Something Old

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

St Giles Ladies Class meets Tuesday Afternoons over in the Church Hall, we pretend to know absolutely nothing about Geology, Genealogy, Zoology or any other kind of ‘ology. Theology? Well we know we always can trust God, our Heavenly Father who loving us so much sent His Son Jesus that we might have eternal life.

Today and over the next 3 weeks we have set ourselves a challenge, each of us to bring an item in the above categories… this weeks items were something old... and ranged from a copper warming pan (at least 100 years old) very few were less than that, each item had its own unique story, and carried with it personal, treasured memories,

The Ladies Class is primarily a Devotional Meeting; so how does that relate to Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…. ?

Well we reminded ourselves of the many times God, speaking through the prophets, addressed Himself to Israel as her Husband, that Jesus is the Bridegroom of the church. We reminded ourselves that God shows Himself over and over again to be a loving, defender and provider to widows and orphans and all who need someone to care for them as He was back in bible times, so He is in this present day. Amongst our little circle we have widows grateful that in times of loneliness and distress, God supports and comforts them; we have Ladies still blessed with a husband but equally grateful that God wraps them around together and blesses them together; we have those whose marriage didn’t work out but have found our Lord never lets them down, we have Ladies like me who have never married and found that Jesus is all in all.

We reminded ourselves that despite her Lords tender love, Israel often chose to go her own way, and of the times when He sent Messengers and a word to guide them back:

‘Stand at the crossroads, and see, and ask for the old paths and which is the good way? Walk in that way.”

As we go through life, we learn its lessons we learn by our mistakes and falls what the good, right and best way is; we learn from the consequences of our actions, and by the many times that the Lord helps us up and sets us on our way again, that He is to be trusted and is always worthy of our praise. We learn to sing to our Redeemer a new song but do not forget His Love of old.

Tell me the old, old story

Of unseen things above,

Of Jesus and His glory,

Of Jesus and His love.

Tell me the story simply,

As to a little child;

For I am weak and weary,

And helpless and defiled.


May God bless our memories to us, and as we stand at the Cross Road point out to us the Good Way and give us strength to walk in it, following in our Saviours footsteps all the Way Home, showing us new mercies, giving us new songs to sing, always. Amen

Posted with love from, Enid, Rita, Muriel, Gwen, Christine, Ann, Iris, Carole, Vera, Barbara and Jean.

Scripture: Jeremiah 6:16

Hymn: Kate Hankey.

Prayer: St Giles Ladies Class

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Messy Get Togetherness

St Giles Messy Church gets together on the first a Sunday of every month except August … and maybe when Rowley is snowed in. Everyone enjoys these Messy Times together, particularly making Cookies, sweets etc to take away home and share with family.

Some of the craft tables can be more than a little Messy, but Brian, our friendly Hall Caretaker takes it all in his stride, one week, Jean found she now had a new top dyed for ever with green acrylic paint, but she’s over that now…. one week we had a play, (about Jesus ascending on a cloud to heaven) … but Jesus got his cue a bit muddled and didn’t seem to want to leave us. To be perfectly honest us disciples didn’t want him to go either!

People of all ages are welcome at our Messy Church, we have Grandmas, Moms and dads, all we ask is that all children are in the care of a responsible grown up. We meet at 3 o’clock, make, do, play together then we have a short service at 4 o’clock. We hear a bible story, have a bit of a sing and sometimes a Dance, and then it’s time for tea together before going our way at 5 o’clock.

Messy crafts, and a successful half marathon run Mom with medal

Carole and Barbara in the Messy Kitchen ~ before it got too Messy,

Valerie trying not to make a mess

Messy Churchwarden and Chief Cookie Baker , Yvonne.

Messy Church Linda keeping a wise eye on things

Trying to count the stars, because God promises Abraham

I will shower blessings on you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore.”

Lord Jesus, we give you our hands, we give you our feet, we give you our eyes, we give You our tongues, our minds and our hearts and ask you to bless them and turn all our messes and mistakes into happy accidents that make your world a happier place. Amen

Doubt and faith. Love and Joy

Thomas called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord,’ but he answered, ‘Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes that they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.'”

And so Thomas called the Twin became Thomas called the Doubting.

I have often, because I am made that way, felt that I would have gone away grieved to my heart that 10 of Jesus’ other friends, and Mary Magdalene had seen Jesus and I had not. Always I have felt, that I would have felt .. well left out! Why had Jesus come to the others and not to me?

There are many, many words written by scholarly Writers, much ink spent on explanations, comments including the frequent ‘ Doubt is good’ and we all doubt from time to time. But, the thought is always there ~ had I been in Thomas’ place ~ I would have wondered ‘Why did he leave me out? Doesn’t he love me?’

This possibly says more about my own feelings for my Lord than it does for Thomas, and I can easily relate to how Thomas felt 8 days later when,

The disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you.’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, look here are my hands. Give me your hand, put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him,

You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

I hear, and read no scolding for Doubting Thomas here, I do hear, and feel the love of Jesus for Thomas, and the love of Thomas for Jesus… I can see, Thomas falling at the feet of Jesus, see tears of a wounded heart made whole as well as the worship of a man who utters for the first time in the Gospel pages “My Lord and my God.” Worship for me, is bound up tightly in that word, Love. Later St Peter, left us some words on believing.

You have not seen him; and still without seeing him you believe in him and so are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described; and you are sure of the goal of your faith, that is the salvation of your souls.”

Why did I choose two little birds, mother and her little fledgeling?

Because our Lord watched over Thomas, Peter and the others for 3 years, and after dying for them and for us, after burial and Resurrection returned to teach them how to fly… true he had to tip them out of the nest on the day of Pentecost and carry them out into the streets on the wings of a mighty wind, but fly they did, including Doubting Thomas, in faith believing, in love ~ Messengers of the Gospel of peace.

A final word from Jesus

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, ‘if you had faith like a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,and it would obey you.”

The thing which bound Jesus, his disciples and us together is Love. Love does not see fault in doubting but looks to see Doubting Souls fly.


Scriptures from New Jerusalem Bible references:

John 20. 24-29, 1 Peter 1-9, Luke 17.5,7

Photo: unsure of origin but not my own.

Beware the Wolf is always around

Despite having no Incumbent in the Vicarage, St Giles carries on, with a number of us gathering on Wednesday mornings for a short Communion with Revd Carole Christensen or Revd. Barrie Roberts. These Wednesday gatherings are loved because they are quiet, tucked away in the Lady Chapel, under the watchful gaze of Mary and Joseph looking over the infant Jesus in his Manger bed. They are times to remember that we also are being “watched over” as we go about our everyday, ordinary lives. We are, after all the Good Shepherd’s sheep, in need of His comfort and care.

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 7. 15-20

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves, you will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that bears good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.”

Sometimes the wolf operates from the inside, much as the serpent operated on the inside of Eden, he lies low at the back of our minds, waiting to convince us that it is perfectly alright to have a foot in both camps, one in the world and one in church. He is pretty sneaky Mr Wolf, one of his favourite lines is “Off course it’s alright to do this or that, everybody does this, these days.” Or, the one that really scares Christian folk, so much that they say nothing at all, when they see the thorns and thistles growing like wildfire, “Perhaps you ought not to think like that people will say you are a prude, worse still a bigot!”

Some Thorns and Thistles:

Jealousy, Quarrelling,

Those are probably the ones, the devil has most success with,

The Longer List: (Some really poisonous ones here) Gal 5:19-20

Fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing and things like these.

Phew!

Good Fruit (of the Spirit) 5. 22-23

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

It is of course self-control that checks our inner wolf. To exercise self-control is to be tuned in to the Holy Spirit, it is to turn up the volume to listen to the Word of God and cultivate a holy deafness to the deceitful wisdom of the world, flesh and devil.

The false prophet is sneaky, and seeks to make a profit from pedalling his tacky wares, the good prophet has no other agenda than that set by the Lord, our sanctification, blessing, our place as a good tree in God’s heavenly orchard.

O Lord our God,

Grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart;

That so desiring, we may seek and find you;

And so finding may love you;

And so loving may hate those sins from which you have delivered us;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Scriptures from NRSV

Prayer: St Anselm (1109)

Photos; Upper Portion Stained Glass Window-St Giles Lady Chapel (artist Benjamin E, Warren. And Nave

Details of St Giles Services please visit our website

http://www.stgiles-church-rowley.co.uk/

The Father in the secret place

I have known just one or two people in my life, who knowing the scriptures from childhood have always persevered in keeping their ways of living as close to the scriptures as they possibly could. These would be the ones who did not use ‘planned giving envelopes’ for their weekly giving, or use Standing orders at the bank …. but gave anyway week in week out, willingly and cheerfully. They simply did not want anyone to know what they gave.

The same people could also be relied on to be generous with time spent in a quiet corner doing useful work they didn’t want praise or credit for. You may know a few people like that, but it won’t be many.

Our times are not the times of our Lord, our times are times of celebs, and the desire for at least 20 minutes fame.

Today’s Appointed Gospel Reading for Holy Communion

Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention; otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win human admiration. In truth I tell you they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand should not know what your right is doing ; your almsgiving must be in secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

When you are fasting do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you they have had their reward. But when you fast, put scent on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.#1


These gentle words from our wise a Teacher, instruct us, in fact, to do the very opposite to the norms of our society. He promises no prizes for self promotion, even in generous giving, eloquent public prayer, and self denial of the hungry kind. He points out, not unkindly that people who ‘like others to know what their right hand is doing’ whether in giving or service are paid in full in this life now, in other words they do these things for public applause and get it!

Whereas, the one who gives secretly does it to meet some need in the knowledge that this is a loving duty owing to our Father, and that the Father who knows all secrets knows the true prayer our hearts are praying, and He alone answers prayer.

Maybe to ‘do all for God’ is the hardest thing a Christian is called to do. Prayer is the incense offered on the Father’s altar, the precious grains of the Prayer which the angel offers is ‘purified from self interest’ – it is the best we can give. Given not for reward but in love and for love of the One who freely gives us all good things.


One thing I have asked of the Lord,

This is what I seek:

That I may dwell in the house of the Lord

All the days of my life;

To behold the beauty of the Lord

And to seek Him in His temple.

Lord, give us a heart like that of Jesus,

A heart, believing, true and clean,

A heart and secret room fit to receive our Royal Guest,

Cleanse us from all earthly desire and ambition that we may

Seek only your Throne and offer up our purest worship their

In the knowledge that it is only by the Blood of Jesus,

We can enter in to the Most Holy Place.

Amen


Flowers arranged by Carole Annetts/Vera Round (St Giles Flower Arrangers)

Prayer from St Giles Intercessions Team

#2 Reading from Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18

New Jerusalem Bible used

And to the children He said, “Come to me”

Moms, Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas please don’t leave it to someone else to teach your little children, that they have a Father in heaven who loved them so much that He sent Jesus to be their life-long and forever Friend and Saviour. Or, that there is a book in heaven in which Ezra, the Record Keeper Angel writes the names of all who love God.

I am an older Christian, one of several children and would have loved to have owned just one little book such as these; however it was not to be, pennies were short and I didn’t get to own a bible of my own until I received my first wage packet aged 15, a small hardback bible, with pictures was bought for a few ‘shillings’

I can’t even remember where I first heard the name of Jesus, but I can remember at the age of three talking to my Father in heaven; I whispered a few words and fell soundly asleep, slept through a storm which blew a window in and showered the bed in which myself and small sister were sleeping with glass shards.. I never knew this until I woke up in my moms bed the next morning and she told the story of the nights happenings. All through my childhood, teens and adulthood I have confided in God. I do not know of any prayer which has gone unheard; even if the answer has been no, or wait awhile, I have been heard. And I have listened just as your little ones hear what you say to them, just as they place every confidence and trust in what you tell and teach them.

The very best teachers we can have are those who love us and the teacher most blessed in God’s eyes is the one who gives and plants with one of His little ones the Seed and Word of faith


Jesus has promised my Shepherd to be,

That’s why I love Him so;

And to the children he said, ‘Come to Me,’

That’s why I love Him so.

Chorus: That’s why I love Him,

That’s why I love Him,

Because He first loved me……

When I’m tempted and tried,

He is close by my side,

That’s why I love Him so.

(Hymn by Scott Lawrence


St Giles, Messy Church why not click here and see what our Messy Church Group get up to, if you live in Rowley, come and help us make a mess.

What would you ask Jesus?

#1 “So I say to you: ask and it will be given to you; search and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened. What father among you, if his son asked for a fish, would hand him a snake? Or if he asked for an egg, hand him a scorpion? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

#2 “Whatever you ask in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me you will keep my commandments, I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Paraclete* to be with you for ever.”

When I look at this portion of the Caritas Window in the lady chapel, I see ‘Black Country Faces” ~ thin, angular faces as they would have been in the early 1900s when the window was painted, and, I sometimes ask myself:

What is the little boy asking Jesus for?


As we approach Pentecost Sunday, what are you asking Jesus to do for you?

What are you asking the Father for?


#3 Come , O Spirit of God, and make within us your dwelling place and home.

May our darkness be dispelled by your light,

And our troubles calmed by your peace;

May all evil be redeemed by your love,

All pain transformed through the suffering of Christ,

And all dying glorified in his risen life. Amen

#4 Lord, your Kingdom come on earth, your will be done as it is in Heaven. We ask for the heart of a little child, a heart that brings all needs and thanks to your knee; a heart that speaks the truth to you and says, sorry for what it does amiss; a heart that gazes up to your face and seeks out your approval and gaze of love in return; a heart that always knocks, but knows the door to your’s is always open. Send your Spirit Lord and claim us as your own. Amen

*Gk word means ‘advocate’ – ‘counsellor’ – ‘protector’

#1 Luke 11. 9-13, #John 14. 13-16, #3 Collect for Night Prayer Ascension Day to Pentecost (Common Worship) #4 One of St Giles Intercessions Team