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Archive for September, 2008

Making music together

The musical extravaganza was great fun although not as many people as there have been at other events.  It was intended that everyone connected with the Church who had music gifts would be able to take part but as the day got nearer we started to have apologies fromfirst one and then another until we were left with just our Occasional Singers and two soloists.  However, it was a very enjoyable evening and those who attended seemed to enjoy it.  Again our own Minister was able to be with us and to talk with our visitors.  There is a definite feeling that our Centenary Events have been a success so far. 

Next weekend is our Harvest so it is a chance to thank God not only for the fruit and veg but for everything which we have and often take for granted.  Even the rain, which is lashing down as I write.  I was reminded of how we take it for granted as I was helping to salvage some items from our Church at Walmer Bridge which has recently ceased.  I finished up with dirty hands and said that I would just wash them before we left.  I then found that the water had been turned off.  Suddenly the simple task of washing my hands was impossible, until my friend came to the rescue with a bottle of water which she always carries in her car.  I then realised that in many parts of the world that small bottle of water might have to last all day, for drinking, cooking, washing and watering the crops.  It might even have involved walking many miles to collect it and certainly wouldn’t be sparkling clean as we have come to expect.  How much more must they value water when it is so scarce and precious.  We really do need to thank God that we have all the water than we need.

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I can’t believe it is almost October already.  It doesn’t seem two minutes ago that at church we were saying that next year it is our centenary and what should we do and now here we are over half way through the main events.  If you want to see what we have been up to then photos are now available by clicking here 

So far all the events have been a huge success with people attending from different churches in the area, as well as people from the village who don’t attend church.  It has been great and a huge buzz to see how supporting people have been.

This evenings event is a “musical extravaganza.”

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Over the last few weeks life has been very busy, with preparations for the Holiday Bible Club, the week itself, preparations for the Come and Sing Messiah, and making recordings of the last two services at one of our Churches.

It was a strange experience really to be part of the final two weeks in the life of a Church.  The Church members were laughing, joking, going about their normal Sunday duties, welcoming people at the door, the organist was playing cheerful music before the service.  Yet you could feel that something was different.  The congregation obviously wanted to give their best to what they were doing but it was clear that they were trying to capture every last moment and experience in the Church that they had known and loved for so long.   Perhaps the fact that they had asked for the last two services to be recorded was part of this.  To capture for the future the last few memories of their Church.  The recordings came out well but rather than just give them each a couple of CDs which would eventually get lost in the bottom of a cupboard I decided to purchase some folders to make up an item which could be kept as a souvenir of the occasion.  I took some photos of the inside and outside of the Church and even managed to discreetly get some photos during the final communion service.  Now that this has been put together with copies of the orders of service, two CDs of the services, a nice photo of the inside of the Church on the front of the folder, a few photos inside and a CD with all the photos on, it makes a lovely memento of the occasion.  I wonder though how many will play the CDs.  I just have a feeling that some will want to feel that they have the memories in their possession but won’t feel ready to relive the emotions at this stage.  Perhaps, in a few years time they will feel ready to remember the happy times and I believe that by then they will have experienced the joy of seeing that God’s plan for the future does not end with the closure of a building but that new doors will have opened and God will reveal even more than we could have imagined.

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I don’t normally forward emails that say send this on to so many people to receive good luck but if I do I emphasise that I am sending it because of the content rather than me wanting good luck. 

Anyway saying that, this blog has come from one of those emails but I agree with it when it says “There’s some mighty fine advice in these words” so hence I decided to share them here, with you!

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
  4. When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it. 
  5. When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.
  6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married. 
  7. Believe in love at first sight. 
  8. Never laugh at any ones dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
  9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely. 
  10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
  11. Don’t judge people by their relatives. 
  12. Talk slowly but think quickly. 
  13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to know?’ 
  14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk. 
  15. Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze. 
  16. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. 
  17. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions. 
  18. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship. 
  19. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. 
  20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice. 
  21. Spend some time alone.

    A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart. 

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Love!

I wonder if this is how God sees us!

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell.    He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups. And set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard.    As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls.    He looked down into the eyes of little boy.

‘Mister,’ he said, ‘I want to buy one of your puppies.’

‘Well,’ said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, ‘These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money.’

The boy dropped his head for a moment.  Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer.

‘I’ve got thirty-nine cents.  Is that enough to take a look?’

‘Sure,’ said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. ‘Here, Dolly!’ he called.

Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur.

The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence.    His eyes danced with delight.    As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse.

Slowly another little ball appeared this one noticeably smaller.    Down the ramp it slid.    Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up….

‘I want that one,’ the little boy said, pointing to the runt.    The farmer knelt down at the boy’s side and said, Son, you don’t want that puppy.    He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would.’

With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers.

In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe.

Looking back up at the farmer, he said, ’You see sir, I don’t run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands.’

With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup.

Holding it carefully handed it to the little boy.

‘How much?’ asked the little boy. ‘No charge,’ answered the farmer, ‘There’s no charge for love.’

The world is full of people who need someone who understands.

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Illness

I have been chatting tonight with a friend about illness and whether it is God given, caused by our own sin or just a fact of life which God then uses.

We came to the conclusion that, in our opinion,  it is just a fact of life that people become ill rather than given by God.  We then decided that God uses that the illness and the person to share His good news with others.  That is certainly the case with me.  When I started attending having to attend hospital appointments I needed a chauffeur so my dad came to the rescue.  As we then spent time together, lots of time – you know what it is like waiting around hospitals – we have got to know one another much better.  When he asks me how I am over the phone, he is now able to tell if I am ok or not, whatever I answer!  Another plus point of being ill, is that I have been able to take on more responsibility at church, as senior steward (First Named Steward) and also a worship leader.  I am also able to share God’s love with those I meet when I am in hospital.

We also discussed Jesus’ life and wondered if He ever had a cold or was in pain, or if He ever had a stomach upset.  We decided that it didn’t mention these things in the bible, other than while He was on the cross, because compared to other things in Jesus’ life, the fact of whether He had a cold or not really wasn’t important.

Maybe you share different ideas about this, maybe you agree – these are just our thoughts.  Feel free to write your comments about this.

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Messiah

Yesterday, as part of our centenary celebrations, our church hosted a “Come and Sing Messiah”.  We all met at 1pm for the first time with a guest conductor, guest soloist and guest musician. 

There were people of all abilities, me being one of those who has never sung it before and actually had only spent a week or two listening to a CD to try and pick bits up to people who had been singing it for years.  We were really pleased at the response we got with approx 75 people coming to sing!

So we spent the afternoon singing it through so a performance could be given in the evening.  In the afternoon we just managed to get through all the pieces we were going sing in time to stop for tea.

At tea time I was planning on moving from the choir into the audience because I felt a bit of a fraud really, not knowing it well enough, but thanks to friends I stayed in the choir.

People started arriving to listen and get a seat in the chapel.  The choir chatted nervously and excitedly in the fellowship room waiting to enter the chapel. And then it begun.

The sound was amazing, the atmosphere was too.  I have to say that I really enjoyed it despite my doubts and fears and being able to say that I was a part (although only a very little part) of it is a really good feeling.

Thank you to everyone who was involved, from the mad person who said they wanted to sing “The Messiah” to everyone who took part in all the planning, preparation and of course execution and not forgetting those who came to listen.  We also need to thank God for the part he played in it too and thank Him for His Son Jesus, of whom we sang about.

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