I am closing this blog, as “The Ministers Mrs” has run it’s course. Things are changing and moving on is always exciting. The new blog will be called “Back to the Bus Stop” and will be coming soon.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Chocolate Egg Day! May your Easter Bunny strew your lawn with copious chocolate eggs as he goes by on his Easter Scooter. I know he exists because I have seen him on the television. May your day be filled with family and turkey dinner and sunshine and daffodils. May Saint Mary Berry be worshiped as you all look into her book of knowledge and create her Simnel cake and Hot Cross Buns.
Us more unenlightened and primitive beings may be found watching the sunrise on Sunday morning ,worshiping the nailed God, who was horribly tortured and killed, then rose from the dead so that we could get forgiveness for all our wrong doings and be with Him after we die. We will probably gather together and sing about it and get quite excited.
We might even talk about him returning to judge the world ….
May your Chocolate bless and save you. (Actually I quite enjoyed Mary Berry’s Easter program.)
PLEASE this is supposed to be funny… this book is still in print and I had a real giggle. We all feel guilty for thinking these things but lets stop trying to be who we are not…
From ” A 101 Things To Do In a Dull Sermon.”…..
A Modest Proposal
Write a letter to the church board proposing a lottery to help finance the new building program. Be certain you have done adequate research by playing the lottery a few times yourself before making the proposal. (Deduct your losses by describing your activity as ‘religious research’.)
Six Days You Shall Labor
Since many people in your congregation only work five days a week, devise a list of jobs for the sixth day and submit it to those people after church. Job ideas might include work on the church property, publicity, visitation, painting your swimming pool, etc.. Your fellow worshipers will be so glad for your help in this matter.
See how many words you can make out of the word Methuselah.
1-9 words – Some boring spots in sermon
10-20 words – Lots of boring spots in sermon
21-40 words – Totally boring sermon
41 or more words – Even the minister is bored and has decided to help you.
Go Tell It On The Mountain
Write a note to your preacher offering to loan him all of your camping gear if he will take off for a few weeks.
Ananias & Sapphira List
With due consideration for the net worth of each member and their motives for giving, list the names of the ‘Ten Most Likely To Be Struck Dead During The Offering’.
Open your Bible at random and point to a verse. write it down. Repeat the process until you’ve received a personal message from scripture. Example: ‘Pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads…’ (Acts 21:24) ‘…and your Father who sees in secret will reward you’, (Matthew 6:18).
Using bulletins or attendance cards for raw materials, design, test and modify a collection of paper airplanes.
Pass a note to the organist asking whether he/she plays requests.
See if a yawn really is contagious.
Turn The Other Cheek
Slap your neighbour. See if he or she turns the other cheek. If he or she doesn’t, raise your hand and tell the pastor.
To Bernie Or Not To Bernie
Pass a note to someone named Bernie, but first make sure there is no-one named Bernie in your congregation.
Liberal Church Altar Call
If you are attending a liberal church, come forward to be ‘born again’ toward the end of the sermon: that will really throw things into a tizzy.
Sound travels faster at high temperatures. Ask the church janitor to turn off the air conditioning so the sermon would reach you sooner and end earlier.
If, in the Lord’s sight, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day, how many years would this sermon be consuming if it were a thousand year day? Share your answer with the pastor.
Just a few suggestions… I am not aiming this at anyone, I have probably preached a few myself when people have said ..”What IS she talking about???…”
Someone said..“If you think you know everything; you know nothing. If you think you know nothing; you know something.”
In my 20’s and 30’s I thought that I had a grip on most things, black was black and white was white. I had views on most things.
In my 40’s and 50’s I began to wonder, were the views and beliefs I held right? Did I really know as much as I thought I did.
Now in my 60’s I think I know a lot less than I ought to.
As I get comments about how old my qualifications are ,when I apply for jobs ,I thought I would update them. This I concluded would give me a fairer chance against younger people who applied for the same jobs.
So I applied for a long distance University Course. I was told, because I am so ancient, I would have to start with the “access” course. Ok , I thought ,this will get me back into studying.
I read through the list of text books I would need, how disappointing. These were exactly the same books I had used on a similar course over 30 years ago and the volumes were dusty and beginning to curl at the edges on my book shelves.
Well I thought , the New Testament is 2000 years old and still absolutely spot on ,even in today’s society so lets give it a go.
The first text book, I didn’t have ,so I bought a copy, I read it . Wow, I thought there is something not quite right here. This was supposed to be my first foray into Theology, on a course which future leaders in the church might embark.
So I read it again, did some research into it and tried to identify what was amiss.
I duly sent in my assignments to my Tutor, who is probably used to dealing with younger more pliable minds than mine. My criticisms of the text should be more general, I was told.
I have come to the conclusion that the Author of my text book, is misogynistic and homophobic. The theology peddled out is from a tradition set in the 17th Century. It appalls me that this can be used as an introductory text to begin someone’s career.
I may not know much, but for the Church to be relevant to those in society now, we really have to address the training of those who will lead it. Do I continue with the course, will I stay sane if I do or will I run screaming down the canal in pure frustration throwing text books into the water!
I read this the other day, ” Don’t look back it’s not the way you are going.” A renowned philosopher, Kirkegaard said ” Life is lived forwards but understood backwards.”
Despite my last blog, which gave the impression that I might stop attending Church, I haven’t, well only because I had a chest infection. there is nothing worse than the person that keeps coughing through the bits you are trying to hear.
I did get to a point when I had to have a rant about what we are doing to Churches, and I don’t mean the buildings.
Pat Rollins says, “Winnie the Pooh is one of the greatest philosophers, He get’s dragged down the stairs bumping his head on every step.” The poem asks “Is there a better way to come down stairs?”
“Church”; say that word to most people and they will tell you about the stone or brick building down the road that sometimes has a pointy bit on top. If you live in England, and I miss this , there are bells. Some are beautiful buildings with amazing architecture and steeped in history,sometimes it’s a borrowed school or community center ,other times a chapel. But on the whole Church is thought of as a building.
But if there’s no one in it, is it a church? Church should be a space, where you can go in and leave your “stuff” at the door. Where you are suspended in God’s presence, aware but unaware of those around you. Sharing in worship. Rick Warren suggests that when believers worship, those who as yet don’t know God will be drawn to him.
We need to create a space where God can work. If you go into a supermarket and you smell the bread baking ,you catch the aroma. You want to taste it. They tell you that that is one of the ways to sell your house, put bread in the oven for that wonderful homely smell. That is what we as Christians should be, an “aroma”. We should smell good!
If I was able I would get the lovely lady who writes the “Postcards from Heaven” blog, (do read it if you haven’t yet) to paint a nice picture of steaming bread.
An Anarchist was apparently heard to say “The only church that illuminates is a burning one.” We need to be on fire and get those ovens hot! (not in the Hansel and Gretel mode!)
Don’t look back, move forward.
Let’s give up “church” for Lent!!!! Let’s make it the place people want to be.
I am going to say something shocking. If you are a Church goer you might tutt, or feel sorry for me or you might agree.
I hate going to Church. There I said it.
I haven’t always felt like that. I look back at times when I couldn’t wait to get there. To hear what God had been doing in people’s lives. Enjoying learning something new and singing songs to worship the God I adore.
So what has changed. Not my belief, that has grown in spades and I am absolutely assured that Jesus rose from the dead and that He was tortured and executed on my behalf so that I know where I am going when I die, to live eternally with him.
That is the most awesome, fantastic thing in the Universe. I’m going to one day leave this world and be forever with the one person who loves me unconditionally.
In the meantime I’m told not to give up meeting with like-minded folk, and to tell others about Jesus, well if you knew you were on the path to heaven and you could see your friends, relatives and neighbours setting off down another path, would you keep it to yourself? No.
I’m told that “the sabbath” is God’s day when we spend time with Him. So I go and sit in a pew, and like a Mr Bean sketch, I hear a lot being said from the front which I have a tendency to switch off from most days. I try to join in the prayers and I get chatting away to God and find that everyone has finished and gone on to something else before I’m ready. There are a few Hymns interspersed with the rhetoric, some I know, some I don’t, but played at half speed and if all are in a minor key, I can feel quite depressed about it all.
I wonder if God looks down at it all and says “Is that all you can manage ,after all I have done for you?”. Now I know not all Churches are like this, I have been to some very good ones where people of all shapes and sizes from drug addicts to Judges are welcomed and have a great time together; but with no public transport on a Sunday and living out in the sticks, there isn’t a lot of choice.I did get the chance to go to something at the other extreme last week, but it scared me silly and I come from a “charismatic” background.
So if I don’t want to go, I have every sympathy with you if you don’t want to either. But don’t miss out on what Jesus has done for you ,just because some of His followers misrepresent Him.
Woke up at 6.30 and thought I’ll just have another half hour before checking my daughter is up for school. At 7 20 woke up again! It just went downhill from there really. Walked the dogs in the dark and got soaked in the rain, school clothes put out last night had mysteriously disappeared, bacon burned and set the fire alarm off, the ancient fridge that is very temperamental, hadn’t been shut properly the night before (probably me) and had completely iced the freezer box and dripped water into everything.
Daughter had emptied cat litter into kitchen bin but missed, and why didn’t I finish last nights washing up before I went to bed?
D went to school having one bite of sandwich, chimney sweep hasn’t been in touch, and can’t light the burner because a neighbour alerted me to sparks flying from chimney AGAIN!Temperature forecast to be below freezing for the rest of this week. So I am not having a good start to my day.
Have put soothing music on (Radio 3) nice bit of harpsichord. Found smelly wet dogs have curled up on sofa ,but I don’t care. Nothing is really as bad as it seems, nothing a hoover, some polish and hot soapy water won’t sort.
If only life was as easy to fix sometimes. I have been wished a “Happy New Year” many times in the last week. Peaceful or non -stressful would do. Last year spent settling into a new house, getting used to being single again and the divorce going through, remaining unemployed despite applying for numerous jobs and sending son off to college took/takes courage. Someone told me that being courageous is just doing things while feeling scared.So true.
I read in the media ,who seem to relish the reporting, that so few of the population attend church or profess to be Christian. All seemingly based on the Church of England statistics. Well formal church may not meet the needs of society these days, “church ” has become less popular, but it has little to do with belief.We need to wake up and give folk places they want to attend, but I don’t know how people manage without God. I need Him every minute of everyday. Churches, society may change, but thankfully He does not, HE is always there and nothing can separate us from him.
Paul wrote to the Roman Church and told them:
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus….
We are conquerors and I’m off to conquer my house and anything else that crops up to day, and I shall do it chatting to my creator … Hope you have a good day too.
Saw this on Facebook, so here is a card for all who read this. May your Christmas be all that you wish it to be and the New Year full of good challenges.
God Bless, Jenni
My Dear precious Jesus, I did not mean to take your place,
I only bring toys and things and you bring love and grace.
People give me lists of wishes and hope that they came true;
But you hear prayers of the heart and promise your will to do.
Children try to be good and not to cry when I am coming to town;
But you love them unconditionally and that love will abound.
I leave only a bag of toys and temporary joy for a season;
But you leave a heart of love, full of purpose and reasons.
I have a lot of believers and what one might call fame;
But I never healed the blind or tried to help the lame.
I have rosy cheeks and a voice full of laughter;
But no nail—scarred hands or a promise of the hereafter.
You may find several of me in town or at a mall;
But there is only one omnipotent you, to answer a sinner’s call.
And so, my dear precious Jesus, I kneel here to pray;
To worship and adore you on this, your holy birthday.
If I don’t sleep well, I keep my Kindle handy and listen to some music on Radio 3 or something amusing on Radio 4 extra.This usually gets me back to sleep but I have missed the end of many plays.
The broadband isn’t that good here and it kept cutting out this morning. I signed in and looked at an email from a Christian radio station. I thought I had unsubscribed from these because it’s usually a bit of news where they can tack on the end “and he/she was a Christian”, much the same as saying “he/she was a Giraffe” or similar. Not much relevance.
This morning the headline screeched…
“Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby ‘doubted’ God after Paris attacks.”
Reading through the narrative that followed, I was wondering if this comment had been taken out of context as this didn’t actually seem what he had said. If he did, was it a responsible piece of reporting?
We are all subject to doubt at times, we believe in someone we cannot see, we believe in a book full of things that happened a long time ago. But when Jesus was resurrected He didn’t leave us alone , we have the third part of our triune God with each of us, the Holy Spirit, and He inspires the Scriptures to us and reminds us of what God has done for us.
The Psalms are full of people with doubts, who cry out, asking God to help them, has he left them? , enemies are closing in, HELP! But in each case they remember that He is there, and they wait .
When life kicks us in the head, we do yell those things, we do have moments of doubt. We want to be taken out of those circumstances, we want the nasty things to be taken away. Do we ever ask what can I learn from this ? Will it make me stronger? Can I help someone else who is suffering through this?
Maybe Justin Welby did doubt, but Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength. To love our neighbours as ourselves. These two simple commandments were given so that we could live in a peace and care for one another. He wasn’t speaking to Christians at the time, He was talking to Teachers of the Law, this was/ is for everyone.
If we choose to ignore what God has told us, a way in which we can live that will help us. How can we then blame Him for the atrocities that man inflicts upon man.
If we drive on the right hand -side of the road in Britain we will cause an accident and maybe someone will die. Can we then say “Where was God?”. As human beings we have to take responsibility for our actions.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God….. ” James 1: 2-5