Category: Quiet Times

Give me my scallop-shell of quiet

Give me my scallop-shell of quiet

My staff of faith to walk upon,

My script of joy, immortal diet,

My bottle of Salvation,

My gown of glory, hope’s true gage,

And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.

(Sir Walter Raleigh [1552~1618]}

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

I read the words on a favourite paperweight and reflect on the thousands of feet which have set out on the pilgrimage of faith in the 800 plus years that a church has stood on top of Rowley’s hill, The year Walter Raleigh was born the first church building was already more than 300 years old, that church numbered amongst its worshippers, Isabella, cousin to Henry VIII, so amongst those thousands of feet, at least one pair of noble feet, but mostly those pilgrim feet were humble feet, farmers, cottagers, then miners, quarry workers, nailers and chain makers; fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters; not many wealthy or wise; but all determined to be a pilgrim for Christ.

The Prayer Desk waits quietly for the next Priest in St Giles long history to take up the list of names and pray for today’s pilgrims and those who will come put on gospel shoes and take the one step that begins a journey of a thousand miles.

But before that one, first step, a prayer,

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me, may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me: for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24)

No one has ever taken, so I believe that one first step on the upward journey to where Jesus waits, without His prayer, He stands, always at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us.

It is the desire of the Lord Jesus that where He is, We should be where He is ~

I say Amen and pray for all the pilgrims on the road today, and the ones who will believe because of their word, the up shoe laces before taking one step,

~~~~~ then another.

one step, then another.

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The Difference is Prayer

I got up early one morning

And rushed right into the day;

I had so much to accomplish

That I didn’t have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me,

And heavier came each task.

“Why doesn’t God help me?

I wondered.

He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

I wanted to see joy and beauty,

But the day toiled on grey and bleak.

I wondered why God didn’t show me,

He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

I tried to come into God’s presence,

I used all my keys at the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided,

“My child, you didn’t knock”

I woke up early this morning,

And paused before entering the day:

I had so much to accomplish

That I had to take time to pray.

(author unknown)

If our Lord Jesus needed to pray, so do I.

I read in Mark 1.v35

“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”

If our Lord showed His Father reverence and honour in the way He prayed and spoke His Holy Name, calling His Lord, “Father” ~ so should I.

Our Master taught us to Ask, Seek and Knock. Lady Julian of Norwich referred to the Lord as our Courteous Lord. So He is. And deserving of our Courtesy.

To pray makes a difference, how we pray is how we are received.

The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are His!

Keep Looking Up

A lovely bright morning, the bare trees are showing spring green. Whatever litters the path beneath my feet, I can look up and touch the sky.

When my days are grey and drizzle. Remind me, Lord to look up, I know You “Keep my feet” ~

You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures for ever more”

Jesus said, that His followers would know trouble in this world; but in Himself peace,

Lord, when I am troubled, remind me to “Look up!”

Jesus Remember Me

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given to you; do this in remembrance of me”

I once was lost, now I’m found

Return of the Prodigal Son (Rembrandt, St Petersburg, The Hermitage)

Possibly one of the most well known paintings and possibly one of the most well known stories in the New Testament. It comes in St Luke’s Gospel, chapter 15, immediately following the stories of the lost sheep and the lost coin.

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring[b] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

“And no one gave him anything” (verse 16)

How sad it is that Christians seem to have nothing to offer in the way of a word of witness to help today’s lost sons and daughters begin the journey back home to their loving Father.

What have we done with the Gospel treasure entrusted to us?

Buried it maybe?

Many, in these last few days have recalled, being invited and going to hear Billy Graham, many have recalled it was something he said which started them thinking differently, turned their thinking around, so that they, literally came to themselves and began their journey back home.

Billy Graham preached a Gospel of Repentance, the Old Testament Prophets preached Repentance, John the Baptist preached a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and Jesus began his ministry (Mark 1:15) saying “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel”

Me?

I can’t do otherwise than say, “I serve a risen Saviour who is in the world today, eager to turn hearts and minds around and bring lost sons and daughters home”

Snowdrops and the wilderness

In my part of the world, “Lent Lily” is the title of the sunny Daffodil,  but the small, humble and neat Snowdrop is the flower that most springs to my mind at this season.


Daffodils will be around at Easter, the Snowdrops are here now pushing their way up through the leaf litter to emerge triumphant as the harbingers of Spring.

Lent for us always begins in the cold, today, snow flakes have danced on the cold wind, so very different to the images of desert and wilderness portrayed by artists in their depiction of the temptations endured by Jesus in the wilderness. Our winter turning into spring is a wilderness of ice, frost, and in the churchyard, brittle, brown, grey, twigs and branches broken by wind and storm, and tenacious Snowdrops and Crocus.

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus.

(Isaiah 35:1)

For, me, always, the sweet, humble Snowdrop, always arrives singing,

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,

My glory and the one who lifts my head.

(psalm 3:3)


She has fought a hard battle, the little Snowdrop, but here she is…  singing the song of victory won; giving the glory to the Lord who keeps us in burning desert and icy waste, the One, who alone is His people’s strength.