christmas 2012 was “Ally’s” first Christmas.  She was fascinated with the lights.  And Mummy had her dressed up in red, awaiting Santa.  
"Baby Ally." "Daddy--Harry" and "Mummy--Floss"

                   With our other three children in Southern England, we had made plans to share Christmas dinner with “The Aussie Family”--“TechPhile” and “Sandgroper—and their two lovely children”.  Christmas day was sunny, with a stiff chill—almost cold but one could get by with a fleece instead of a heavy coat.  “The Maverick” and I went to church for Christmas service and then returned home to wait for “Sandgroper” to come collect us.  Their home is about four miles from us.  The phone rang, and “TechPhile” informed us that a taxi was on its way—one of the car tires had gone flat in route. 
                   The taxi arrived and “The Maverick” and I climbed in.  We were about three-quarters of the way to our destination when I saw “Sandgroper” walking towards home.  Without either “The Maverick” or I asking him, the driver found a place to turn around and pick up “Sandgroper.”  The Lord was certainly looking out for all of us!  The driver was a bit confused when “Sandgroper” went to pay him instead of “The Maverick.” 
                   Christmas was a disappointing day for “TechPhile” because he was ill with the flu.  He did manage to come down and say hello, but that was all.  Spending the day in bed when one is ill is an unhappy way to spend Christmas.  But the children enjoyed opening their gifts.  We had a lovely turkey dinner.
As a general rule, it is always polite to turn on the mobile phone off during a meal.  “The Maverick’s” phone rang during the mail course.  Though he was scheduled to have Boxing Day off, an allocator had rung, asking John to work.  I was not happy about the situation; but I also knew he’d get paid a shift bonus for working on a bank holiday.  I was also a bit disappointed that he immediately said yes, without asking me how I felt.  Oh well...
 After the meal, “The Maverick” and “Sandgroper” walked back to the car, where he changed the tire and they came back. 
                   In the evening, “Sandgroper” brought “The Maverick” and me home.  We finally opened our gifts. 
                   I don’t remember Boxing Day—except that John had an early shift, and he got home early afternoon.  I think we probably sat on the couch and watched films on television. 
                   The last two gingerbread houses were done in January—as that was when they were ordered for.  Right now I don’t know if I will do it again next year or not. 
                   John worked New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  Neither of us stayed up to greet the New Year. 
                   I’ve also been busy with two weekly sewing classes, and working on next Christmas’s gifts.  I have a list of things I want to make and have one ready to tick off.  Wish I could show you...but then it won’t be a surprise. 
                   So that’s me pretty much caught up.
                   Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
“Lady Helene”