Wednesday, 27 April 2011

"Calm Down Dear"

I wondered if this was a joke news story, but then discovered that David Cameron actually told the shadow chief secretary, Angela Eagle, to "calm down, dear" at prime minister's questions.

Apparently, according to Cameron, a reference to the Michael Winner advertising campaign, therefore all the more reason in my humble opinion for the outcry! One of the most annoying advertising campaigns I have ever had the misfortune to stumble across, an exception being the Lelli-Kelly adverts. They make my ears bleed!

Anyway going back to the story. David Cameron really used this phrase to an adult female at PM Questions!

My husband only ever calls me dear as a wind up, he knows that the only 'pet name' to make me see red is that one! The only person who would get away with calling me "dear" would be a lady many many years my senior, and then I would smile through gritted teeth!

Silly man!

There now I am being condescending as well.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

What's wealth?

As I type, my specific Curate is sitting next to me, absorbed in the Saturday paper. As it is Holy Saturday his church duties were completed after Morning Prayer, and begin again this evening, so Saturday afternoon has some in built rest time.

I just glanced over at the paper, and noticed a full page advert for Barclays Wealth. The special section of the bank reserved for those with so much money that they need specific advise in how to manage it.

Well, we wont be requiring their services. However I am not standing in judgement in this post over those people who do. Although I suspect Barclays enjoy helping them to spend their money as well as save it, and will more than likely charge a packet for their help too!

I feel very wealthy. I have a home, food, clothing, access to clean water, sanitation, and more importantly a loving family who are a blessing to me. Most importantly, I have God. God who loves me so much he offered up his life. In this I am extremely wealthy!

Have a Holy Saturday.

Friday, 22 April 2011

The Veil of the Temple

This part of Good Friday has always been one which deeply affected me.

When I was a child we went to some of the three hour liturgy at the cross on Good Friday, normally the last hour. One year as we were leaving church the earth appeared split in two, there was a massive thunderstorm and the sky went very dark. It felt so dramatic and symbolic, and was one of my earliest memories of a physical presence of God with us. I was about 8 years old.

This has stayed with me to this day, and although there have been other occasions when the sky has turned grey on Good Friday, none have stayed in my mind as clearly as that time in childhood. I put the washing on the line this morning and despite the blue sky interspersed with white fluffy clouds, I wondered whether my washing would get wet at 3pm!

The veil of the temple torn, and the guard realising Jesus as Son of God are such powerful images. God himself is no longer hidden behind the curtain, only to be accessed by the High Priest. God is accessible to all who put their trust in Him. Also, the way one accesses the Lord God, has been opened up, no longer are the old rituals the way to Him.

I have blogged about how much God loves us, and how much I have renewed my love for Him this Holy Week, this image for me is one of God's power. Christ died and even before his glorious victory, he had opened the way to God the Father. At the moment of death, when Jesus was weakest, God torn down the temple veil.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
I have passed the riven veil,
Where the glories never fail,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
I am living in the presence of the King
(Charles P. Jones in Songs of Pentecostal Power)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

I adore Thee

I have been really touched/effected/moved by the words of Stainer's Crucifixion this week.
It has challenged and comforted in equal measure.
I cannot fully describe the feeling inside me as I listened to the hymn below on my Ipod this afternoon. I have highlighted the parts that speak particularly to me this Holy Week.

I Adore Thee, I adore Thee!
Glorious ere the world began;
Yet more wonderful Thou shinest,
Though divine, yet still divinest
In Thy dying love for man.

I Adore Thee, I adore Thee!
Thankful at Thy feet to be;
I have heard Thy accent thrilling,
Lo! I come, for Thou art willing
Me to pardon, even me.

I Adore Thee, I adore Thee!
Born of woman, yet Divine:
Stained with sins I kneel before Thee,
Sweetest Jesu, I implore Thee,
Make me ever only Thine.

"Me to pardon, even me." Thanks be to God for this and this alone. Amen

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Thank you for the cross my friend

"And once again I look upon the cross where You died, I'm humbled by Your mercy and I'm broken inside."
Matt Redman: Jesus Christ (Once Again)

I have blogged on worship songs before, and this one touches my innermost being much more than most. Even though this is only Palm Sunday, Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, I am already conscious of the cross.

I suppose this is because on Palm Sunday the church joins in and cries "Hosanna" with the crowds of the day. The church waves her palm branches, and parades around the grounds singing "All Glory Laud and Honour" (badly!). It's so easy to join in the crowds welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem. It's so much harder for me to accept that I betray, deny, and scream out "crucify" with the same crowds later in the week.

Holy Week moves me to tears. I am truly "broken inside" as I stand at the foot of the cross on Good Friday.

Even though this year, with a child who is too young to cope with most of the Holy Week liturgy, my only observation comes through singing Stainer's Crucifixition on Good Friday, the cross is uppermost in my mind this week. 

It was during the vigil on Maundy Thursday 15 years ago that I claimed this faith as my own and truly said "Yes Lord, I believe". Not "I believe because that's how I have been brought up" or even "I believe because I trust my parents to decide for me" Purely and simply "This is my faith, Yes Lord I believe"

So my question this Holy Week comes from Stainer's Crucifixion

"Behold Me and see: pierced thro' and thro' with countless sorrows, and all is for you;
For you I suffer, for you I die.
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?"

Saturday, 16 April 2011

To be honest...

I have just read a thread on a parenting forum which amused me and I thought I would share my thoughts here, and see what you think.

The thread began with a question, quite a bizarre one in my humble opinion. It went a little something like this:

"What should I say to my friend who has just had a baby, and given the child a name which I don't like?"
Ok... Now is it only me but I didn't understand the question. Especially when the person asking it added that she "obviously wouldn't say anything mean" and just needed some sound-bites ready for when she met the baby so she didn't say anything "tact-less".
I don't think there is a question here at all really. Surely as an adult she is aware that her opinion is subjective and not relevant at all in this situation. The friend has a beautiful new baby she will have a friend with her sharing in her joy, and the friend's negative opinion of the name is not relevant to the situation at all (if she wishes to continue this friendship).
It is one thing to discuss names with a friend when a child is in the womb, but once this real person has been given the name the discussion is closed and Baby X is Baby X, someone's beloved child who (as far as anyone else is aware) has a name which was chosen just for them be it William, Katherine or little Lelli-Kelly!
This then lead me on to a more generalised thought about being "honest" about one's opinion. If a person starts a sentence with the phrase "To be honest..." these days I have a momentary panic. Does this mean that the person concerned is going to go thrashing in with an opinion which they are of course entitled to hold but is possibly not being expressed with as much charity as they could reasonably muster.
The thing is one person's trivial is another's deep felt thought.
I like to think I am Captain Cautious on this matter. I hate the possibility of causing offense and because of this I only speak up when it feels right to do so, when the issue is so huge that I feel I would be being cowardly not to.
I work by the old maxim of "If you haven't anything kind to say, don't say anything at all". I am of course as prone to misjudged comment as the next person though and there have been moments when my foot has been so far in my mouth that standing has been tricky... we all try