Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Be with us today

May all I do today begin with You, O Lord.
Plant dreams and hopes within my soul,
revive my tired spirit:
be with me today.
May all I do today
continue with Your help, O Lord.
Be at my side
and walk with me:
Be my support today.
May all I do today
reach far and wide, O Lord.
My thoughts, my work, my life:
make them blessings
for Your Kingdom;
let them go beyond today,
O God.


Money and the lack of Money

Generous God,
Deliver us from all envious thoughts
and when we are tempted by the desire of wealth
let us see your face
for your abundance is enough to clothe are lack
though Jesus Christ our Lord.

Common Worship Daily Prayer from Psalm 17

I was looking for a text to think about and from the Daily prayer on Tuesday I found myself at this short little prayer.

Money seems to be in the news at the moment - some for how much they have and earn - the bankers, the bribes the £500 for tube drivers said to not being enough by the Unions.

I was walking around the supermarket this morning, looking at the extra 10p here on this item and 10p on that - wondering if I had enough cash on me to pay for the food.

Talking to a friend who was wondering how much he could charge his potential client - how much could he charge but stay competitive.

Some things seem to be very expensive - talking to a friend who is a solicitor charging over £200 per hour ( as he said the company charged that, he earned nothing like that).

And some things less so - A lady rang me up asking my to teach her child - when I talked to her about prices she told me that £25 per hour was a ridiculous amount to charge per hour and she would give me no more than £5. Needless to say I didn't get the job.

I looked at a job teaching in Luton - wanting a qualified teacher for the minimum wage per hour. Teachers do also a lot of preparation and marking that is outside the paid hours, which must be done. So I would have been working for well under the minimum wage. The pay would not cover my petrol to the school and back.

The world hasn't changed much since the Psalmist's time. There are still people who charge the earth and have a business that people must pay for and there are those whom a little, is still far too much to charge.

We live in world controlled and run by money. Look at the monetary crisis in Europe if you are unsure of that.

Money isn't everything. In fact money is nothing at all.

The world has the haves and the have nots.

I have lots and much to give away. Not Money but the Love of God.

Monday, 30 January 2012

St Pauls Patronal Festival

We had a good sermon from Archdeacon Jonathan and Jenny taking the service instead of Chandy, Chandy is in hospital and so Jenny had to organise the Service at the last minute. We had some fun with the running order of the hymns and the fact that Jenny couldn't see the hymn board, but otherwise we had a good service.

 Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Archdeacon Jonathan tried and succeeded in showing us that Paul was indeed a very happy person who loved God and that some of his complaints to certain churches and individuals should be taken just as that. Too much of Pauls letters are taken and applied to different situations. He reflected on a book that he had read and showed us that we should rejoice in the Lord always.

We even managed to sing the hymn Rejoice in the Lord always as a round, since there were enough of us attending St Paul's from St Mary's to give a good sized congregation.

After the service there was a bring and share lunch.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Thought for the Week 29th Jan

The Conversion of Paul.
Light broke in suddenly,
shattering my pride,
expanding my mind
and splintering into shards
my heart.

'Why kick and wound
like a frightened child?
Release yourself to me;
know me, honour me;
I am Jesus, I am God's Word.'

Then I was led,
where once I led;
blindness caused my fall.
My eyes were opened to Light
and the gift of life!


Paul was born at Tarsus in Cilicia which is now Turkey. He lived around the time of Jesus but never met Him. Paul was first called Saul. As a young man, he was a very bright student of the Hebrew religion.
He hated the Christians. When he grew older he captured, tortured and harassed the followers of Jesus. He was even at the stoning of St. Stephen the martyr.

Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.’ The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one.  Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Each day life presents us with little problems or challenges. Some are major most are very minor. The choices we make affect the people around us.Today I have to write the web pages for next week.

Our sister church in the Parish celebrates its Patronal Festival - St Pauls. It is also Epiphany 4. Which do I use? Its such a minor decision, yet can the choice I make affect others lives?

Of those that read the web site, who might find the story of St Paul a turning point in there lives. Equally a thought or a passage from Epiphany might make the difference. Should I do both and then find neither gets read.

I can only make a choice for me, how it affects others I cannot know. Yet in the choices we make in all our life, we affet not just ourselves but all the others around us. Making the right choice, helps not us, but helps all those who interact with us.

Years ago that would have only been the people that we met that day, but nowadays with blogs and other forms of social media , maybe what I write can affexct many others whom I will never meet and never share a conversation.

Today you will meet many choices - most will pass you by. But occasionally, a choice might be important enough to not change your life, but by you action might change the life of another. So as you go about your day, think of all the choices that you make, and which choices could make all the difference.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Good Samaritans

It so nice to see that the story of the Good Samaritan is not dead be stays alive in many people today.

Last night I needed to drive out into the country to a small village not far from Hemel. Typically these are fairly small windy roads, with no street lights and no mobile phone reception. I was looking for a named house, in the dark with sort of help from my Satnav. The roads were quiet. At a bend another car came at me, very fast, main beam on and in the middle of the road. I wasn't going fast and to take avoiding action I bumped my little car up on the verge. The car past by me quickly into the night and I tried to drive off the verge.

It had rained heavily earlier and the verges were quite soft, and my two front wheels were stuck. As I engaged the clutch slowly so as not to spin the wheels but get the most traction, nothing happen apart from mud flying up in the air. The front of the car went down and I was truly stuck.

I got out of the car and with my wind up torch surveyed the situation. The back wheels were on firmish ground, but the front wheels were in liquid mud up to the cill of the car, There was nothing to get traction onto. I tried what resources I had. I found a few bits of branch and shoved them into the mud to try to get some purchase. It made no difference. As I was trying this out, a car stopped opposite me and the gentle man asked was I stuck. I got out, crossed the road and had a short chat with him. He said that he could not pull me out with his little car, but he lived around the corner and would be 5 minutes and would go and get his Range Rover to pull me out
A few minutes later a Range Rover appeared and stopped and with the aid of my torch and a prepared tow rope with hooks, the Range Rover started to pull me out. Another car stopped along this lonely road, The driver asked if he could help. The man in the Range Rover directed him around the corner and to put his hazard lights on, which he did.

In a moment or to my car was pulled out, we disconnected the tow rope. I drove forward and off the verge onto the road. The Man with the hazard lights pulled away back on his journey.

I thanked the man in the Range Rover and he wished me well and got me to drive away as to not block the road.

Life in the country is perhaps a bit different. Two people stopped to help me. In Hemel if the same thing had happened I'm sure that I still would have been there.

People don't stop.

People don't want to get involved.

Perhaps there is a moral here.

Perhaps we should stop in out busy lives and take time to help those who might need our help. Perhaps it is just talking to a lonely neighbour. Perhaps it is doing more.

My heart felt thanks goes to the two gentlemen who stopped and offered assistance. They seemed use to and prepared for this. The man in the Range Rover certainly was used to pulling cars from the verge.

I hope I can be more of a Good Samaritan to others.

The difference of going to church on a Wednesday

We are all familiar with the normal Sunday Service. Filing into the church to find a pew near the back, just out of the Vicars line of sight. The procession of the Choir singing the hymns loudly, so we don't quite have to. The usual order of service sometimes so much the same that it feels uncomfortable when it changes slightly.

Wednesday mornings for me is slightly different. I work on a Sunday - singing in the choir - I have to stand up , sit down, get the right music out before it is needed, ensure that the trebles in front of me have done the same. I take part in the service but I am not really involved. On a Wednesday the only thing I worry about is getting to name right in the reading. On a Sunday when I read I have to stand up in front of the congregation, on a Wednesday in the Chapel it is so much more friendly.

That's what makes the Wednesday morning service different and better for me. There are no hymns to worry about, just the service, some readings (which I often read), a psalm to share together, prayers that I listen to and  pray with, the Eucharistic prayer - which on a Sunday I don't really listen to I am just trying to catch the key phrases to tell me what part I am going to sing and get ready for to make up my part of the Anthem.

Wednesdays is a time of relaxing, of being one with the congregation. On a Sunday, I am isolated from the congregation. On Sunday I share the peace with those next to me - usually my family, on a Wednesday I can shake hands with the whole of the congregation. Now I will be the first to admit that the congregation is smaller on a Wednesday. There are often about 8-10 of us, but we take our time.

After the service we sit down at the back of the church and take time to have a natter about all sorts of things. The rest of the Wednesday congregation is slightly older than me and I go because I work in the afternoons and the evenings, but it makes no difference to the conversations and the thoughts that are shared.

The odd Wednesday when I can't attend is a strange day. Like most I lead a hectic life, dashing from here to there, trying not to miss a deadline. I miss the quietness.

I wish I could have more Wednesdays in the week.