Catch-up

L&Q News Letter

Note from our Minister

One of the highlights of my summer holidays as a young boy was the week I’d spend on my own at my Grandma’s in Banff.  Such a paradise of experience - fresh bread just out of the oven; taking my uncle’s collie dog for long beach walks; and the farm where my grandad’s bee hives were.  The farm belonged to a lovely couple, friends of my grandad, where I’d sometimes spend a day – roaming through extensive fruit gardens, but afraid of, yet fascinated by, the cantankerous goat tethered up outside the house.  Paradise– until one year I was stung by one of my grandad’s honey bees!

I had a big lump on my head – it felt enormous and sore to touch.  And there was much consternation.  The farmer’s wife was so concerned: “I hope his mum won’t be upset.  I’ve just cut a patch out of his hair to remove the sting.”  My Grandma—of course—blamed my Grandad.  Such concern really soothed my pain.

Years later, my grandad gave up his bees, and sold them to a policeman who had a fancy for bee-keeping.  But six months later the man returned, demanding his money back.  All the bees were dead.  So my grandad asked him to explain how he’d been keeping them.  “And how much of the honey did you then take?” he asked.  The man was perplexed – “All of it, of course”. “So, you think the bees exist just to make honey for you?”  The man was quiet.  “The bees make honey for their own needs, for their future generations.  We work in partnership with them.  If you take every- thing, you just starve them to death.”

We have daily reminders of the balance we need to live by in life, so that there is life.  In the last fifty years, human beings have had more negative impact on the diversity of life on this planet that at any other time in history. And while we might talk about pesticides, or greenhouse gases – really, it all comes down to our attitudes and our priorities.  Somewhere we have lost a respect for the interdependence of all life.

The Word of Life - Symington Church are promoting this Church of Scotland ‘theme’ for 2017-8.  It was first used at this year’s General Assembly in May, and is very appropriate to next year’s lectionary when we follow the Gospel of John, which begins, “In the beginning was the word...what has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of the world.”  Give thanks for life—in our praise, in our attitudes, in our priorities. In Jesus’ name.

Your friend and minister,

George


An Introduction - Sonia Blakesley

Sonia Blakesley was with us for 10 weeks, beginning 23rd May until 20th August (and on holiday in July).  Here she introduces herself to us all.

I would like to introduce myself to you - my name is Sonia Blakesley and I am a Ministry student (or a Candidate in Training for Ministry with the Church of Scotland– to use the full title!) com- ing on summer placement to the Tinto parishes.  I have just completed the third year of a Bachelor of Divinity (Ministry) programme at Glasgow University, although I have only done one year of full-time study.  I previously studied through a distance-learning programme for Christian Studies run by Aberdeen University.

My home is in Moffat.  I previously worked for the NHS in Dumfries and Galloway, and my home church is St Andrews Church of Scotland in Moffat.  I have been involved there for the last 24 years, and have served as an elder for 14 years, and as Session Clerk for 5 years.  I have 2 daughters aged 20 and 21 years, and my hobbies are knitting, cross-stitch, reading and walking our dog, Pebbles.  Ive also recently started Geo-caching.

I am looking forward to joining you and am hoping to see as much as I can of the life of the Tinto Parishes.  I will be participating in services, in schools and care homes and other pastoral visits.  I am interested in rural ministry and keen to see how it works in your communities.  I have two simple requests - please say hello and introduce yourself to me.  I may not remember everyones name but telling me something interesting or unusual about you will help lodge you into my memory bank and secondly, please let me know what is going on and let me join you.

I hope to meet you soon.

Gods blessings,

Sonia Blakesley 

Sonia has left us now, but the latest news is that Sonia continues to do well with her studies. 


Acts 1:7-8  The Holy Spirit Promised to Jesus’s Disciples

He said to them:

“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”.


Pause For Prayer

Pay attention to your thoughts, because they become your words.

Pay attention to your words, because they become your actions.

Pay attention to your actions, because they become your habits.

Pay attention to your habits, because they become your character.

Pay attention to your character, because it becomes your destiny.

Attributed to Lao Tzu, Bishop Beckwaith & Frank Outlaw.

 

 

Food for thought

Value The Present

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with £86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use that day.  What would you do?  Draw out every penny, of course!

Each of us has such a bank.  Its name is TIME.  Every morning, it credits us with 86,400 seconds.  Every night, it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.  It carries over no balance.  It allows no overdraft.  Each day it opens a new account for you.  Each night it burns what remains of the day.  If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.  There is no going back.  There is no drawing against “tomorrow”.  You must live in the present day’s deposits.  Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!  The clock is running.  Make the most of today.

To realise the value of one year, ask the student who failed an exam.  To realise the value of one month, ask the mother who gave birth to a premature baby.  To realise the value of one week, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.  To realise the value of one hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.  To realise the value of one minute, ask the person who missed the train.  To realise the value of one second, ask the person who just avoided an accident.  To realise the values of one millisecond, ask the person who won the silver medal in the Olympics.  Treasure every moment you have!  And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time.  And remember, time waits for no one.  Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  Today is a gift.  That’s why it’s called the present!!

 

Ten Things God Won’t Ask

1.    God won’t ask what kind of car you drove; He’ll ask how many people you drove who didn’t have a car.

2.    God won’t ask the square footage of your house; He’ll ask how many people you welcomed into your house.

3.    God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your wardrobe; He’ll ask how many you helped to clothe.

4.    God won’t ask what your highest salary was; He’ll ask if you compromised your integrity to obtain it.

5.    God won’t ask what your job title was; He’ll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.

6.    God won’t ask how many friends you had; He’ll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.

7.    God won’t ask in what neighbourhood you lived; He’ll ask how you treated your neighbours.

8.    God won’t ask about the colour of your skin; He’ll ask about the content of your character.

9.    God won’t ask why you took so long to seek Salvation; He’ll lovingly take you to Himself.

10. God won’t ask how many people you shared this with; He’ll ask if you were ashamed to pass it on.

 

Noah: Lessons from his life

Stay fit - someone may ask you to do something really big even if you are over pensionable age. 

Plan ahead - it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.

Don’t listen to critics - just get on with the job that needs to be done.

For safety’s sake - travel in pairs.

Speed isn’t always an advantage - snails and cheetahs made it on board.

Don’t miss the boat.

Remember we are all in the same boat.

Build your future on high ground.

When you’re stressed - float awhile.

No matter the storm, when you know God is with you, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

Sourced by John Austin

 

Faith In God

It was said that a climber was very keen to win a race over a very steep mountain.  He started to climb it after a long time of training.  He wanted to reach the peak alone, so he went up without companions.  He wanted to get all the glory for himself.

He started to climb and little by little it was getting late.  But the climber had in mind to reach the peak and he didn’t stop.  It was getting darker but he carried on.

At night it was really dark.  It was impossible to see anything.  Everything was in darkness.  There was no visibility because the clouds covered over the moon and the stars.

When he was climbing one of the cliffs on the mountains, very close to the peak, the climber fell and slid down the mountain.  He fell down very fast and he couldn’t see anything, and he had a terrible feeling that he was near to death...

While he was falling at high speed, many thoughts and memories came to his mind, good and bad.  His life flashed in front of his eyes like a movie.  He thought that he was at death’s door… when he felt a very strong pull from the long rope which was attached to the rocks.  He was left hanging in the air, in absolute darkness, with nobody around.

At that moment, in a dead silence, hanging in the air, powerless and hopeless, the climber shouted to God: "My Lord! Help me!"

Suddenly, a very low voice replied to him from the heavens: "What do you want me to do for you?"

"O God! Save my life!" he replied.

"Actually, do you think that I can save you?"

"Of course my Lord!"

"Ok, then cut the rope which holds you."

There was a very long moment of silence.  After that, the climber held on to the rope with his hands even stronger.

In this moment, ask yourself: would you have cut the rope?

The rescue team said that the next day they found a climber hanging on a rope, dead, frozen, with his hands holding onto the rope... who was only two meters from the ground.

 

Everybody, Somebody, Anybody And Nobody

This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. 

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. 

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job. 

Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. 

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

 

Footsteps In The Sand

One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand:
one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him
he looked back, at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life
there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it:
"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:
"My son, My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you,
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."