New Year Thoughts
Please click on the link below to see thoughts from Caroline S, one of our church members
Please click on the links below for reflections
More Lockdown Thoughts from Caroline S
Please click on the links below to see more thoughts from lockdown by one of our church members, Caroline S.
I took this photo on Thursday night. I was out delivering oil to a customer after supper. So on way home stopped off for a walk to Gods bridge. I’d spent the week in consultations, so a difficult time, I walked and then sat here and reflected at the beauty, tranquility and mostly quiet peacefulness. It made me feel so thankful that I could enjoy what God has given us. His love is like the bridge, strong and sure and always there for us. I pray that I can learn to reflect more on his wonders and apply them to my life.
Another Variation on a Theme...
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
Some more re-written words by Rev John Morton
WHAT A FIEND WE HAVE IN COVID,
ALL THE THINGS WE USED TO SHARE,
WHAT A TRAVESTY OF FREEDOMS
WE HAVE LOST – IT’S HARD TO BEAR.
O WHAT MANY RULES ARE BROUGHT IN,
O WHAT MASKS WE HAVE TO WEAR,
AND IF WE IGNORE THIS ORDER:
WE ARE FINED – IS THAT QUITE FAIR?
HAVE WE FORMED A SOCIAL BUBBLE?
ARE THERE PARTIES ANYWHERE?
LET’S REMEMBER BARNARD CASTLE
SUCH A HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR!
CAN WE FIND A PLACE TO WORSHIP?
IT’S BECOMING VERY RARE
COVID NINETEEN IS OUR WEAKNESS
OPENING CHAPELS IF WE DARE.
ARE WE BORED AND FEELING LONELY?
CUMBERED WITH A LOAD OF CARE?
SOCIAL DISTANCE IS OUR REFUGE,
WE WILL FIND THE SIGNAGE THERE.
DO THY FRIENDS RING UP AND CALL THEE,
FOR THEIR BURDENS TO DECLARE?
WHAT A NUISANCE IT CAN ALL BE
GOING ON ZOOM TO BE ‘SOMEWHERE’.
YES, THERE HAS TO BE AN ENDING
TO THIS HYMN – AN EXTRA VERSE.
LOOKING FORWARD TO OUR GATHERINGS,
AND A FAREWELL TO THIS CURSE.
BEST OF ALL IS GOD IS WITH US.
WATCHING OVER ALL WITH CARE,
WORSHIP PLACES FINALLY OPEN –
TEA AND COFFEE BEING SERVED THERE.
Thoughts during Lockdown
Caroline S has shared some of her thoughts with us:
What a glorious day, sunshine and light winds, the farmers are busy getting grass down for crops, washing is blowing on lines and people are out walking and cycling. A little bit of normality in this strange time we are living in.
The school holidays have arrived, what a very different end of term we experienced, some children in school, some only odd days and some not at all. No year 6 leavers parties, or year 11 proms. No graduation from University in style, no end of term outings for nursery children.
How are people feeling?
Some parents have said “it’s sad as they have missed a milestone in life and can’t get it back”
Others have said “it’s been a treat not to have the calendar full of places to be and items required on different days for different children”. No stress.
For me it was sad, I have nurtured 16 children from 2-4 in nursery and have not been able to celebrate all their achievements with their family and friends. They have not had the chance to visit new schools and teachers, and so come September will be off to a very strange place with loads of different rules.
I hope that I have made them resilient enough and independent to be able to cope with the new environments
16 children who have all made huge strides forward in their learning and yet are all individual and unique. How wonderful.
I will miss them all.
I follow at work a framework for early years called the EYFS, it offers advice for what a child needs to achieve by certain ages, and what to do if they are not quite there. It does not however take into account their uniqueness, their family life and their style of learning. I am a big believer that we need to look at the whole child and work with their interests and celebrate even the small steps.
As a Christian, my guide is the Bible, it offers advice and guidance. But when I think back to when I first turned to the Lord, I knew the Bible was my guide but it was very daunting and if I am honest hard going, it didn’t always make sense (sometimes I still struggle) Some will find reading the Bible easier than others.
I needed support from other Christians, I needed their love and guidance to help me learn and move forward. I still do, I need to watch, I need to listen and I sometimes will still make mistakes.
As Christians we all need to celebrate and we all need to try and support each other. We don’t know where they are on their journey with the Lord and we don’t always know how they learn, so be kind, don’t judge and try to remember little steps require celebration.
Matthew ch26 Peters denial before the cock crowed and how he wept.
Where was he on his journey with the Lord?
Did he require support?
Mission praise 678
There’s a quiet understanding .
A beautiful sunny morning, somehow we often feel much happier when we see sunshine first thing.
Today was a strange day for me going shopping and having to wear a face mask, Having tried mine out last week in Appleby and struggling with glasses steaming up all the time, meeting Rev Andrew in town, and thinking what do I look like today was a dread!
Off I went to Penrith, mask with me ready. It somehow was easier today knowing I was probably not the only one struggling with a mask. I managed finding some birthday presents, the building society and a food shop.
What I still found difficult was not seeing facial expressions, not knowing if people seemed happy or scared. Also do people recognise you, will you walk past a friend not realising. All very odd.
Then I thought we look a bit disguised, not ourselves, different.
This made me think “the devil” comes in lots of disguises, he comes along and tempts us when we least expect it. We can be sailing along life’s path and all of a sudden something takes our eye or interest and we go off path , without realising the devil has thrown a disguise and we are taken in.
Let's hope people stay kind behind their masks and don’t use it to their advantage in any way.
During this pandemic the world has seemed a scary place but people have risen to the challenge and been kind, helped others who they sometimes may not have even spoken to, let's keep this up and not slip into the devils disguise path!!
We need to spread the word of our Lord and strive to be like him, caring, kind and a good listener.
Mission praise 49 Be bold be strong for the lord your God is with you.
Acts ch5 v1-11
The story of Annanias
VARIATION ON A THEME:
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL
Rev John Morton, who used to be our minister in the Appleby section, has written some new words to the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful
ALL THINGS ARE AT RISK JUST NOW,
ALL THINGS WE USED TO DO.
WORK AND PLAY – FORGETTING HOW
LIFE WAS FOR ME AND YOU.
THE UPDATE ON THE TV,
THE LOCKDOWN THROUGHOUT SPRING,
THE STREETS THAT WERE DESERTED,
AND SHOPS THAT HAD NOTHING.
IT’S SO SAD TO THINK JUST HOW
THE THINGS WE USED TO DO
ARE NO LONGER POSSIBLE,
THEY’VE ALL GONE – IT IS TRUE!
EACH JOURNEY MADE FOR SHOPPING,
MEANT WAITING IN A QUEUE,
THERE IS NO TIME FOR STOPPING:
THE UPDATE’S NEARLY DUE.
ALL THE PLANS WE MADE WERE SCRAPPED
IT MADE US FEEL SO SAD:
VISITS, HOLIDAYS WITH FRIENDS,
NO WONDER WE’RE ALL MAD.
AND THEN THERE’S TIME FOR WALKING,
TO HELP WITH FEELING GOOD.
OR PHONING FRIENDS FOR TALKING;
WE ALL DID WHAT WE COULD.
LET’S NOT FORGET THE LAW THAT STATES
TO FLOUT WE HAVE TO PAY.
TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN IS THE DATE
SINCE FACE MASKS EVERY DAY!
AND THEN THERE’S TIME FOR HOSTING,
ZOOM MEETINGS FOR A CHAT.
OR WRITING CARDS FOR POSTING;
TO HELP FROM FEELING FLAT.
OVERCROWDING ON THE ROADS
THE LOCKDOWN NOW HAS GONE
CARS AND BIKES AND JOGGERS NOW
SOME SAY IT’S BEEN A CON.
THE COLD WIND IN THE WINTER
THE PLEASANT SUMMER SUN
IT MATTERS NOT TO COVID –
IT’S GOT US ON THE RUN.
THEN THERE’S THOSE WHO RISKED A FLIGHT
TO VISIT SPANISH SHORES
BUT WHEN COMING BACK AGAIN –
IT’S TWO WEEKS STUCK INDOORS.
SO WE STILL HAVE THE VIRUS
TO DEAL WITH FROM NOW ON
BUT ALSO WE HAVE JESUS
GOD’S ONE AND ONLY SON.
THE PHRASES WE HAVE HEARD THIS YEAR
WE NEED TO BEAR IN MIND:
CLAP FOR CARERS; TAKE THE KNEE –
AND TRY NOT TO BE FINED.
Photograph taken by Joyce W
Thoughts during Covid 19
Thoughts from Caroline S
The second of the photos Stephen asked me to reflect on.
The rainbow is very poignant at present as it has become the symbol of this pandemic we are all going through.
For me the seven colours of the rainbow and the seven candles could come together.
Red, for the blood of Christ.
Our Lord gave his son to die on the cross to save us. His blood was shed so that we may live. What a sacrifice. We remember this every time we take communion. The blood of Christ shed for us.
Orange, for sunrises or sunsets.
We complain about the weather, about it been too cold, too wet, too hot. We in Great Britain always seem to bring weather into conversations never happy . Yet our Lord provides, seasons in order and each day the sunrises and sunsets and we have another day to spread his love and live life for him.
Yellow, for the sand on a golden beach.
We either love to visit a beach or dislike it. I am in the first category, any chance to go on a beach and I am there, not to sit on a sun longer but to find shells, build sand castles and splash in the water, jumping waves and having fun. I have fantastic memories from my own childhood and from taking my three children. Those who dislike it often say the thought of sand in your shoes or toes makes them cringe. Remember though in the Bible we are told the Lord knows how many hairs on our head and the grains of sand on a beach. WOW. Appreciate life and enjoy family time.
Green, for grass.
We live in the beautiful Eden valley, very lush and green. I have visited countries that are far from green and lush, they are hot, sandy and dusty. Some countries suffer drought and would love to see lush green lands. The grass here is used for food for animals on our farms, it is cut in parks to make areas for people to sit and enjoy a picnic. Lets appreciate what we have around us.
Blue for water.
Water something we take for granted but remember back to earlier this year when the storm took a pipe out and no water came from our taps. How did we feel? Some countries have to struggle for water on a daily basis, and then when they walk for many miles to get it it may not be clean. We are so lucky. In the Bible water features many times, Jesus walking on water, using water to wash feet at the last supper and lots more. An important commodity.
Indigo, for stormy skies.
We often say look how the clouds are looking, they can be many colours during a storm. A storm blows in and can be short or long and severe. The sounds of rain, thunder, roaring water from floods all different, some scary some amazing. We sometimes say a good storm will clear the air. A storm often makes the headlines on the news, due to their destructiveness, but not really for their beauty and colour. Remember the storm that the disciples were in and Jesus slept, when he woke he calmed the storm.
Violet, for bruises.
We will all have suffered a bruise, from a fall or bump. Some of us bruise easily others not so much. It can also be a sign of illness that needs investigation. Children often have legs covered in bruises from knocks as they play. I also think of bruises in life, from been knocked back at a job, (A bruised ego) , from thinking you have done something really well and someone saying, “you could have done it this way” instead of giving praise for what you have achieved, it doesn’t feel good. We have to try and find the positives and give praise when we can.
So back to the picture a rainbow of hope and candles of colour.
Lets make this world we live a place where whatever colour is around us is seen in all it’s glory and we live together in harmony and care for each other.
Val W, one of our church members has written another poem and we would like to share this with you.
I kneel at my cross as Pentecost comes
Seeking forgiveness as the Spirit descends
Father and Son are now joined by the Spirit
We celebrate together as the three become One
To kneel at my cross has brought me such peace
As my thoughts for our NHS just fill me with awe
The dedication they show, as they risk their own Health
To become a friend and a comforter as a life passes on.
My Cross was a symbol when times were unreal.
Who’d of thought the world would suffer from covid 19
I visited often, with my family and shared
The real reason for Easter, was Jesus and he cares.
A cross in a world of so much unease
Can only show hope through a Saviour who’s real
If instead of a clap a prayer was sent up T
hen a revival pandemic could set us all free.
As my Grandchildren call out, can we come to the cross Almost a mile we walk all uphill from the farm
At the foot of the cross, we’ve found such a calm
I hope they’ll remember the cross on the farm
My Cross has become a strainer in the new fence we made. A support in the fence to keep it secure as the elements emerge
Jesus our Saviour is our strainer in Life.
Depend on him now. It maybe your last chance
As I said Goodbye to my Cross up the hill
I shed a tear for the privileges that I’ve enjoyed
I’ll always remember my old rugged cross
And pray one day, I’ll exchange it for a Crown.
One of our local preachers, Joyce, has written a prayer for use during the Coronavirus pandemic.
O Lord, sometimes it's hard for us to know what we can do at this time, when we might feel that our 'hands are tied' because of our age or physical fragilities. Use us Lord, use our words, our letter writing skills, our crafting, our telephone voices our use of the internet. Inspire us Lord into new ways of witnessing and caring, fill us with compassion, strength and humour. And even though our chapel is not in use at the moment help us to make that building, as well as the people that make up the chapel, a beacon in this community, a place that shines out and speaks loudly of your love throughout this Holy Week and particularly at Easter. We ask all this in the name of your precious Son who died for each one of us in a terrible time such as this. Amen
Father, we want to pray for our government at this difficult time; people who are expected to have an answer for every problem, money to solve every situation, wisdom and strength and power. Lord help us to remember that all governments are just collections of human beings, many of whom are trying their best but still flailing around in the dark. Lord, give them wisdom, the information they need to make good decisions, the humility to enable them to work for others and the love and compassion to use resources wisely. Please give them the strength to keep on working and the mental health they need not to break down.
We particularly pray today for Boris Johnson, please be with him and all others who are fighting this virus. Give them the stamina to go on fighting, the ability to rest when that is appropriate, and the understanding that yours is the greatest and best governance and that to hope and trust in you is the greatest gift of all, Amen.
A Prayer for the current times and a poem for a Happy Marriage
Helen M, one of our church members has recently written a prayer for the current times and a Poem for a Happy Marriage – you can read both of these below
As we are tossed into these uncertain times
Bind us together in Love
Warm our hearts so we look out for each other and see the good in all
Coat us with your Joy so we can spread this richness
By a thread of communication enrich us and keep us connected
Especially with the lonely
Pour our thoughts and time in to helping others and
Through this gain some fulfillment from each day
May a slice of peace and calm be shared by all.
Poem for a Happy Marriage
Bind these two newly-weds together in True Love
May they rise to the challenge of life together, and
Divide responsibilities fairly between them
Sprinkle contentment over them so they enjoy each other’s company.
Throw out any thought of one being more dominant than the other
May they be coated in Love for many years together.