“Lord, fill my heart with so much grace that the devil must flee when he sees me coming. Amen.”
This came up in my Linked In feed this week. I don’t normally make New Year’s Resolutions in the way that Sally sometimes does but I do have a thought for the year. This is it for 2018 to help me with difficult situations, potential conflict and the challenges that this year will inevitably bring.
Outside of term time there is a bit more flexibility to catch up with people and enjoy a coffee with a friend. I saw this sign as Paul, Mum and I had coffee out on Christmas Eve. One of my loose resolutions will be to be more organized with my diary to do coffee with a friend a bit more regularly.
For the first time in around forty years I have not had. Christmas card from Carol. She is one of a small number of friends who I don’t connect with on social media or have an email address for. Each Christmas and birthday we handwrite our news. I am now wondering what has happened. Is it a post office blip? I am beginning to get to the age where friends are dying (still comparatively young) but when, like Carol, they are not part of any other network or friendship group I am not sure what to do. I will see what happens in February… Although we have not met for nearly all those years Carol was part of an important time in my life and I remember her kindness and encouragement with gratitude.
Sally was preaching today on three of the encounters with angels in the Christmas story, those of Zechariah, Mary and the shepherds. We had time to reflect on the messages of be not afraid, the Lord is with you and glory to God in the highest.
She finished with a blessing which drew on many of the stories of angels that are found in the Bible:
May the angel of the annunciation bless you, inviting you daily to awaken to the God-life within you.
May the angel of Joseph’s dreams bless you, stirring your spirit to trust the many ways that Mystery whispers to you.
May the angel of the journey to Egypt bless you guiding and protecting you as you travel the inner and outer roads of your life.
May the angel of the desert wilderness bless you, bringing courage when you experience bleak, intense searching and struggle.
May the angel of the agony in the garden bless you, offering you solace in your time of tribulation.
May the angel at the tomb of resurrection bless you with faith, assuring your faith and trust that all shall be well.
Source: Out of the ordinary Joyce Rupp Ave Maria Press 1999
So often public toilets are an eye sore. These are not! Not in my world anyway. Very impressed with Southend-on-Sea’s creativity and vision to create some toilets right on the sea front that fit the area. I didn’t get to use them (which may be too much information) but seeing them lifted my spirits on a cold dark night.
It was one of those pottering days on holiday – going from place to place with no particular plan in mind. We had noticed a sign for Launceston priory and decided to investigate. It is yet another ruined monastic settlement, this picture is one of several piles of stones, there are some bits of wall and a few other things but you can’t really work out quite what it all looked like. I was reminded of this image yesterday when I was chatting with a student. It wasn’t an unusual conversation, it was one I often have with people in ministry – and I am susceptible to this too. It was about asking for help when you need it rather than just being the person who helps others. I think of this picture as living stones, parts of a body, something that can be built together to create something bigger than the whole. There are days I particularly need to remember what it is I say to others!
I thougth for the two Sundays before Christmas I would share some of my favourite blessings, firstly to bless you and secondly if you like them, save you some searching if you might be able to use them else where. Also here is a useful website for other material for the same purposes.
“May the Blessings of Christmas be with you,
May the Christ Child light your way,
May God’s holy angels guide you,
And keep you safe each day.”
“The light of the Christmas star to you,
The warmth of home and hearth to you,
The cheer and good will of friends to you,
The hope of a childlike heart to you,
The joy of a thousand angels to you,
The love of the Son,
And God’s peace to you.”