Auf Wiedersehen

I learned so much during Lent. More than I ever expected. I think it has had a beneficial effect on me, and by extension on my family and even on my health. I want this learning and growing to continue, so there will be a hiatus from blogging around these here parts for a while. I might be all grand and call it a sabbatical, but it’s not really. I just need to focus on the things in my life that are the most important: my faith, my family, my health and my studies. I sense God prompting me to do this, and am looking forward to continuing to follow where he leads. In the meantime, although I will read the blogs to which I am subscribed by email, I will not be visiting wordpress itself or any other blogging site.

I wish you all the best. It is with curiosity that I watch as the number of ‘followers’ increases week by week. Thank you for reading. I hope what you have read so far has been a blessing.

Take care. See you after Pentecost.

Happy Easter

We had our Easter egg hunt this morning, after we had read the Easter story in the Jesus Storybook Bible. Even Prince sat quietly and listened. I have to admit my eyes prickled and I had to pause when I came to this sentence: Was God really making everything sad come untrue?

Joy for sorrow, life for death, beauty for ashes… the whole world on its head and the Kingdom of God found among the lowly and broken. How wonderful!

 

Mary fell to the ground. Sudden tears filled her eyes and great sobs shook her whole body, and all she wanted in that moment was to cling to Jesus and never let him go.

“You’ll be able to hold on to me later, Mary,” Jesus said gently, “and always be close to me. But now, go and tell the others that I’m alive!”

From The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every story whispers his name

by Sally Lloyd-Jones

:-D

Reblog: Leaflets Handed Out In Eastern Ukraine “Order” Jews To Register Or Be Deported – time for Christians to stand up

sandyfaithking:

 

As Christians we must stand against persecution in all its forms. My husband and I support the charity Open Doors, which helps persecuted Christians worldwide. There are far more than you’d think :-(

 

Maybe today, on Good Friday, while we remember the persecution of Christ, we can also remember those who, whatever their creed or colour, still suffer persecution from fellow human beings. What a wretched race we are. God, help us; we are all your children.

Originally posted on Tim's Blog - Just One Train Wreck After Another:

USA Today just reported that a group claiming to be the new temporary government over a portion of eastern Ukraine is ordering Jews to register with the government or face, property confiscation and deportation. In what sounds a lot like the fascist and communist practices leading up to World War 2, the group is targeting people merely for being Jewish.

Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website.

The organization’s leadership admitted that members handed out the leaflets. NPR later reported that the group is now claiming the leaflets are fraudulently claiming to come from them.

No one disputes, however, that the leaflets themselves are real.

Christians everywhere need to stand…

View original 282 more words

Watch and Pray

‘When it was evening, Jesus and the twelve disciples sat down to eat. During the meal Jesus said, “I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

The disciples were very upset and began to ask him, one after the other, “Surely, Lord, you don’t mean me?”

Jesus answered, “One who dips his bread in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man will die as the Scriptures say he will, but how terrible for that man who will betray the Son of Man! It would have been better for that man if he had never been born!”

Judas, the traitor, spoke up. “Surely, Teacher, you don’t mean me?” he asked.

Jesus answered, “So you say.”

Matthew 26:20-25 (GNT)

He had always loved those in the world who were his own, and he loved them to the very end.

John 13:1b (GNT)

We follow Jesus as he washes the feet of the disciples – even Judas. We follow him as he walks to the garden. We follow him as he falls to his knees and cries out in anguish to his Father. Like the disciples who fell asleep when they were meant to be keeping watch, we too (despite ourselves) fall asleep, become distracted, confused, weary. Like the disciples, it’s not that we don’t love, but that we’re scared. We’re human. But:

‘Betrayal isn’t the end of the story; man’s salvation is.’

From The Little Way of Lent

by Fr. Gary Caster

Forgive me, Lord, for all the times I fall asleep when I should be leaning on you with every inch of my being. Forgive me for all the times my frailty lets you down. I am nothing without you. Thank you for the gift of the Eucharist, for the gift of yourself. Stay with me. Remain here with me, Father, for you are the ground of all my beseeching.

Amen

Sample Letter

I wrote this post (click to open in a new tab) a little while ago about why Christians should be involved in politics, and what form being ‘involved’ in politics can take. Prompted by an email from Christian charity Tearfund, I emailed my local MP about the issue of climate change. I nearly didn’t do it, as my MP is proudly against a proposed wind farm (I don’t know the circumstances but I suspect it’s probably nimbyism). I prayed about it and this parable came to mind:

 

Then [Jesus] gave them an illustration to show that they must always pray and never lose heart.

“Once upon a time,” he said, “there was a magistrate in a town who had neither fear of God nor respect for his fellow-men. There was a widow in the town who kept coming to him, saying, ‘Please protect me from the man who is trying to ruin me.’ And for a long time he refused. But later he said to himself, ‘Although I don’t fear God and have no respect for men, yet this woman is such a nuisance that I shall give judgement in her favour, or else her continual visits will be the death of me!’”

Then the Lord said, “Notice how this dishonest magistrate behaved. Do you suppose God, patient as he is, will not see justice done for his chosen, who appeal to him day and night? I assure you he will not delay in seeing justice done. Yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find men on earth who believe in him?”

Luke 18:1-8 (JB Phillips)

First, I decided to pray for my MP, which is something that hadn’t occurred to me before. Second, I decided to be persistent in my letters, just like the widow. He can’t ignore me forever – and I have a feeling that my innate tendency to stubbornness persistence will prove useful.

MPs have websites where you can find their address and email address. Here is the email that I sent to my MP, which could be used as a sample letter or email:

 

Dear [insert name]

As a Christian I care deeply about the world’s poor, particularly those living in extreme poverty. I also care about the ‘green and pleasant land’ we call home. I am writing because I want to ask you to take action on climate change. Climate change will affect the poorest most. There will also be more frequent episodes of extreme weather events such as the snow experienced in 2010, the weeks of rain in 2012 and the recent devastating floods. All this will have an impact not just on the world’s poorest but on our own people and economy too.

It is not too late. If we take action now, the worst case scenario can be avoided. Please take the time to read the latest IPCC report summaries. This is probably the greatest political issue facing the world in our generation.

You can read the report here: http://1.usa.gov/1hR6qr1

Please also push for a strong manifesto commitment from your party to say what they will do to reduce our economy’s reliance on fossil fuels, particularly by increasing low carbon energy sources and driving energy efficiency, as the report says we need to. The UK is Europe’s windiest country. Wind, water and sun are much more secure ways of achieving reliable sources of energy for the British economy than buying coal and oil from Russia or Qatar.

I wish you a restful time off over the Easter recess. May I also take the opportunity to wish you Easter blessings and to let you know that our family is praying for you, as our MP.

Many thanks

[insert name and address]