Tag Archives: jesus

World Poetry Day – “Just Checking In”

In honour of World Poetry Day, I dug through my old “Friday Poem” posts and found one of my favourite poems.  Enjoy 😉

This beautiful poem came to my via my mum, she was given it by a man who walked into the church reception, and he, in turn, had been sent it by his son in Africa.prayer

The author is unknown, but it is a truly beautiful poem. Enjoy.

Just Checking In

A minister passing through his church

In the middle of the day,

Decided to pause by the altar

To see who comes to pray.

 

Just then the back door opened,

And a man came down the aisle,

The minister frowned as he saw the man

Hadn’t shaved for a while.

 

His shirt was torn and shabby,

And his coat was worn and frayed,

The man knelt down and bowed his head,

Then rose and walked away.

 

In the days that followed at precisely noon,

The preacher saw this chap,

Each time he knelt for just a moment,

A lunch pail in his lap.

 

Well, the minister’s suspicions grew,

With robbery a main fear,

He decided to stop and ask the man,

“What are you doing here?”

 

The old man said he was a factory worker

And lunch was half an hour

Lunchtime was his prayer time,

For finding strength and power.

 

“I stay only a moment

Because the factory’s far away;

As I kneel here talking to the Lord,

This is kinda what I say:

 

I JUST CAME BY TO TELL YOU, LORD,

HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,

SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP

AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,

BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERY DAY.

SO JESUS, THIS IS BEN,

JUST CHECKING IN TODAY.”

 

The minister feeling foolish,

Told Ben that it was fine.

He told the man that he was welcome

To pray there anytime.

 

“It’s time to go, and thanks,” Ben said

As he hurried to the door.

Then the minister knelt there at the altar,

Which he’d never done before.

 

His cold heart melted, warmed with love,

As he met with Jesus there.

As the tears flowed down his cheeks,

He repeated old Ben’s prayer.

 

“I JUST CAME BY TO TELL YOU, LORD,

HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,

SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP

AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,

BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERY DAY.

SO JESUS, THIS IS ME,

JUST CHECKING IN TODAY.”

 

Past noon one day, the minister noticed

That old Ben hadn’t come.

As more days passed and still no Ben,

He began to worry some.

 

At the factory, he asked about him,

Learning he was ill.

The hospital staff were worried,

But he’d given them a thrill.

 

The week that Ben was with them,

Brought changes in the ward.

His smiles and joy contagious.

Changed people his reward.

 

The head nurse couldn’t understand

Why Ben could be so glad,

When no flowers, calls or cards come,

Not a visitor he had.

 

The minister stayed by his bed,

He voiced the nurse’s concern:

No friends had come to show they cared,

He had nowhere to turn.

 

Looking surprised, old Ben spoke up

And with a winsome smile;

“The nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know,

He’s been here all the while.

 

Every day at noon He comes here,

A dear friend of mine, you see,

He sits right down and takes my hand,

Leans over and say to me:

 

I JUST CAME BY TO TELL YOU, BEN,

HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,

SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP

AND I TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

I THINK ABOUT YOU ALWAYS,

AND I LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY.

SO BEN, THIS IS JESUS,

JUST CHECKING IN TODAY!”

 

Many people will walk in and out of our lives, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

May God hold you in the palm of His hand and Angels watch over you…

…So friend, this is me…

“Just checking in today.”

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What does Christmas mean to you?

Chaos? Spending too much? Eating too much? Parties? Family get-togethers? Arguments? Magic? Children? Loneliness?Nativity-Scene

The list is endless.

Christmas means something different for everyone.

Christmas is a celebration, not of commercialism, but the birth of Jesus.

For me, Christmas means hope.

Hope – that the world will eventually become a better place.

Hope – that new beginnings will lead to a bright new day.

Hope – that I will find my way again.

What does it mean to you?

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Easter

“Why is it called Good Friday?”, asked SC this morning whilst he was eating his breakfast.easter

“I don’t know darling,” I answered, “It doesn’t seem a Good Friday really, seeing as it’s the day Jesus was killed!”

“But, mummy,” he replied, “Jesus was happy to die, because he died for us.”

“Yes, but why did he die for us?” I asked.

A moment’s silence.

“I don’t know mummy.”

“I’ve got a good idea,” said I, “why don’t you ask your school teacher why it’s called Good Friday, and whilst you’re at it, ask her why it’s called Easter!”

Time passes, and SC is sitting in the bath.

“I know why it’s called Good Friday mummy,” he says, “it’s because that’s what they decided to call it!”

“I see, and is that what your teacher told you?”

“Yes, mummy.”

So, a not really helpful answer from the faith school (I could have come up with that one myself), and my question still remains unanswered.

Why is it called Good Friday and why is this period called Easter?

And whilst we’re at it, why do we say Happy Easter?

Answers gratefully received.

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

SC has a book about Christmas, full of stories, traditions and carols, and amongst them is the true meaning of the carol “The 12 Days of Christmas”.12 days

It is thought this carol was written for the early Roman Catholics in England at a time when they were forbidden from openly practising their religion (between 1558 and 1829, as it happens, although there is no real evidence for this of course!). The carol was created so that children could secretly learn about the Christian faith whilst just seemingly being taught a song.

The words in the carol are like a secret code, with each object relating to some belief of the Christian faith.

So, here goes:

  • “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…” – where ‘true love’ signifies God, the true love of the world and ‘me’ being the Christian (man or woman) who receives Gods presents;
  • Partridge in a pear tree – Jesus;
  • Two Turtle Doves – the 2 books of the bible – Old and New Testaments;
  • Three French Hens – the Holy Trinity – the 3-in-1 – God, the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit;
  • Four Calling Birds – are the 4 Gospels in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John);
  • Five Gold Rings – are the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch or the Book of Moses or the Torah;
  • Six Geese-a-Laying – represent the 6 days it took God to create the world (if you believe that of course!);
  • Seven Swans-a-Swimming – are the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit which are – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord;
  • Eight Maids-a-Milking – are the 8 Beatitudes Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount – Blessed are the poor, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness – and not a cheesemaker amongst them (for all you Monty Python fans!)
  • Nine Ladies Dancing – are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, where the fruit symbolises the 9 visible attributes of a true Christian life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control;
  • Ten Lords-a-Leaping – the 10 Commandments;
  • Eleven Pipers Piping – are the 11 faithful apostles of Jesus;
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming – are the 12 points of the Apostles’ Creed, this is what is generally said in church as the Nicene Creed.

From a mathematical standpoint, if you add all the presents given up you get a total of 364! 1 less than a whole year!

Which means that if the religious meaning is true and true love represents God – then He loves you every day!

May you all have a truly wonderful Christmas full of peace, love and happiness.

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The True Meaning of Christmas

Am I alone in thinking that the true meaning of Christmas has been well and truly forgotten?Nativity-Scene

If you’re truly honest with yourselves, how many of you sit down after Christmas Lunch and think “Thank God that’s over for another year!”

Christmas today seems to start at the end of August, when big stores put in their Christmas shops, we are bombarded by messages of “only 150 shopping days to go”, and the closer to Christmas we get, the less pleasant people become – everyone focusses in on themselves and their own needs. It’s as if brain cells wither as we rush around like headless chickens, and rather than the season of goodwill to all men we become ignorant, arrogant and rude.

For example, at the beginning of December I went to a local supermarket at a reasonable time (9:30), and the car park was already one in one out! People seem to think that it is OK to literally park anywhere, and town resemble zoos.

Why do we do it? The only people who seem to benefit from Christmas nowadays are those in the retail trade, and the credit card companies.

It’s the best time of the year for family feuds and bust-ups. I don’t know about your supermarkets, but where I live it’s like people are buying for a siege or feeding the five thousand – the shops are only closed for 48 hours at most. In January the first thing we do, after all that self-indulging and gorging, is join a gym or weight-watchers to lose the weight, only to put it back on the following Christmas. And, by using credit cards, we end up paying for Christmas all year.

Christmas is not about how much you spend, or whether you get a better present than your best mate. It’s about hope and love.

I’m not going to get all religious, but we should remember that underneath the turkey, mince pies, christmas cake, wine, beer, presents, et al Christmas is, at its root a religious festival celebrating the birth of a baby symbolising hope.

I found this, which I think sums up what Christmas should be very nicely:

A week before Christmas I had a visitor.

I was getting ready to go to bed, when I heard a noise outside.

I opened the door and to my surprise Santa was standing there.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

But Santa was SAD and he had tears in his eyes.

 “TEACH THE CHILDREN!” he said.

I was puzzled! What did he mean?

In a flash he produced a miniature toy bag.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN!” he said again. “Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that Christmas nowadays has forgotten!”

He reached into the bag and pulled out a FIR TREE.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – the Fir Tree is evergreen, symbolising the everlasting hope of mankind. Its needles point upwards towards heaven.”

Then he reached into his bag and pulled out a STAR.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the star was a heavenly sign of PROMISES fulfilled long ago. The shining hope of mankind.”

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the candle symbolises that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great LIGHT we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.”

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the wreath represents the real nature of LOVE. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.”

He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that I, Santa Claus, am a symbol of the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.”

He then brought forth a HOLLY LEAF.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the holly plant represents IMMORTALITY. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Saviour. The red holly berries are the BLOOD shed by Him.”

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable GIFT.”

Santa then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE.

 “TEACH THE CHILDREN – that this cane is the shepherd’s crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane symbolises that we are our brother’s keeper.”

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Saviour’s birth. The angels sang “GLORY TO GOD in the highest, on earth PEACE and GOODWILL towards men – ALLELUIA!”

Suddenly, I heard a soft tinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell represents GUIDANCE and RETURN.”

Santa looked back and was pleased.

I saw the twinkle was back in his eye.

He said, “REMEMBER, TEACH THE CHILDREN the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me at the centre, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD.”

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If I could turn back time …

I wouldn’t change a thing. We make our own mistakes to learn from them. There would be no point trying to rewrite history because it won’t stop what, ultimately, will happen.

But wouldn’t it be great to go back in time to get some questions answered?

My dad is very much into his family history. But, wow, how many skeletons inevitably fall out of cupboards. The trouble is with these skeletons, no one is around any more to answer questions, or if they are, either don’t want to talk or feed you a pack of lies.

So, if I had a time machine I would go back to 1935, 1884 and biblical times.

I’d go back to 1935 to find out exactly what happened to my beloved Nan. She had a child out-of-wedlock, a fact which remained hidden until nearly 20 years after her death (someone else tracing their family history). We know my Nan didn’t marry the father, but they were obviously together at the time of the birth because they both registered the birth together and were living at the same house. So what happened? She didn’t marry this guy, he seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. Was he killed? Did he jilt her? The child was fostered or adopted, we aren’t sure. What we have found out about the child from his relatives appear to the a string of elaborate red herrings, every corner my father turns is a blind alley. As for the father, the trail ends at the birth certificate. We have a name, nothing else! Very frustrating.

A similar occurrence happened to my great-great grandmother. She had a child out-of-wedlock. Her father was well-to-do, she had the child in a town and the address she used didn’t exist. The child was brought up by another couple – why, my father doesn’t know. He is surmising that the husband was the father of the child, but that’s just a common-sense stab-stab-in-the-dark guess. Why else would strangers bring up a child, there are no adoption papers. Were they paid? Who knows. As for my great-great grandmother, well rumour has it she went to the States. But can my dad find any trace of her. No. Not even her passage there. Time travel would be such a useful thing to answer these questions for him. I cannot think of another way to find out the information he so sorely would like to find out.

Finally, a bit silly this one, but I’d like to go back to biblical times. Now, I am big Da Vinci Code fan, loved the book and loved the film, but I was in church last week, it happened to be the Feast of Mary Magdalene, and the vicar in the opening of the sermon poo-pooed the Da Vinci link between Mary Magdalene and Jesus as complete poppycock, twaddle and nonsense. But how does he know? That is where the big debate lies and has been going on for centuries. So wouldn’t it be great to go back and find out the truth once and for all?

If you had a time machine what would you do?

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