Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Unborn Child

Image of a ten week old Foetus by Suparna Sinha

Before Birth
I knew nothing
I grew
Miraculously in a watery pool
I was alive and yet was not born
I was asleep yet did not dream
I was safe
Protected in my warm tomb
I was at the beginning
Of a new life
I did not understand
And after the calm dark world
Suddenly I was thrust
into light and fear.

As the theme for December has been children I thought I would finish with this anonymous verse from an undated and unknown source which I had pasted into my scrapbook sometime in the 1980's.
It made me think, I hope it reaches out to you too.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Ask, Seek, Knock.

Old  Door, Parish Church of St.Thomas the Martyr, Oxford, England.  Photo. Bill Nichols

And so I say to you:  Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find: knock, and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks will receive, and he who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to him who knocks.

Would any of you fathers give his son a snake when he asks for a fish?

Or would you give him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?

As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children.  How much more, then, the Father in Heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.

                     'Good News For Modern Man', Luke 11: 9 - 13     (see also Matthew 7: 7 - 12 )

When I was a child I remember having two picture postcards - one with a picture of a closed door with the above quotation and another with a picture of Jesus surrounded by children with the quotation from Luke 18: 15-17 (see my blog for the 20th. December).  When I was unhappy they were my comfort and promise for the future.  I no longer have the cards but I have the memory.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Peace and Joy

I would like to wish everyone Peace and Joy this Christmas

Mir i radost' v eto Rozhdestvo

Frieden und Feude dieses Weihnachten

Myri radist' v tse Risdvo
Pokoj i Radose to Boze Narodzenie

Paix et la Joie ce Noel
Vrede en Vreugde deze Kerst

Santi aura Khusi isa Krisamasa
Pace e gioia questo Natale

Paz y alegria en esta Navidad
Eirini kai Chara afta ta Christougenna

Pax et gaudium hoc Natalis

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Suffer the Little Children

Some people brought their babies to Jesus to have Him place His hands on them.  But the disciples scolded them for doing so.
But Jesus called the children to Him, and said: "Let the children come to me!  Do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Remember this!  Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."

                                                              Good News For Modern Man - Luke 18.15-17

Please pray for all the children  suffering through violence, conflict and war.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Your Children

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

                                  From 'The Prophet' by Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, 11 December 2014

God's Lent Child

Red sandstone memorial.  Photo by MMB

"I'll lend you for a little while
A child of mine," God said -
"For you to love the while he lives,
And mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years
or forty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back
Take care of him for Me?"

"He'll bring his charms to gladden you
And (should his stay be brief) -
You'll have all your memories
As a solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay
Since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below
I want this child to learn."

"I've looked this whole world over
In my search for teachers true
And from the things that crowd life's lane
I have chosen YOU.
Now will you give him all your love
Nor think the labour vain?
Nor hate me when I come to take
This lent child back again?"

"I fancied that I heard them say,
Dear God - Thy will be done,
For all the joys Thy child will bring
The risk of grief we'll run.
We will shelter him with tenderness
We'll love him for while we may,
And for the happiness we've known
Forever grateful stay.
But should Thy Angels call for him
Much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And try to understand."


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Take My Life

Take My Life  (1874)

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it thine:
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is thine own:
It shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for thee.

Frances R. Havergal (1836-1879)  English religious poet and hymn writer.