Thursday, 29 April 2010

Vestry Prayer Easter 5 year C

Heavenly Father as we gather today let us remember that we are still in the season of Easter, and that we are an Easter people and Hallelujah is our song.
Help us to bring our Hallelujahs today in our worship and remind us Lord of your love for us and how we should love one another as you have loved us.
Grant a blessing to our brother/sister as they lead us in worship today and may it be that we will all hear you speak to us through the singing of the hymns, the prayers, the reading from your word and the preaching of the word.
Grant all these things we ask in the name of your son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

My apologies to regular visitors I did not post a prayer for last week - I thought I had gone to the end of April when I posted a few weeks ago. Thanks to one of my readers who emailed me and asked what had happened.

Normal service should now be resumed.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Book Review - John Bunyan by Kevin Belmonte

To begin I have to make an admission – I have never read Pilgrim’s Progress and I suspect some readers may be saying ‘Shame on you!’
I had considered whether to go for the book about Winston Churchill or this one and decided as I knew a little about Winston Churchill that I should go for John Bunyan.
Overall I was not disappointed, although I have to say I found the first few pages hard going but as the chapters were quite short and reasonably punchy I soon settled into reading it.
Kevin Belmonte has done a very good job in this book and I was amazed that a book I knew to be a classic was written by a man with Bunyan’s background. He was after all just a tinker, a maker and mender of pots and pans and yet he appears to have written a fascinating story with all the ingredients of a great adventure story. I was quite surprised too in reading this book to find the number of authors who had drawn inspiration from John Bunyan.
If you have read Pilgrim’s Progress and want to know more about the man that wrote it, I would recommend this book as a good place to start – a quick reader could possibly read it in two to three hours and because it is not too heavy either in content or weight it is not a hard book to read.
I suppose the most important thing about reading this book is that it has stirred up my interest in Bunyan’s best known work and I will now have to go and obtain a copy of PIlgrim’s Progress as my appetite has been well and truly whetted.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

Vestry Prayer for Easter 3 year C.

As we come into your presence today Lord we ask that we would be able to see you clearly, not like the disciples fishing when you were on the shore. They saw but did not recognise, may we both see and recognise you in this time of fellowship today.
As we gather to bring our songs of praise we ask that you would be with our brother/sister as they lead us in worship, help them to bring your word to us today and Lord open our ears, hearts and minds to hear you speaking to each one of us.
We come in the name above every name at which every knee shall bow and seek your blessing on this hallowed hour. In the ever loving name of Jesus we ask. Amen

Vestry Prayer for Easter 2 year C

Awesome God we gather today to bring our praise and worship, and unlike the disciples of old we do not have to fear attack by the authorities for being your followers.
We come Lord with loud Hosanna on our lips and in our hearts and ask that you will help us to celebrate your awesomeness.
We ask you to pour out a blessing on our preacher this morning and make the words of their mouths and the mediation of all our hearts acceptable in your sight. May we be an Easter people whose song is indeed Hallelujah and Amen.
With ask these things through your Son our Lord. Amen

Marking has arrived

I have received a package today from London containing the work of 10 Local Preachers on trial for assessment so I will be a little busy for the next couple of weeks.
I am hoping to post some vestry prayers for the next two weeks later tonight in case I don't get chance once I have started marking.
I am looking forward to seeing some good stuff among the assignments I have to mark and who knows I might even get a few ideas.

Friday, 2 April 2010

What a night.

There I was I came home from work fully expecting to go to one of the Maundy Thursday services but it was not to be. My wife said her sister had called to say they had taken our nephew Darren into hospital at lunchtime which was not really a surprise as we knew he had not been well for a couple of days with what appeared to be a really bad stomach upset.

Darren would have been 40 years old this year but due to a number of disabilities had the mental age of a 6 year old, and the past couple of years had seemed to me to be not as well as he had been.

While we were preparing our tea we got a call from one of the carers for Darren who suggested we might want to go to the hospital and give Sylvia (Darren's Mom) some support as it appeared Darren's kidneys were failing.

We set off for the hospital and I dropped my wife and son off at the main entrance while I went off to park. Just as I had parked the car my mobile went and it was my son ringing to tell me we had arrived five minutes too late as Darren had died shortly before we arrived there.

I could not believe it - we had seen a number of scares in the past, Darren had been in coma's a number of times over the years and I think I had thought this was just another one, unfortunately I was wrong.

When the nursing staff had done what needed to be done we went in to say our goodbyes to Darren and I have to say he looked extremely peaceful. The nurses said he would not have felt any pain and he opened his eyes just before he died which is something they say often happens and it is thought it is the person saying goodbye to their loved ones. I don't know how true that is but it is a comforting thought especially for Sylvia and it is certainly something we shall encourage her to take on board.

I would like to ask you readers to pray for Darrens mom Sylvia who has devoted the last 40 years of her life to caring for Darren. When he was young and the various problems were diagnosed she was told he might live until late teens or early twenties and I believe it is testament to Sylvia that he has lived to be double the age predicted all those years ago. Sylvia will like most mothers who lose a child find it very difficult and we are trying to be very positive and accentuate the bonus days he has had because in a sense every day over the last 20 years has been a bonus, given the original predictions.
Thank you

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Busy time ahead

Yesterday was the closing date for spring submissions for assessment on the Faith and Worship Course. This means that some time next week I will be receiving a parcel with a number of students work and will then be busy marking for a at least a couple of weeks if not longer.
I intend to post vestry prayers as these do seem to be an item that readers find useful and just the other day I was taking a service at one of our churches and a lady told me she had been on here following a conversation with our superintendent who had told her about it (Thanks John). She said she thought the vestry prayers were a good idea and I said they seemed to be attracting quite a few visitors and some comments from people who have felt them helpful.
I may post prayers for the next four weeks during the Easter break from work or I may just write them ready and post each week. I suppose I should just say watch this space!

Vestry Prayer for Easter Sunday

Christ the Lord is risen today! Hallelujah!
Gracious heavenly Father we come this morning to celebrate your rising from the grave and pray, that we will be filled with something like the sense of awe that Mary and the disciples felt on that First Easter morn.
Help us today Lord to be excited and enthused as we gather to remember your resurrection and be with our brother/sister as they lead us in this time of worship.
Help us to see past the buns,bunnies and eggs to the real meaning of Easter, to the life changing possibility that exists in knowing you the risen lord!
Christ the Lord is risen today! Hallelujah!

Easter sunrise service

Just thought I would give a mention to the Easter Sunrise Service which will be taking place at 6-30a.m. this Sunday at Barr Beacon near Birmingham.
We have a short service of Holy Communion and sing two or three hymns and it is generally a good time.
Two years ago we had snow - it was unusual drinking the communion wine with snowflakes in it.