Generation of Joy

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Is joy born, generated or created? Does joy exist only as one of the emotions? Or does joy exist in its own right and then, a ‘window’ in our soul opens and we perceive it?

I think maybe at least sometimes, it surprises us, thus our perception is that it exists in ‘kairos’, which we suddenly enter, apart from ‘chronos’.  C S Lewis’s  Narnia Chronicles illustrate the reality of truth as being independent of chronological time. I don’t really ask in order to introduce some philosophy on joy, rather, to explore common ground. Is this an experience you can relate to? – Being surprised by joy? C S Lewis wrote a book about it and he seemed to think so. Common ground.

I was not feeling especially joyful as I gathered poppy petals to press in the stream of pleasant jobs there are in preparing for a wedding. I have referred to this preparation time and why I’m writing about it, in previous posts. I felt simply calm, perfunctory as I laid the petals out after collecting them, onto papers where they’d be pressed flat under a rug between sheets of paper. Quietly, with a cheeky wink of innocent mischief, Joy came in, as a sister might, and sat on the floor beside me. The colours of the randomly laid petals were intensely beautiful, regulated in spacing to maximise the available pressing area. But there was an explosion in my senses that sparked a memory of an art exhibition of filmed explosions of floral arrangements. The exhibition was called ‘Flora’ and held in the Arts Centre in Aberystwyth in the summer of 2016. Common ground there is in simply exploring juxtapositions of flowers, their colours and how they impact us, disassembled, or even exploding!

I am preparing for the moment in a few weeks when these petals will be showered over a newly wed couple. It will be an expression of joy shared, love poured out with the blessing of family and friends when we, as parents, will let go of our respective ‘children’. Simultaneously, two individuals will be joined as a new unit. We will be illustrating joy with the tumbling of broken flowers.

Although this will be the end of the poppies in their natural form, the joy we celebrate when we throw a confetti of petals is for the marriage itself and what will be generated by this union. Parents in letting go of one child receive back two, with a different set of boundaries and responsibilities towards the couple from those that they relinquish as their son and daughter marry. The new couple will be exploring, evolving, generating new responsibilities and boundaries, and assuming some existing relationship ideas,  as their marriage strengthens. I anticipate it will be blooming marvellous, if  at times, a tad messy!

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Diary of a Country Wedding.

Ephesians 4, 11-16 talks about how Christ gave the church people different skills and jobs to perform in order to get everything done that’s needed to create a functioning, unified church.

I’m drawing a parallel with that in how we are preparing for the wedding of our daughter, Ann Marie, and her fiancé, Mark, in a couple of months’ time.

I didn’t keep a diary of the wedding preparations of our other daughter Catie to Pete, specifically, and it is likely that any diary I did keep of the months leading up would have been sporadic and subject to the days as I experienced them, rather than intentionally observing the ways we worked together towards it and how life is interwoven with it’s own agendas, important but unrelated. So I found the momentousness of the day difficult to experience. It was happy, exhausting, beautiful, stressful when I was cut off by a carnival, holy and having huge, eternal but intangible significance: Catie and Pete became one in God’s pattern, and for me and Rod, she was no longer legally our next of kin, or vice versa. We have to comprehend these things in some way and make mental and emotional shifts. If these shifts could be expressed through a dance, I would have been portrayed as a clown in large boots falling over at all the tender and significant moments, blinded by the stage lights and imoblile when I was supposed to be making up an eight for ‘Strip the Willow’!

So I hope to prepare my heart and soul for this. I’ve been doing my little bit preparing in lots of external and practical ways, don’t worry. Two months to go is too late to start from scratch.

I’ve been growing the flowers for it and picked the first bunch today. I have to pick them in order to keep them flowering. I’m not sure about which will or won’t and how the timing will work, so am spreading the risk with a variety of strategies.

Mark, Ann Marie’s betrothed; (have you noticed how some words have been ditched for less committed sounding words? So I’m flippin’ well using them!) is having a great week this week. He hasn’t said so yet in so many words. But someone has to be prophetic if we’re taking tips from scripture!

Ann Marie has lots in the pipeline. She’s been organising the catering; (very excited about the potential horse box converted to kitchen,) the guests’ replies and co-ordinating all the different people who are going to play a part in making the day happen. There’s the worship leading for the ceremony, the celebrant minister who is a long time friend of Mark’s, marquee and furniture to buy and set up. Bunting, lights; cue generator, cue queue; portaloos. Strings and tangles of thoughts, connections and confusions run riot over lists spread around the workspace that is our home.

Rod has been the van man collecting chairs with Ann Marie from Cardiff. He’ll have a marquee carpet to collect in a few days’ time, we hope! Before that can be laid, there’s the ground preparation to do with Steve, Mark and any other willing hands.

Not much has yet been said about some significant garments! Next post. No spoilers.

The first flowers

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Valentine Joy!

It is raining on the snowdrops.

It’s a very unremarkable kind of mild day, where I can turn the weekend events over in my mind, mentally mineralising the memories into my spirit as I walk the dog through the dripping woods and marvel.

This is Joy on very different levels. The laughing kind; the serendipities where I sense God’s manifold humour sparkling on the edge of the dimly perceived mirror, and the deeper, quieter, ‘syfrdanol’ kind.

Thank you letter type prayer starts polymerising, but that’s for a little later.

Last night was our Valentines meal together, and with such a busy schedule we didn’t have some great idea about where. To me, the anticipation of the date was like a picture of a big, squashy sofa and a glass of wine, and I wanted it to be Saturday evening not Tuesday, the alternative because the squashiness of the sofa would be limited by work stresses on Monday and Wednesday.

How many people are looking for total chill out moments in their week?

We ended up in ‘A Taste Of India’ in Borth, and arrived in an empty little restaurant with a potentially pleasant atmosphere, for Borth. We were directed to the table for four by the window and brought popadums.  I waited for the circulation to return to my hands, frozen from sitting doing accounts in our chilly lounge for my imminent annual inspection by the Organic Control body. We were having an experimental evening and I tried hurrying the warming process with some nose wringing lime pickle! We perused the menu and decided to take a chance with the ‘Indian Banquet’ and the chef’s discretion. Before long our waiter was busy serving our starters, which were very tasty, with special minty sauce. He was eager to tell us about his life as a missionary. He is part of the fellowship of St Matthew’s in Borth but is a Pentecostal himself. I thought my jewellery didn’t offend him, though. We thought it would be lovely to come with Nina, Shedrack and family. The high and lowlight of the evening  was the bizarre background music! In fact it was the music which inspired me to blog it! The problem of creating atmosphere conducive to relaxed chatting in restaurants that are empty but for one couple can be solved easily by background music, so it was a good move when the waiter put the radio on, albeit a bit wheezy. He fiddled with it for a while and managed to cajole from it something that sounded like a reporter in a war zone rapping across a bad phone reception, and as that was all that could be sifted from the ether, he left it at that. After a short while the restaurant had filled up with what seemed to be a relaxed and regular clientèle, and perhaps perceiving this, the rapper down the line hung up, leaving nothing but an intense hissing and crackling. We were a little distracted by this and snatched glances at other diners to see if they were at all put off by it. By all appearances everything continued as normal and we persevered with our conversations. The restaurant manager came over as we finished our starter and asked if everything was alright. I too hurriedly asked if maybe the radio could be retuned and he smiled graciously and switched it off, as he carried our plates away. “Oops,” I thought, ” If he didn’t like me saying that without first thanking him for the lovely first course, I may be in for a  taste of his displeasure next!” On the contrary, we were treated to such an amazing feast of delightful  dishes and delicious naan bread that we continued trying to work our way through them all well after we felt replete!When we were finally defeated by the banquet we asked for the bill and our missionary brother came and began working out with us how our doggy bag could best be packed! As I’m vegetarian, some things couldn’t be mixed, and when that puzzle was solved and the bill paid we were presented with a large paper bag full of perfectly wrapped parcels of delicacies. As we flumped hugely into the car, we laughed at ourselves for forcing so much food into our drum tight bellies, as we’d have a bigger lunch the morrow if we’d stopped sooner and at a more comfortable stage of full! However, all in all the evening was a great giggle and the chippy left with the manager wringing his hand and saying to leave his card, in case his help was needed with renovations to the premises beginning next month.

This morning we were privileged to have Dr David Ceri Jones preaching from Peters 1st Epistle, Chapter 1, in St Michael’s church Llandre. We Christian’s are supposed to have this ‘unspeakable’ or ‘inexpressible and glorious  joy’ because we live in the company of Jesus despite the trials we experience today. It was so apt a word as we now have in our sights the arrival of a new incumbent, Rev Peter Jones with his wife Carol and daughter, Elen.  We had been told that they would be coming to meet the congregation today, and so I wanted to be there. I am so delighted to discover that there will be this new opportunity for growth and spiritual reality being lived and breathed and explored right here in Llandre. Part of the outcome of being so eager to meet and discuss hopes for us was that it seemed as if I was being ridiculously demanding, and poor Peter, who isn’t beginning his ministry here till May, asked me at one point how long I was giving him for all these transformations to take place! It’s just that I wouldn’t have dared to hope we could have that conversation with a minister in this church. Shame on me, but now, all the more, joy and hope! I can’t claim not to be biassed but I thought the hope was tangible. Not in the singing though, which was as dismal as usual! I am genuinely thrilled for Roger, who seemed to have a huge smile on his face whenever I glanced in his direction, and for Doreen his wife. They have worked tirelessly through all the years when the  only the lights of hope were in their souls and the eternal promises, none were in outward circumstances.

I walked home through the rain with a smile on my lips and became aware of the little green clio at the bottom of our lane, with my husband waving to me as I approached. I literally jumped for joy as I explained that David had told me to go and listen to Peter Jones on the Hubberstone web site, and what a great preacher he is. I have just done that. Yes, there is much to be thankful for and to pray about and to celebrate.

Now I’m going out again to enjoy the rain with the snowdrops.

Visit To Newcastle

Re: The two things you asked me, Tidge:

Firstly: What was I praying, Sunday night?

I had just spent the whole weekend having a tour of your new life; an ‘open day’ view of Catie in Newcastle. OK, yes, it had it’s glossy aspect; I didn’t have to attend a lecture and do one of your assignments! Nevertheless, we had a taster of the places, the people, the number of things you do, and how often, hearing of the many mornings a week getting up early to go to prayer meetings, amongst other regular slots. It wasn’t hard to imagine the late noisy nights in hall, at the other end of the proverbial candle, as you gigglingly returned the broken table leg to it’s hiding place in the kitchen cupboard. We did muck in with cleaning up  ‘polystudent festidensis’  in the communal area! This experience admittedly being considerably more rewarding, on meeting some of your flatmates, than the Damien Hirst ‘installation’ we viewed earlier in the weekend.

So, by Sunday evening, I felt I’d built in my mind, a well illustrated resume of your first term and a half at university. It was impressive. I compared the wholesomeness of your student life with what mine had been at roughly the same time. There was no comparison. I had a quick ‘fast forward’ impression of both our lives, and of mine since, as obviously, I have a lot more years on record! Suddenly I recognised that I could ask for more potential to be fulfilled and released, in my life. It was the starkness of the contrast, having seen myself at 19 and then you. So I just wanted to have more readiness, higher expectations of myself and life, less worry that I was unworthy, inadequate, rubbish…more grace outworking, more reliance on Jesus and therefore resiliance. I was celebrating all that God has been able to pour into you and through you, all the life that has flowed and all the rhythm that has been swelling the glorious heartbeat of heaven. This probably sounds crazy to you but I don’t know how else to put it into words. I was celebrating and yet suddenly dissatisfied with what I believed to be consequences of my broken and confused eruption from a sense of powerlessness, being passive, having an ignorant acceptance of the inevitable to insecure, somewhat rejected but nevertheless independent existance. I had such a long way to go, didn’t I? And I am glad that God has brought me this far. Yet I believe there is still much more! Life is full and I am very blessed, but during that worship I suddenly wanted to live more! So I placed all that before the cross. The past is dealt with, no more tears over that, at all. What I put before the cross was my whole history as a context, as if it’s a sealed unit. My now also, and myself. ‘Take me all: I want transformation beyond what is humanly possible.’

I have filled out what I actually prayed because when sharing this with another, so much more qualification and explanations seems to need to be given.

As I said when I was summoned by Mark, we sang the line…”my life is in your hands”… I was all the while participating fully in the worship. So I knelt down, because it was like a compassionate..”OK, I hear you,” from the father.

And secondly: What was prophesied over me?

Mark saw an annointing on me, and said he had seen it from the beginning of the evening. He saw the word ‘Deborah’ over me. He saw that there is a ready warrior in me, and related the example of Deborah agreeing to lead the Israelites into battle when a man would not go. So Israel was delivered into the hands of a woman that day. He saw that the specific area that I would stand against was the occult. I would not be alone. He saw it was as if I was walking down a hill and witches and demons were fleeing, and I was surrounded by angels who would protect me. (Quoted about the angels who encamp around the righteous.)

When he said these things I was not too grateful! I didn’t really want to have to go any where near the occult! Such a ready warrior!!! However, I will let it sit in the scales of my spirit and let it be weighed before the Lord. He prayed that whatever was not of the Lord would be forgotten. I think the bit about being a warrior is probably true. I have a spirit that becomes indignant for the things of God, especially his people and especially if I think they are getting spiritual attack…so….

Then I heard from Jenny, (I am grateful that God gave Jenny sight of my broken and softer side). She saw me in God’s hands. (C:) His hands were cupped all around me. The picture became even softer than that. As if I was in a womb, so fully surrounded and in such a place of sanctuary and safety and protection. It speaks into my spirit of acceptance as a wanted child also. Very healing.

So these are your questions answered. I hope that I have explained well to you, especially the first bit, but I fear the first bit will get a bit lost in translation.

The Season of The Word made flesh

Paul’s conversion; is today, Jan 25th traditionally a memorial of that? How the heavenly event is mirrored; Saul, full of venom and legal perfectionism, becomes Paul, subject of mercy and Grace, and so suitable then as an instrument of God’s Salvation to the gentiles.  The Holy Son of God was prepared for the sake of redemption to come and be made flesh in filth and even cursed as he took on sin, separation from the father, death. But He took victory from flesh, sin and death’s grasp for ever. Is now glorified with the Father and has dominion over every authority. The image on his side of the mirror is way bigger than Saul’s!

Ydy, hefyd, Dydd Santes Dwynwen yw e.

And what have I besides these?

I have received this same mercy. Can I imagine it like a robe? I can put it on and walk about in it. Imagine, the same robe of acceptance in the name of Jesus, as worn by the new apostle 20 centuries ago. Available for what price at Christies? Imagine the status, gained from being the one who could reach the top bid!

No need. I can’t buy this robe. It is bought at greater price than any multi billionaire can ever afford. As a fact, it hardly sinks in, but I know it is true and when I give this fact my attention and try to receive it my ‘humbleometer’ goes off the scale. I would probably die or become superhuman before I could comprehend the magnitude of this mercy and grace.

Yet dully perceiving, I’m skipping trying to get my head round it completely and I’m just asking this Holy God to hear these prayers. Just assuming he wants to answer because we’re related. He has become my Dad. I have become his child. (Yet the mind still boggles.)

I have been sorely pushed on the topic of evangelism. Please help me to overcome the accusations and guilt. Please just make it possible somehow for me to do the right thing. In relationship. I’m not an automaton and neither are any of the people I meet who know my belief. I believe God can speak to them in ways that I can’t. I can explain myself to anyone who asks. I cannot ram my faith down the throats of people who don’t want to share any of this ‘bread’ I have. They reckon thay have ‘steak’ and they pity my attempts to show them any banquets of truth and beauty and freedom. So courtesy commands discretion.

And in this context I ask for the salvation of Demitri and his parents. My parents. The Chippy’s parents and all their children and grandchildren. The tetrarch’s brother.

I thank you for the salvation of all the other family close to us and ask for blessing and protection. I thank you for our Esther and ask that all the price in suffering she pays, all the tears and loneliness be recorded. Because you do see and I ask for her name to be honoured in your Honour and her eternal footprint to be followed for generations to come. I trust that your righteousness and promices will be fulfilled in her life and she will have peace and safety because of her fellowship with Jesus.

Please give peace and foresight to the Chippy today. Let his work be good and your grace flow through him to the people he meets. Guard his heart that your life may be ever flowing through him. Give him sustainance in his inner man. Let him not slip or be turned from your ways, in the least detail.

Protect the Cherub with your love. Let no stress be harmful to her at work. Keep her confidence in you resiliant. Lead her in her thinking, please. Let her seek and hear your guidance in all the matters before her. Please Lord hear this prayer. Her life is so precious and You alone know what is best. I call on you for wisdom for her and let her love of you and your love of her shape her thinking and her character every day. Thank you.

This also for the Tidge. Keep her clarity and integrity in a safe place in her heart. Let no false ideas steal her inheritance in you. Let her be refreshed and find joy and peace with you and your people, as she stays close to You and your sources of Grace. Help her sleep and work. Bless her.

Please continue to watch over the Shuster and his path ahead. Let each step be secure in you. Let him lead others into pleasant places, learning from you and finding peace and their purpose. Please guide him in work and into the coming year, teaching him all he needs to know, and how to serve you with integrity. Guard him and protect him. Let him be alert, and trust you for all he will need.

Protect the weak and disenfranchised in our society. Help them not to become bitter so that even blessings are rejected. Let all who have and share, be blessed. Let all who want discover what they have and be blessed. Provide for the lonely what they lack, whether it be confidence to befriend, transport, warmth, interests in common. Take away prejudice in our society, but let each be willing to share with others and Lord, as all the people who know you ask for your Kingdom to come on earth as it is in Heaven, let it make a difference. let good overcome evil, one heart at a time. In Jesus’ name.

All this for Haiti. As with failing to understand Grace, fully, my mind reels at the suffering and the scale of the disaster. I can’t take it into little peices and rationalise. It is too big. God is bigger. Say that to any one of the people suffering from my western armchair. How could I? I do believe he is bigger. How does that translate? I can only pray. Thank Goodness only he can look them in the eye and say he knows and cares. I don’t have to say it on his behalf. It was the same with the Boxing Day tsunami. Thank you God for all the people, powerless and drawing on your power to face the problem and start to pull one person at a time out of the rubble. Thank you for the generosity of the destitute with a tap towards the destitute with no tap….God have mercy, and over to You. oh no..one more thing. Please let the politicians keep their promices. For the people’s sake.

Tomorrow it’s inspection day. Please let it go well. Please guide my decisions here. Thank you for the barn owl. Give him very succesful hunting over the gardens. Help us at HyC tonight, and be honoured in all we do.

Thank you.

10/32

arrow prayers (10/32)

Just bringing people and their constant need for blessing and your care into your light.

Karenina, make safe all plans and hopes for this Chrismas and put your protection and shine your countenance over her and her family. Thank you. Let the expectations for 2010 be fuelled by grace and constant prayer.

Chippy: healing, patience, love, joy and faithfulness. Open his heart, mind and eyes again to the refreshing of your presence and abiding Spirit. Please give him such new encouragement and deep peace, especially at the cottage in the next few days. Let his fatherhood be like a watering place, with homecoming and resting and celebration under fruit trees. let the camp be blessed with stories and fellowship that strengthen and lengthen the bonds within the family. Not yet is the season of fall. Let the summer be long!

The Cherub: Stacks of praise like riches in the hold. The big fleet full of treasures bound for your Kingdom is preparing for the journey. The accoustics of song and joy drown out the sound of the pounding waves: The waves will be harnessed to carry the ships and the sun in the  wind-filled sails is dazzling. The emblems of Righteousness and Humility inspire the crew. Blessing; blessing and hope and promice take them and love hold them on course. Be delighted, O Lord.

The Tidge: Thank you for the fellowship and trust in you that we share and the frequent wanderings together with you. Let it be a fruitful walk as indeed the buds and flowers have already held through some storms. Protect what you are doing and the fruit of each season. High yield for your glory, please. I will soon have the chance to hold her myself but even with one day to go, I ask for your arms to be about her always. Grace and the beauty of truth and holiness infuse her life to fullness! Thankyou.

Mary and Beloved: Seal all your promices into their hearts, to awaken the soul as the mind lets its proud guard drop. Prepare for the banquet when the ungrateful invitees have refused, bring in the hungry. Let the hunger bite! You alone can do good. You alone can make humble. yet she stands and knows she is already in the reception. Give her assurance and comfort. Her gratitude is precious to you. I lay all my ignorance down as I ask for your love and salvation to be fulfilled in them.

Onyx: Give her safe travels and use all she offers to you to bring blessing and glory to you. Protect and guide. Return refreshed. Help in the areas where she and others struggle with each other. So no blockages can clog up the flow of your Spirit of fellowship.

Joe T Shuster: Happy times and learning combine to refresh and bring joy in his family and his future life as your man. Discernment and passion balance to make all he does for you like the Sword of the Holy Spirit..with you not just for you, dividing between bone and marrow. Effective and loving in ministry and leadership.  Protect from distraction and strengthen in confidence in all you are in him. Let him lean on you always and never be deceived by the empty praise and kisses of jealous enemies. Thank you.

Esther, cara, Timothy, The tetrarch’s brother: Bring your mercy in healing and glory amongst them. Surround with your gentle hand of guidance. Thank you for hearing the believers’ prayers. Sustain them all with the power of your mighty Word. Let no accident or attacks of the enemy break through the shield of their faith. Your promises make this ‘Yes’ in Christ. So lead them on and lead them out onto the highway of your will. Let them walk in the light of your blessing always and know your wing of protection is over them. Let perfect love dwell amongst them giving no permission for fears to overtake. You are God. Let all be still until this is acknowledged if storms arise. Let the Emmanuel Christ be at the head of their home, watching them going out and seeing them safe at their return.

Other names I only have time to lift up before you: Marianne, Louisa and Polly and parents. Demitri: not forgotten but have neglected to ask again: outragous request that he grows to be a great man of god. Why not? Much thanks for all the wonders of your perfect work and perfect timing. Matthew, Tony and Gabi, Andy, Sorrell and family, The Taunton Raikeses altogether. The Emerys. Much to say thanks for here. keep on with so much answered prayer. If I’m not specific I won’t have set targets to check if they’ve been met!! However, they are in your care and this is all I desire to pray into. Your targets are so much higher than mine! Please amaze us at what you will do!

Right, I must go…so much to do. This is it till I don’t know when. Please cover everything and protect us all and let the world know your Love is here. The favour and salvation is all available now and we will celebrate his coming in the coming days. Let love prevail and wisdom be heard. Especially where it will produce results. Renew the minds of the people. Let them go and hear the truth preached. Let hearts be opened to you and minds seek your truth. I pray for the world..as an atom in the lip of a flea has some role in the life of the herd of Wildebeasts that roam the savanna….only less so. You however are God. Tis enough!

Advent

Well, I’ve started the reading the Bible in a year thing that the little churchikins are being asked to do. I’ve chosen the online reading programme from Bible Gateway and today’s, surprise surprise, is Ezekiel 47. After Isaiah 11:9 I feel so uplifted and purposed by that text. I really believe God wants the ‘little Churchikins’ to grow up and become his Bride in matters of the environment, the current witness, the compassion towards all life and creation, yes, people are included and most IMPORTANT and MOST RESPONSIBLE, but we fall short of where the pagans are at, generally.

Anyhow, very fittingly, the Ezekiel is followed in this programme by 1 John. The paradox of sinning or not sinning and being in the Father. I don’t need to stress too much with myself on that one. I know I do sin, I am impatient, lazy, irritable, selfish, too easily upset….another hour of navel gazing or serious self examination would bear a long and more thorough list. However, I can’t tackle the whole of me in this way so time would be better spent trying to do the right thing as each challenge not to be any of the above arises. Jesus is very helpful, I find in this regard.

Lord, sorry for how I still am, specially, when I’m running past my renewal at the fountain date! I come again to enjoy the freshness of your Spirit. Thank you.

I am so excited that it’s advent! wooooperdidoop! I have done the Christmas shopping already! I would love to see the outcome where the most wizely invested ‘shopping’ was done. Maybe I will one day. Baking and making comes next and then, OH JOY of joys! The Tidge comes home. WOOOOOPERDIDOOOOP!!! Then the whole family plus the lovely moo goes on holiday to a cottage ‘in paradise’ as the brochures say! I think this will be our first family holiday since Portugal. Lord, let it be good. Let our thinking and motives be pleasing and  take pleasure in all our time and celebrations and outworkings as a family. It will not be straightforward. We need you to be there as an active participant.

Then it’s back to work and actual ‘calendar’ Christmas. Let me be a blessing. I can’t say I feel ready to be praying about that yet…too far ahead!

But Jesus, Co-worker in parenting, Boss with a Smile, Counsellor, Saviour of all situations where you are trusted, and in this I really know the starkness of my trust, I pray for the Cherub as she goes away this weekend. All she will do all these early year steps to go out for you, hold the ‘golf brolly’ of your protection over her trusting head, hold the ‘baby walker’ back if it seems to race faster than her baby steps can go, walk close beside her, listen to her anxious thoughts and show her what she needs to know about herself and yourself. You are the sum of all our needs and who we are..the inescapable ecstacy of perfection, patiently walking beside us from the grave to the cradle! How gracious that you don’t even ‘hold your hand over your nose’, as you help us out of our mires, let alone shun one of us as we reach out to you. She is one among all the billions you’ll be caring for today. Yet your attention to the detail of the perfect plan for her, will not waver. Glory and honour come from this weekend to the worship around your throne!

Give wisdom and discretion to the Tidge. Help her wrap up and deal with all that needs to be done and left ready for her return in chilly, uphilly January. Please set a steadying angel on duty with her now, to protect the work of her heart and mind and soul, and to have her place in Newcastle warmed and ready and inspiring for her when she goes back. Protect her from within and without. Thank you for all that you have done for her and in her this 1st term.

I lift Marianne up to you. Such need still and so much clinging to breakable straws. Set 7 angels around her. Help her to think and meditate with wisdom. Lead her along straight paths. Focus her integrity on you. I don’t know where to begin, but you do, so I pray begin there and have those angels fight valliantly for the ground the enemy will give as you command. My prayer is that she is on a more level, brighly lit place day by day. Go angels of heaven! Be sapped and defeated angels of rebellion and defeat, because defeated you are and toothless is your scowling leader. The blood of Christ is Marianne’s cover. She will not be lost.

Take the Shuster home for a good break and show him what your heart beats with for him. Let the relationship overtake the tactics project, or all will loose its colour. I pray for him to value the things you value and to leave the stuff you never asked him to hold. Thank you for your perfect plans and timing which are the tools to reveal the one thing that matters: Your Love.

Keep Esther’s vision bright with yourself. Bless her, bless her Timothy and Cara. The tetrarch’s brother comes into this prayer room, looking for the king, perhaps. But he has not seen you. have great compassion. His suit is all in rags but he thinks its just come out from the cleaner’s. His hard earned papers and expensive entry visa are all he has, but he has not taken the birth certificate from your outstretched hand. The lines of weariness and pain threaten to claim exclusive copyright on his biography. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I stand and plead that he is granted clemency, sight, life and love, birthright, citizenship, clothes, a home. purpose in eternity. O God, what can I pray?

I am all tired out. I want to sit here in the straw and look at the King in swaddling bands. His humility is almost impossible. I bring all the unanswered questions here to this place of paradox and simply thank you for the whole nonsense of Christmas because I know you’re mid project for the final and full revelation of Love. In the midst of all the adult judgements, I’ll stay here with the baby and sing.

La lallala la la La hallellujah!