Saturday, 31 May 2008

A Happy Day

We worked really hard and got loads done, but for me at any rate it was a really happy day, with my children both here, and in top form.

Thank you God for such a happy and successful day.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Something to look forward to

I'm really getting excited, because I'm having a "help-the-house" party this weekend, and both of my children and some friends are coming. It's all about getting the house ready to sell. Please God, may we have some dry weather for the painting, and may we have a fun time, even though there's lots of work to do!

I had the nicest walk today with my friend Dylan the dog. We really are good friends now. Thank you, Lord, for giving us dogs as companions.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

If there is a God, why does he feel so far away from us?

"Life Questions" said the U-tube video clip title. 'Looks interesting,' I thought, and clicked on it. A young man was talking to camera, explaining the major questions he wanted to ask about life. And the title above was the first one.

'Poor soul,' I thought. 'How have you never had anyone teach you how to enter and practice the presence of God? ' Very easily, I now realise. When we were a rational, scientific culture, we apprehended God, if at all, intellectually. Now we are a postmodern culture, we want experiences to sweep is up into them, and we want everything immediately - now!

But God isn't like that. He loves us to seek after him, he woos us as we are searching, giving us now an intimation of unspeakable bliss, and now a hint of the deepest peace, and now an unechoing empty cosmos, where we break our hearts as we feel as if he has left us alone.

The two thousand year-old Christian tradition has many ways, formal and informal, of seeking communion with God. But then again, God is not a slot machine, that he should respond the same way every time we go through a set routine or ritual.

The way to the Father, in principle, is through Jesus, his son. And no-one can know the Son, except through the Holy Spirit, who makes him real to us.

So Lord, I pray for that young man, and all the other people who may share his question and also for me, that you would send your Holy Spirit upon us, and help us to know you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow Jesus more nearly, every day.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Ponds and progress

Yesterday I refilled my small garden pool, rescued my water-lily from its winter peat, and sank it in the water again. It had already leafed and budded, so should look good soon. (Thank you, Lord,)

Today my friends and I have worked on windows, so I have a good feeling about making some progress. Please Lord, help me to keep my motivation up and the progress going on!

My big frog is getting bolder, even hopping round the smaller pool in the twilight. I do so love having a wildlife sanctuary in my garden, and I do pray that I will find a house and garden where I can create another haven for small but important wild creatures.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Thank you Lord

Yesterday I prayed that the Burmese leaders would put people before "face". Today they have agreed to allow aid agencies into their cyclone-stricken country. Thank you, Lord.
I pray that aid will also reach Burma's persecuted Christian minority populations. The picture shows Karen kids - the Karen being one of the poorest and most neglected of Burma's peoples. I pray that they will be reached quickly by aid workers.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

No, it wasn't the end of the world

My hedgehog has woken up and walked. Thank you, Lord!

Thank you that you love even the smallest and apparently insignifucant creatures.
Thank you that you made them to be our companions on our beautiful blue-white-and- green planet.

Sunday, 18 May 2008


Thank you, God for Water Aid, through which we can express our gratitude for constant clean water and effective sewerage systems in our own country, and contribute to other countries beginning to enjoy the same benefits.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Why disability?

It seems to me that nobody has a good answer to the question, "Why does disability exist?" The best answer I've heard so far is my son's, which was: "It's just a series of coincidences, a set of circumstances that allowed it to happen." In fact, many people, both Christian and non-Christian have been utterly stumped by the question. Some have provided answers, but answers that don't seem to me to hang together.

If we have suffering and evil in the world because of our ancestors' sin, (a Christian answer), why does it hit some people and not others?

If we are in fact all perfect, according to our form and function, which is to ensure the survival of our species, (an atheist answer) then why do some people have severely imperfect minds or bodies, which limit their quality of life? If life is just about ensuring the survival of humankind, does that mean that I am of no further use, being past childbearing age?

Another atheist answer, (my son's again) is that we can strive for nobility, remembering what he considers a really helpful guideline, which is, "Do to others as you would like them to do to you." He didn't know, or had forgotten, that this was Jesus' command.

What would Jesus say about disability? One (Christian) parent replied that seeing each one of her children as created perfect in the way they are has enabled her to benefit so much from having one child with special needs. "If I can somehow see people with a disability with God's eyes - to see the pearls in the oysters - and to see how precious we all are, as we are, this is God's purpose."

"Why me?" I'm sure that's the question of every person enduring ongoing pain and disability. The only answer I've ever come up with is "Why not you?" I hasten to add, it was the answer God seemed to give to me, when I asked him the question. It's not an answer I've imposed on suffering people!

If we read Chapter 9 of the Gospel of John, and indeed any or all of the Gospels, Jesus seems to see illness, suffering and disability as an opportunity to display God's love, by showing compassion, and bringing healing. I think this can make ongoing suffering even harder for Christians. If Jesus would be like that when he lived with us in the flesh of a human being, why isn't he still like that now, when he lives in us through his Spirit?

Dear Father, what are you up to?