Posted in Advent, Christmas, Jesus, Life

Nativity

The BBC for the last 3 days has been showing a new programme centred on the Nativity.  It’s on at 7pm BBC1 as is truely a fabulous telling of the nativity story and tonight is the last installment.  It’s been written by Tony Jordan who writes for Eastenders and truely shows the power of the story.

On Sunday I heard Tony Jordan being interviewed by Aled Jones – He described the story as ‘the singularly most beautiful story….WOW….’ He decribes the Shepherd as ‘getting the X factor appearance from the shepherd’s and Joseph only gets a dream….surely this should be the other way round….as he wrote this he got it – the Shepherd’s represent us….they represent me.’

All I can say is thank you for scripting this story in such a wonderful and beautiful way!

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Posted in Life, Love, Poem

Love by Roy Croft

I used this poem in a sermon and found it on this blog, it can also be found on many others and is used at weddings. 

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;

I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.

Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

Posted in Christmas, Jesus, Life

Christmas is coming (via Nick Baines’s Blog)

I love this poster it’s really eye catching and Nick Baines’s blog really makes you stop and think about it….

Christmas is coming How predictable! ChurchAds.net comes up with a striking image for the Christmas poster campaign and the responses could have been written before they were given. First, the poster: As I discovered last December, speak about the reality of the original Christmas events and you invite the piling of ordure on your head. After all, they say, who cares if the Nativity narratives of the Gospels get confused with Cinderella and the pantomime stories? Th … Read More

via Nick Baines’s Blog

Posted in death, Disability, Funeral Poem, grief, Jesus, Life, Love, Poem

This Child of Mine

  by: Edgar A. Guest, Source Unknown

“I’ll lend you for a little while
A child of mine,” God said,
“For you to have the while he lives,
And mourn for when he’s dead.

It may be six or seven years
Or twenty-two or three;
But will you ’till I call him back
Take care of him for me?

He’ll bring his charms to gladden you
And, should his stay be brief,
You’ll have his lovely memories
As a solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return;
But there are lessons taught below
I want this child to learn.

I’ve looked the whole world over
In search for teachers true;
And from the throngs that crowd life’s land,
I have chosen you.

Now, will you give him all your love
Nor think the labour vain?
Nor hate me when I come to take
This lent child back again?”

I fancied that I heard them say:
“Dear Lord, Thy will be done.
For all the joys Thy child will bring
The risk of grief we’ll run.

We’ll shower him with tenderness,
We’ll love him while we may.
And for the happiness we’ve known
Forever grateful stay.

But should Thy angel call for him
Much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes
And try to understand.”

Posted in death, Disability, Funeral Poem, grief, Life, Love, Poem

Heaven’s Special Child

A meeting was held quite far from earth,  
It’s time again for another birth.  
Said the angels to the Lord above;

This special child will need much love  
His progress may be very slow,  
Accomplishments he may not show.  
And he’ll require extra care,  
From the folks he meets down there,

He may not run or laugh or play,  
His thoughts may seem quite far away.  
In many ways he won’t adapt, and he’ll  
Be known as handicapped.

So let’s be careful where he is sent, we want  
His life to be content.

Please, Lord, find the good friends who, will  
Do a special job for you.

They will not realize it right away, the leading  
Role they’re asked to play.  
               But with this child sent from above, comes  
Stronger faith and richer love.  
And soon they will know the privileges given,  
In caring for their gift from Heaven.  
      Their precious charge, so meek and mild, in

Heaven’s  very special child.

Author presently unknown

Posted in Book, Easter, Jesus, Lent, Life, Love, Poem

The Dream of Rood

Many years ago – the memory abides –
I was felled to the ground at the forest’s edge,
Severed from my roots.  Enemies seized me,
Made of me a mark of scorn for criminals to mount on;
Shoulder-high they carried me and set me on a hill.
Many foes made me fast there. Far off then I saw
The King of all mankind coming in great haste,
With courage keen, eager to climb me…
Then the young Hero – it was God almighty –
Strong and steadfast, stripped himself for battle;
He climbed up on high gallows, constant in his purpose,
Mounted it in sight of many, mankind to ransom.
Horror seized me when the Hero clasped me,
But I dared not bow or bend down to earth.
Nor falter, nor fall; firm I needs must stand.
I was raised up a Rood, a royal King I bore,
The High King of Heaven: hold firm I must.
They drove dark nails through me, the dire wounds still show,
Cruel, gaping gashes, yet I dared not give as good.
They taunted the two of us; I was wet with teeming blood,
Streaming from the warrior’s side when he sent forth his spirit.
High upon a hill helpless I suffered
Long hours of torment; I saw the Lord of hosts
Outstretched in agony; all embracing darkness
Covered with thick clouds the corpse of the World’s Ruler,
The bright day was darkened by a deep shadow,
All its colours clouded; the whole creation wept,
Keened for its King’s fall; Christ was on the Rood.
Yet warriors from afar eagerly came speeding
To where he hung alone. All this I beheld.
 

Anon., translated by Helen Gardner.

I took this from Signs of your kingdom by Michael Perham.

Posted in Church of England, Easter, Jesus, Lent, Life, Love, Poem, Story

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village,
the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in still another village
where he worked in a carpenter’s shop
until he was thirty.
He did none of the things one usually
associates with greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.
He was only thirty-three when
public opinion turned against him.
He was turned over to his enemies
and crucified.
When he was dead he was laid
in a borrowed grave.
Nineteen centuries have passed and today
he is the central figure of the human race.
No one has affected the life of man on earth
as much as that one solitary life.
 

This was originally a sermon written by Dr James Allan Francis in 1926.  It has since become shorter and tweaked by various people and from an anonymous source.

Posted in Humour, Jesus, Life, Love, Poem, Sketches

When I became a Christian

When I became a Christian I said, Lord, now fill me in,
Tell me what I’ll suffer in this world of shame and sin.
He said, your body may be killed, and left to rot and stink,
Do you still want to follow me? I said Amen – I think.
I think Amen, Amen I think, I think I say Amen,
I’m not completely sure, can you just run through that again?
You say my body may be killed and left to rot and stink,
Well, yes, that sounds terrific, Lord, I say Amen – I think.

But, Lord, there must be other ways to follow you, I said,
I really would prefer to end up dying in my bed.
Well, yes, he said, you could put up with the sneers and scorn and spit,
Do you still want to follow me? I said Amen – a bit.
A bit Amen, Amen a bit, a bit I say Amen,
I’m not entirely sure, can we just run through that again?
You say I could put up with sneers and also scorn and spit,
Well, yes, I’ve made my mind up, and I say, Amen – a bit.

Well I sat back and thought a while, then tried a different ploy,
Now, Lord, I said, the Good book says that Christians live in joy.
That’s true he said, you need the joy to bear the pain and sorrow,
So do you want to follow me, I said, Amen – tomorrow.
Tomorrow, Lord, I’ll say it then, that’s when I’ll say Amen,
I need to get it clear, can I just run through that again?
You say that I will need to joy, to bear the pain and sorrow,
Well, yes, I think I’ve got it straight, I’ll say Amen – tomorrow.

He said, Look, I’m not asking you to spend an hour with me
A quick salvation sandwich and a cup of sanctity,
The cost is you, not half of you, but every single bit,
Now tell me, will you follow me? I said Amen – I quit.
I’m very sorry Lord I said, I’d like to follow you,
But I don’t think religion is a manly thing to do.
He said forget religion then, and think about my Son,
And tell me if you’re man enough to do what he has done.

Are you man enough to see the need, and man enough to go,
Man enough to care for those whom no one wants to know,
Man enough to say the thing that people hate to hear,
To battle through Gethsemane in loneliness and fear.
And listen! Are you man enough to stand it at the end,
The moment of betrayal by the kisses of a friend,
Are you man enough to hold your tongue, and man enough to cry?
When nails break your body-are you man enough to die?
Man enough to take the pain, and wear it like a crown,
Man enough to love the world and turn it upside down,
Are you man enough to follow me, I ask you once again?
I said, Oh Lord, I’m frightened, but I also said Amen.
Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen; Amen, Amen, Amen,
I said, Oh Lord, I’m frightened, but I also said, Amen.

by Adrian Plass