Can you ever forget this story?

This is one of the most memorable stories  I have ever heard! It comes in Katheleen O’Sullivan’s superb book Light out of Darkness in a chapter on A listening experience:

christmas-332When I began to write about ‘listening’ I felt urged in prayer to go out among the people and listen. I went into a fish-and-chip shop. The space was very limited. It was a bitterly cold day. Perhaps the cold made us a pretty soulless group of people. I was trying to listen. There seemed to be little communication between us. I smiled at a little girl who was splashing vinegar on her chips. For a moment, her mother half looked and half smiled at me. We were there seemingly for one purpose only, to get our food, to get home and be comfortable. I felt depressed as I listened.

Suddenly I became aware of a change in the atmosphere. Continue reading

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Great poem for Easter

Joseph L. Juliano

Wayward child—wayward child
find your way back home
find your way to a binding love
stronger than mere words in a song

Your aloneness—your nemesis
your protection—gone wrong
gone wrong—gone on for too long

Tear down the walls and let love in
Tear down the walls and let my love in
Wayward child—wayward child
find your ways back home

Use your lips to speak the prayer
I am here—I will hear!
Trust the calm to clear the way
Trust the calm to cleanse your soul
Trust to give you strength—strength to move on
Wayward child—wayward child
find you way back home

I AM the way
I AM the truth
I AM the light
I AM your safe passage home

Wayward child—wayward child
find you way back home

 

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What is a ‘suspended’ coffee?

I came across this story on a friend’s Facebook page; it warms like coffee on a cold day!164277_412941355468588_1044823959_n

We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they went to the counter:
‘Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended’ They pay for their order, take the two and leave.

I ask my friend: “What are those ‘suspended’ coffees?”
My friend: “Wait for it and you will see.” Continue reading

How to get a fresh start

photo_1032_20060207Taking of fresh starts, I can remember nearly every moment of that day in June of 1995. It was warm day and I was in the Navy. I had been reasonably successful and was looking forward to another 12 years of a career I enjoyed. However, that day as I walked across to see my boss I was slightly apprehensive. For I knew a series of redundancies was being announced. I had come to the conclusion if I was to be made redundant he would giving me the news there and then. I had even come to the conclusion that if I went to his office and he had a brown envelope on his desk, my number was up. Continue reading

The middle aged man worried about getting another job, the young woman graduate working in a burger bar. the TV interview of a family on benefits and unwilling to take a job that is less than the father’s skills.. Since the beginning of the financial crisis, work and its relation to faith
and values have increased. This blog then is worth reading…

Dealing with mixed feelings

 

Luke 19.28-40a150

Tell me – how many cheers do you give today. And that the answer to that depends on whither you greet this morning with unalloyed joy or with mixed feelings. Certainly Christ greeted the Jerusalem crowd with the latter. As a result, our lesson this morning speak volumes for many of us here – many also who are just out there – many who have mixed feelings about entering. Continue reading

How you can get a Life co-pilot

It’s amazing the old computer discs that we all have lying around! Faced with a bitter snowy day, I looked out an rally car simulator from 2000. Now I have to say, I had never got this program to run properly but this time I did.Alpine countryside As a result I spent the afternoon happily rallying up a sun drenched French mountain. Don’t you just love computer simulators for allowing us to do what we cannot afford to do in real life!

Yet real life is no simulation. Continue reading

Days that changed the world

A Great ‘Thought for Today’

The BBC Radio 4’s ‘ Thought for the Day’ was both thought provoking and uplifting all people of faith.

This is what   Abdul Hakin Murad said:

Thought for the Day by Abdal Hakim Murad

As railway lovers everywhere will know, this month brings a black anniversary. In March 1963, Dr Beeching published his report on the reshaping of British Railways. The result was the closure of a third of our stations, with the loss of five thousand miles of track. 

Dr Beeching is remembered as a kind of vandal by many in the heritage railway movement. That’s much too harsh: there were plenty of branch lines and village halts which made no social or economic sense. 

Yet fifty years on, Dr Beeching’s conviction that the motor-car was the future, while trains were dinosaur-like survivals of the Victorian age, has run into the buffers. We travellers are using the railways more than we have for decades. Old routes, like the Waverley line into Edinburgh, are being resurrected from the dead, despite the expense. Here in Cambridge, we are about to build a brand new, second railway station, to relieve congestion on the roads. 

The most obvious lesson, made by Beeching’s opponents at the time, was that a purely economic assessment of a major national asset might turn out to be so narrow that it failed even on its own terms. Accountants are not prophets. 
But as we survey the map, it seems that something else, quite unlike the trains, is crying out for major rationalisation. This is Britain’s still vast religious infrastructure. As with the map of the railways, the religious landscape is filled with reminders of an age of competition. In many cities, there are mosques of different denominations built next to each other. Time for rationalisation, certainly; although the Muslim community is not at all ready for that. 

But the Beeching story has another moral. What if our predictions of an increasingly secular, unchurched and unmosqued Britain turn out to be as disastrously wrong as were Dr Beeching’s certainties about the railways? What if that moribund place of worship opposite your house, that might soon be pulled down, or turned into chic offices, is filled with enthusiastic young believers. 

In fact, the revival of religion is more likely than the revival of the rail network ever was. Faith is always unpredictable; but it seems to reach parts of us that nothing else can. We crave meaning, even more than we crave the ability to read emails and look at the scenery as we travel from A to B. 

Don’t then, junk the infrastructure, imagining that the future will be Godless. Whilst the temptation is to rationalise and to update. Nothing in the history of the human spirit is predicable. 

And in particular, let us avoid surrendering to the spirit of the age, blindly conforming to today’s intellectual fashions in the hope of delaying our demise. 

The ancient structures of belief, tried and tested through generations, have a way to go yet.

If you would like to listen to this speaker, please click here

Great story and a reminder that life goes on… literally!

Morning Story and Dilbert

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn’t hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 37 years, Rudy, was still too raw and this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

Rudy often came with me and almost every time he’d pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I’d always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. Rudy knew I loved yellow roses.

With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since Rudy had passed on. Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two. Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how Rudy had loved his steak.

Suddenly a woman came…

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