The Ocean Less Explored

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You must go and find out.
You must go and discover whether there is anything
In that world for you.
Promise me that you will go.
(Andrew Harvey, A Journey in Ladakh

The name, ‘Tides and Tidings’ was born from the pages within a journal
Like so many, from the beginning of my adventure with God, I have kept a simple diary, keeping safe the many blessings, memories of things done and said together. Ah yes, a simple soul and the Lord
do and say things together. Like faithful marriage partners of many years we have been together a long, long, time the Lord and I. Looking back through the years, reading in my journals, I have at times been, to say the least, not the best of ‘partners’ often misunderstanding, often downright petulant and quarrelsome. Yet, my most patient of Teachers has persevered and perseveres, always giving, always loving, always waiting for me to catch up with Him. He leads, I follow.

‘Rule a wide margin’ He said.

And within that wide margin are recorded all the fresh new insights given, over the years, when praying … a wide margin, full of faithful, patient guidance, words of encouragement, love.

Years before the first issue of ‘Tides and Tidings’ I was pondering over these words, from Pilgrim and Dom Helder Camara

When your ship,
Being moored in harbour,
Gives the illusion of being a house,
When your ship begins to put down roots
In the stagnant water by the Quay,
Put out to sea!
Save your boat’s journeying soul
And your own pilgrim soul,
Cost what it may

And, I realised that I was called to sail the Ocean Less Explored, an Ocean known to many as prayer, I am still sailing, still discovering.

Did the Lord say, “Promise me you will go”

Well not quite, He said, “Promise me, we will go together.”

May the Lord bless all your ‘comings in and going out’

Door of Joy!

God the Lord has opened a door
Christ of hope. Door of joy!
Son of Mary, hasten Thou to help me:
In me, Lord Christ, let there be joy.
The one who was no less than God
took on the flesh of lowly man,
and came to wash the feet of clay
because it was Your holy plan.
And I no greater than my King,
would ever seek a place of humble service in Your house
to gaze into the light that is your face.
(Twila Paris)

No one regards the battered door with admiration, no one values it, it simply stands there and serves. It wins no awards for its attractiveness, it will never be hailed as a celebrity, and the photographer from the local news, won’t be calling any time soon.

The door isn’t worried, it just stands and serves.

The door reminds me of Jesus. The Lord, who served.

The Lord who said,

“You call me, Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.
If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
For I gave you an example that you should do as I did to you.”
(John 13: 13-15 NASB)

This post is dedicated to all God’s faithful ones, who like this battered door, have stood in their allotted place, year in, year out: not seeking to be the main attraction but to serve quietly and unnoticed, not offended by the kicks and knocks of life, but continuing, faithfully just to be of some, little service to their Lord and their brothers and sisters. When such as these ask, it is given them, when they seek, they find, and when they knock, Christ the Door of joy, opens for them. The faithful are the blessed.

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Not Just By Water

John the Baptist said;
“I baptise with water but among you stands one you do not know, He baptises with the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus said:
“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God, unless they are born of water and the Spirit”

The Spirit and the bride say,
“Come! And let the one who hears say, Come! Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”

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(Baptismal Ewer, St Giles Church)

Called By Name

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(Photo by Damian Peach posted on BAA website)

He knows my name. He knows yours

He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
His understanding has no limit.

I look up at the night sky and marvel.
I look into my heart and marvel more.
He knows and calls me by my name, he knows me, understands me, and yet still loves me.

Now that’s a marvel!

Psalm 147: 4-5 (NIV)

Lent From A Mouse Perspective

What is Lent for?

Compilers of Church Magazines are asked all sorts of tricky questions.

So I asked the Muse, who raised an elegant eyebrow and suggested I ask Rosy Mouse.

I pulled on boots, scarf and gloves and ventured down the middle path to the ‘Mouse-Hole’ – which all our readers know, is near (cannot publish exact location for Mouse Security reasons) the Celtic Cross at the bottom of the churchyard.

We had frost overnight, the air is clean and sharp, the sky an amazing blue, little pockets of Snowdrops everywhere, a good day to be alive and Rosy is Spring cleaning with her twig broom and pleased to have a chat.

‘Well,” she said, and I must ask you to bear in mind that Rosy, small mouse-mother that she is, spends most of her day thinking of food for her 14 children.

‘Well, I think, God always intended for us and Himself to be kind of like a big Swiss Roll, all wrapped up together, and sort of delicious, full of sweet goodness, so that it’s hard to say which tastes better sponge or cake, it’s just perfect together.’ Her little eyes became quite glazed over at this point….

‘And it’s like when the children are learning to walk, they’re so happy toddling along, holding Daddy’s hand, Fred (Mr Mouse to you) gets quite wrapped up with them, and it’s the same for them. Doesn’t last though, mice-lets and small people-persons like their independence, and can’t grow up fast enough, they let go Daddy’s hand and that’s when the fun and falls start. What’s important for us to know is that when we fall Daddy is around to help us up’

‘I think that’s what Lent is for, remembering that God wants to help us up and help us to pick up the pieces, and sort out the mess.’

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The smallest sin is a fall, and a fall is a fall from God, and to fall from God is to fall the greatest height in the universe.
(From a Mirror Set at the Right Angle: Henry Drummond)

Turning the page

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I always think that a New Year is like a new book, perhaps a Diary with blank pages to fill, and here we go, turning and filling the first pages in “2016”

The life of a Parish Church is a busy, bustle. Sometimes it is so good just to be still and quiet, to listen out for God. In our business we often forget, that our Heavenly Father just wants one thing, and that is our attention.

As the Lord Jesus said to Martha,
‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing, Mary has chosen the better part.’
(Luke 10:38-42)

If I only keep one, New Year Resolution it would be to spend more time just being still and letting God fill in the pages.

Speak from the heart

Not all our days are sunny, life is rough sometimes.
Sometimes we need a quiet corner to hide away,
Sometimes the words we want to say don’t come easily, and the friendly listener we really need is God. But how do we speak to God?

Speak from the heart, as if someone is listening, someone who, in the dead of night, does not sleep, but keeps wide awake in case one of His children should cry”
George MacDonald (1824-1905)

Haven’t spoken to God just lately?

Well that’s how it is with all of us sometimes,

That’s how it was for this wayward child,

So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him, he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
(Luke 15:20) N.I.V.

Speak from your heart. God is listening.

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Museful Monday

Monday, the start of a new week.

What will this new week bring?

I’m not too sure about that. We are in the holiday season and things are slowing down, but there is always the unexpected and the unexpected happens to us all.

The first of our two New Testament Readings yesterday, was taken from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, (Paul praying on paper:)

I pray ( to the Father) that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” (Ephesians 3:14 to 21)

To be strong when things go wrong, to be patient when everything is happening right this minute ~ now that’s a prayer to say Amen to.

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Wishing you all a good week, with many blessings, sunshine, happy times shared with those you love, but should the unexpected cloud darken your horizon be a wise owl and hold on to the words above.

Pat Comfort, our previous Parish Administrator had a favourite saying when going through dark times,

“And it came to pass”

Pat and the bible have it right…. All things come to pass.

Balm For My Soul

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“For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”
We often forget that, and there is nothing sadder than a church which must be locked up tight against thieves and vandals most of the time. All the same, an empty church is not an empty church even when it’s just a volunteer cleaner with aching feet.

I loved dropping down into an empty seat alongside this window. Enid Hadley made the floral arrangement to help us call to mind St Luke, the good doctor and writer of the 2nd Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. I came to this quiet corner like a desert traveller to an oasis of calm.

I found rest for body and spirit, reflecting on just a few of the things in Doctor Luke’s book.

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52)

To grow in wisdom, to leave behind our childish ways, to grow intellectually, spiritually and socially to keep in step with God and other people ~ even people of my three score and nearly ten, need to “grow up” in Christ, sometimes … To be in step with God and humanity … Now that’s a dance worth learning.

To learn this dance we need the Holy Spirit as dance instructor and Jesus encouragess us to ask for the Holy Spirit:

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:13)

So how many times should we ask, for the Holy Spirit, for wisdom, guidance, or any other thing for that matter?

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up, and in Luke 18: 1-8  we read the story of the persistent widow wearing out the unjust judge with her persistent petitioning. If, she could do it, Jesus tells his disciples so could they – our heavenly Father has an open ear.

it is doctor Luke in chapter 14: 12-14 who tells us that God’s love is for everyone, and in order to dance his dance, so should ours be. We too are to invite to our banquets and fellowship those who cannot repay our kindness.

Simply believing in Jesus isn’t enough we need the firm foundations of his truth in our lives, so Luke makes sure we get to know the story of The House in the Rock (chapter 6: 46-49).  If, we build our lives around the words of Jesus, then we are building a permanent, heavenly home on the Rock.

What a wonderful companion the apostle Paul had in doctor Luke, and what wonderful, precious insights Doctor Luke has in describing the miracle healings of Jesus, almost we can see Jesus reaching down to touch  almost we hear his voice speaking to lame and blind, and the sick in soul, and why did Luke write his Gospel:-

….”So that you may know the certainty of those things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:4)

….“So that I might know, the certainty of those things I have been taught.”

Suddenly, my aching feet are dancing!

 

 

 

Let it be, let it be…

What do you see when you look at this photo?

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(St Mary the Virgin, Mother of our Lord) – Arranger Vera Round

This simple study in blue and white surprised more than one visitor who saw, quite plainly in their mind’s eye, Mary holding her baby son in her arms although a puzzled Vera, said that she hadn’t been thinking about that at all, just that blue and white were Mary’s colours … How lovely that some should have taken away with them a glimpse of Mary.

St Giles is not a Catholic Church, or of the high church Anglican Tradition, just a simple, middle of the road, C. of E. Parish Church.

Back in the Middle Ages, during the ‘Shewings’ granted to Julian of Norwich over the course of several hours, she must despite her pain, have been hoping for a glimpse of Mary. She records Christ asking her,
“Do you want to see her, do you want to see her?”

Most certainly she did

Mothers always make it right, or if they can’t, know what to say.

Currently a group of St Giles folk and friends are practising hard for a concert at the end of July, this is one of the songs, rather a well known one.


When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Songwriters: LENNON, JOHN WINSTON / MCCARTNEY, PAUL JAMES
Let It Be lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Yeah, my Mum would give me that advise often enough but it is St Mary, mother of the Lord Jesus, speaking to an Archangel no less, who gives all Christians the perfect example of simple, quiet acceptance of our heavenly Fathers will, just as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane when he said, “Your will be done, not mine”

Luke 1:38New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

During a very long interregnum, Sister Phoebe of the Anglican Community of St. Mary the Virgin was a frequent visitor to Sunday morning services, an ordained Priest she celebrated Communion for us. We do miss Sister Phoebe, she and the other sisters from the Smethwick House, were called back home to the Mother House in Oxfordshire

Please follow the link to take a peek.
Mother House