Sunday, 30 December 2007

...and a happy New Year

Please join us for a WatchNight service from 11.30pm to 12.15am if you can.

A prayer for you to reflect on what the New Year holds for you as an individual and us as a church:

Lord of the ages,
you are our beginning and our end:
we place our days within your care.
We praise you
for your faithfulness in the past
and trust you for your constant care.
We put ourselves in your safe keeping,
trusting you to guard and guide us
this day and every day;
and we offer our lives
for your service
in this church, our workplaces and community,
through Jesus Christ
your eternal Son, our Saviour.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Christmas Greetings to you all

Here's wishing you all a very peaceful Christmas and don't forget if you want to send greetings there's still plenty of time to write on the big card in the Welcome Area and donate to Project Malawi.

How do we treat people? Part Five

Here's the last one - thanks to Roy for sending them over.

Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts...

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, 'Yes I'll do it if it will save her.' As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the colour returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, 'Will I start to die right away'.

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

How do we treat people? Part Four

Fourth Important Lesson - The Obstacle in Our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

How do we treat people? Part Three

Frustrating how the posts appear backwards but you'll work it out.

Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

'How much is an ice cream sundae?' he asked.
'Fifty cents,' replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.
'Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?' he inquired.
By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.
'Thirty-five cents,' she brusquely replied.
The little boy again counted his coins.
'I'll have the plain ice cream,' he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies..

You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

How do we treat people? Part Two

Sorry for the delay in posting the other ways to think about how we treat people - children breaking up from school is my excuse - they are sooooooo excited.

Anyway here goes...

Second Important Lesson - Pick Up in the Rain

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an elderly African-American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride.
Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.
A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 60s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a
giant console colour TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached..

It read:
'Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along.
Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away... God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.'

Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

How do we treat people? Part One

Roy sent me this which came via Colin. There are five 'lessons' in all to make us think about how we treat others. I'll post the others later...

First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:

'What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?'

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

'Absolutely,' said the professor. 'In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello.'

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

any question answered

I've just heard on the radio that there's a new text service called 'AQA' which stands for 'Any Question Answered.' Apparently they have around 100000 researchers on hand to answer any question that you care to text in.

And the top three questions are:
  1. How can I make a million?
  2. How do you stop global warming?
  3. Is there a God?

Friday, 14 December 2007

It's good to catch up...

Lorna dropped by the other evening to invite us to the home group social. I do miss not going on a regular basis but as all parents know 8.00pm doesn't always work. She arrived about half past nine just as we'd finished eating dinner!

It was good to catch up and especially to learn how Daniel and Sarah are doing. Many of the students are back home now or will be soon for Christmas.

Time flies so fast - apparently Daniel finishes soon and it doesn't seem five minutes ago he was deciding where to go. He's been doing journalism and Lorna kindly sent a link so you can read an article he wrote recently for the Newshopper interviewing Simon. He'd like to point out he didn't write the headline! You can read it here.

Also why not take time this Christmas to catch up with a few people you haven't seen for a while...

Monday, 3 December 2007

Project Malawi

Following on from the success of last year's goat herds, this year there will again be a single big card in the Welcome Area for everyone to send each other seasonal greetings.

You're invited to donate the money saved on cards and postage to Project Malawi, a UK registered charity that works in partnership with national agencies, bringing care for the whole person - mind, body and spirit - to remote Malawian villages.

You can read about the charity here as well as hearing more from David and Gill Mason on Sunday 16 December.