Kindness and Appreciation

As I sat one morning last week with my coffee listening to the Today programme on Radio 4, my eyes rolled inwardly as I heard the beginning of Thought For the Day begin with a valentine message.  As a society, in Britain, we now seem to be racing through life by moving from one  festival / celebration to another, each, seemingly becoming more and more commercialsed;  not really taking the time to think about the meaning of each said celebration apart from what to purchase.  My ears pricked up, however, as I heard the ‘Thought’ continue with the history and significance of St Valentine and his message.  Francis Campbell continues with the question most of us think of quite often, What is love? She continues:

“Love in the Christian scriptures is not founded on reciprocity. Leviticus asks us to: “Love one another as yourself.” It is not to love one another because others have loved you, but to love others as you desire to be loved; to treat others as you want to be treated regardless of whether that is how they actually are treating you.  

St Valentine’s Day is a reminder to us that each day, and in each human encounter we have the human capacity to exchange the biggest gift of all, to ourselves, and to the other we encounter, and that is the gift of unconditional love.”

I talked with hubsband about this thought as went out later in the day and we decided to try and be more appreciative of each other in our everyday lives.  To show more kindness in our words.  Many of us can be quick to criticise; slower to appreciate the goodness and kindness of others.

Not a Tame Lion – Winter without Christmas

I returned home revived earlier this week after my second session of the Hilary Brand Lent Not a Tame LionCourse – Not a Tame Lion.  Based on the works of C S Lewis and the films Shadowlands, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, it explores different topics each session:

  1. Living in the shadows
  2. Living with the beyond
  3. Living with the unexplained
  4. Living with what we’ve been given
  5. Living with absence

 

    Each year I find this period, the end of winter, spring just around the corner, an exciting one.  A new beginning,  tiny seedlings popping their heads through the soil. Yet the first question posed to us in the Lent course was, Life in Narnia, how would you feel with winter without Christmas?

He's not a tame Lion.:

 

Quote of the month – January

Let Everyday Be Christmas

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself.

Peace on Earth, good will to men,
kind thoughts and words of cheer,
are things we should use often
and not just once a year.

Remember too the Christ-child, grew up to be a man;
to hide him in a cradle, is not our dear Lord’s plan.
So keep the Christmas spirit, share it with others far and near,
from week to week and month to month, throughout the entire year!

Norman Wesley Brooks

Quote of the month – December

I will greet this day with love in my heart. And how will I do this?

Henceforth will I look on all things with love and be born again.

I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars.

I will welcome happiness as it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul.

Og Mandino

Merry Christmas! Our waiting has ended

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Today on this Christmas morning we light the four Advent Candles; Hope, Love, Joy and Peace.  We also light the centre white candle which represents Jesus.  When we light this candle, we remember Jesus’ birth. Our waiting has ended.

 

Merry Christmas to All

Stewardship – Advent Wonder

Another thought-provoking resource shared from Stewardship.  This week, just as my mind started whirring with the beginning of Christmas consumerism; fayres, parties, presents and shopping, an email from stewardship landed in my Inbox.  Advent Wonder.  A thought to ponder sent daily throughout Advent to your Inbox.  https://www.stewardship.org.uk/be-inspired/advent-wonder

I always feel recharged, after, even a short spiritual reading.  The Big Idea for Advent shared on page 2 of the family pack, is enough to begin my contemplation

We give to others because God first gave to us

Stewardship Advent Wonder Family Pack 2016

 

 

Inspirational songs

I’ve been feeling a little emotional today, so as I ran a hot bath my phone pinged with a new YouTube song.  Quite unusual for me; I didn’t even know I had subscribed for this!  Anyway, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for, but by WorshipVideo, who perform one of my favourite songs, ‘Here I am to Worship’,  So, after a listen to that, I scrolled down the rest of the page and came across this beautiful video from Be Inspired! Just what I needed!

I love the words in the final song by Blue Country:

“Its the path you take and the steps you make

That make you who you are.  Its the life you live

The gifts you give. The love that’s in your heart

Just try to do the best you can to be a better man.

You don’t have to walk on water

It’s “How you walk on land”