How are you all coping with lockdown? I hope you are all still safe and well and coping with the conditions.
I was SO proud of our group on Thursday for the governor’s visit! So proud of how everybody worked together…the posters that were made, putting out chairs, drums, pouring water, hanging the posters up to set everything up. I was so proud of the banter and the support of each other, the way you spoke out for the group, each other, your rights…that was done so gracefully. Thank you so much for the kind words for me as well….I’m fairly tough and don’t do crying and stuff ( ) but you all actually nearly made me cry with your kindness.
I was also so proud of how we all worked together to get me home on time, the care you put into clearing up….again, everyone working together to get the posters down, the chairs away, the rubbish gathered up, the food divided, the tables put away. I loved that none of you had an ego about which job you took, we just all worked together to get everything done.
All in all, you proved yet again (as always!) that you are the best group of men in Berwyn! Thank you all for making it all work!!!
Anyway, all of this is a bit emotional….back to safely talking about my animals
Lenny has been a Liability again this week.
We have had the case of the disappearing cat biscuits!
We have a big bin with a lid that we empty the sack of cat biscuits into (we have A LOT of cats!) that we keep in the utility room.
We kept finding the door open, the lid off the bin and lots of the biscuits gone. We noticed that Lenny was putting on weight.
We didn’t link these two facts together.
This week my son and I watched as Lenny stood on his back legs, opened the door, wriggled the bin lid open with his nose and started chomping like he’d been starved for a year….not surprising that he’s no longer Lenny the Lightweight. Not surprising with the rate he can munch cat biscuits that
he’s turned into Lenny the Lump!
It is throwing down with rain here, a really dark, miserable looking day. I’ve got the fire lit, the aromatherapy burner burning with oils, fairy lights on, coffee in the pot, a lump of a Lenny curled up on my lap….happy things. If it’s going to be wet and miserable, I’m going to do the things that make the most of the season!
I was supposed to be going to a rock gig tonight. Obviously that’s not happening but they’ve managed to put some sort of gig online as a live broadcast. It’ll be interesting to see what it’s like….me & Lenny pretending there is a mosh pit in my front room. At least the toilets will be cleaner at this gig than at most rock gigs!
We managed to get my daughter settled and didn’t have to take her to hospital. Last week her stomach had paralysed, which happens a lot. The big risk then is that she very easily becomes dehydrated (at 19 years old she weighs 32kg so hasn’t got much resistance) and then she can lose consciousness. If we can get enough fluid into the tube that goes into her bowel and drain her stomach through the tube that goes into her stomach, even if she’s very sick, we can keep her conscious and it’s just a case of waiting for it to pass. It was a close call but we managed to keep her out of hospital….technical, a bit uck, but it worked!
How King SOLOMON held intercourse with his son
And JOAS (BENAIAH), the son of YÔDÂḤÊ, went out and brought BAYNA LEḤKEM inside. And when King SOLOMON saw him he rose up, and moved forward to welcome him, and he loosed the band of his apparel from his shoulder, and he embraced him, with his hands [resting] on his breast, and he kissed his mouth, and forehead, and eyes, and he said unto him, “Behold, my father DAVID hath renewed his youth and hath risen from the dead.” And SOLOMON the King turned round to those who had announced the arrival of the young man, and he said unto them, “Ye said unto me, ‘He resembleth thee,’ but this is not my stature, but the stature of DAVID my father in the days of his early manhood, and he is handsomer than I am.” And SOLOMON the King rose up straightway, and he went into his chamber, and he arrayed the young man in apparel made of cloth embroidered with gold, and a belt of gold, and he set a crown upon his head, and a ring upon his finger. And having arrayed him in glorious apparel which bewitched the eyes, he seated him upon his throne, that he might be equal in rank to himself. And he said unto the nobles and officers of ISRAEL, “O ye who treat me with contumely among yourselves and say that I have no son, look ye, this is my son, the fruit that hath gone forth from my body, whom God, the Lord of ISRAEL, hath given me, when I expected it not.”
And his nobles answered and said unto him, “Blessed be the mother who hath brought forth this young man, and blessed be the day wherein thou hadst union with the mother of this young man. For there hath risen upon us from the root of JESSE a shining man who shall be king of the posterity of our posterity of his seed. Concerning his father none shall ask questions, and none shall say, ‘Whence is his coming?’ Verily he is an ISRAELITE of the seed of DAVID, fashioned perfectly in the likeness of his father’s form and appearance; we are his servants, and he shall be our king.” And they brought unto him gifts, each according to his greatness. And the young man took that ring which his mother had given him when they were alone together, and he said unto his father, “Take this ring, and remember the word which thou didst speak unto the Queen, and give unto us a portion of the fringe of the covering of the Tabernacle of the Law of God, so that we may worship it all our days, and all those who are subject unto us, and those who are in the kingdom of the Queen.” And the King answered and said unto him, “Why givest thou me the ring as a sign? Without thy giving me a sign I discovered the likeness of thy form to myself, for thou art indeed my son.”
And the merchant TÂMRÎN spake again unto King SOLOMON, saying, “Hearken, O King, unto the message which thy handmaiden, the Queen my mistress, sent by me: ‘Take this young man, anoint him, consecrate him, and bless him, and make him king over our country, and give him the command that a woman shall never again reign [in this country], and send him back in peace. And peace be with the might of thy kingdom, and with thy brilliant wisdom. As for me, I never wished that he should come where thou art, but he urged me exceedingly that he should be allowed to come to thee. And besides, I was afraid for him lest he should fall sick on the journey, either through thirst for water, or the heat of the sun, and I should bring my grey hairs down to the grave with sorrow. Then I put my trust in the holy, heavenly ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God, that thou wilt not withhold it in thy wisdom. For thy nobles cannot return to their houses and look upon their children, by reason of the abundance of wisdom and food which thou givest them, according to their desire, and they say, The table of SOLOMON is better for us than enjoying and gratifying ourselves in our own houses. And because of this I, through my fear, sought protection so that thou mightest not stablish him with thee, but mightest send him [back] to me in peace, without sickness and suffering, in love and in peace, that my heart might rejoice at having encountered thee.'”
And the King answered and said unto him, “Besides travailing with him and suckling him, what else hath a woman to do with a son? A daughter belongeth to the mother, and a boy to the father. God cursed EVE, saying, ‘Bring forth children in anguish1 and with sorrow of heart, and [after] thy bringing forth shall take place thy return to thy husband’; with an oath He said, ‘Bring forth,’ and having sworn, thy return to thy husband [shall follow]. As for this my son, I will not give him to the Queen, but I will make him king over ISRAEL. For this is my firstborn, the first of my race whom God hath given me.”
And then SOLOMON sent unto the young man evening and morning dainty meats, and apparel of honour, and gold and silver. And he said unto him, “It is better for thee to dwell here in our country with us, where the House of God is, and where the Tabernacle of the Law of God is, and where God dwelleth.” And the young man his son sent a message unto him, saying, “Gold, and silver, and [rich] apparel are not wanting in our country. But I came hither in order to hear thy wisdom, and to see thy face, and to salute thee, and to pay homage to thy kingdom, and to make obeisance to thee, and then [I intended thee] to send me away to my mother and to my own country. For no man hateth the place where he was born, and everyone loveth the things of his native country. And though thou givest me dainty meats I do not love them, and they are not suitable for my body, but the meats whereby I grow and become strong are those that are gratifying to me. And although [thy] country pleaseth me even as doth a garden, yet is not my heart gratified therewith; the mountains of the land of my mother where I was born are far better in my sight. And as for the Tabernacle of the God of ISRAEL, if I adore it where I am, it will give me glory, and I shall look upon the House of God which thou hast builded, and I will make offering and make supplication to it there. And as for ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God, give me [a portion of] the fringe of the covering thereof, and I will worship it with my mother and with all those who are subject to my sovereignty. For my Lady the Queen hath already rooted out all those who served idols, and those who worshipped strange objects, and stones and trees, and she hath rooted them out and hath brought them to ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God. For she had heard from thee and had learned, and she did according to thy word, and we worship God.” And the King was not able to make his son consent to remain [in JERUSALEM] with all [his persuadings]
Isaiah 43 v3,15
3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy
ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.15 I am the LORD, Negus Tafari, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.
Psalm 47 v1-9
1 O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.
3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.
4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah. 5 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises unto our King, Negus Tafari, sing praises.
7 For God is the King of all the earth; sing ye praises with understanding.
8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
9 The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.
Amos 9 v11
11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
Zechariah 12 v7-8
7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
This is about how to be a good dad!
I know many of you are dads.
This is written by Solomon, the Solomon we have been reading about in the Kebra Negast, for his son Rehoboam. This was not the son of the Queen of Sheba that we have been reading about, but the one who succeeded to the throne.
Solomon was the king of the United Kingdom of Israel, renowned in his early reign as a wealthy, powerful and wise leader.
Solomon gives his son in this psalm the benefits of his best knowledge. The psalm is a set of instructions to get the best out of life and relationships with God and man, to achieve peace, happiness and a well-rounded life…..what better instruction could a father give his child?!
My son, do not forget my teaching
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a] 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.[b] 13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.
21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion; 22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you.
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason— when they have done you no harm.
31 Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
32 For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks proud mockers
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame.
Verse 5 stands out to me as the most important verse….
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
Thank you Jah.
You have given me the greatest gift any human could ever have…life. I am in awe of your love and your power every day.
Thanks and praises unto The Most High, Jah Rastafari.
I’ve just got back in from a walk in the fields with Pete, my husband, and his dog Anya. We dodged the worst of the rain and dashed out while it wasn’t too wet, although the fields are water-logged and squelchy already. It’s the first day which has been properly cold so far this year, we could really have done with wearing gloves and hats. It’s 7*c today but the windchill makes it feel a lot colder.
By the time we got back, my yard boots were soaked through, my face was all pink with cold and I was covered in mud from playing games with Anya. She had to come straight in and have a shower because she was really grubby and I had to have a change into clean clothes and wash the mud off my face…her nickname isn’t Boiiing for nothing!
We’ve come back in to light the fire and I’ve got a big pan of vegetable and bean soup cooking slowly on the stove, ready for anyone who comes in cold and hungry to help themselves to. I’ve got a ‘spare teenager’ moved in with us this week and my son and he have been cleaning out the front porch, splitting logs and helping me get the outside cat boxes washed out and the new bedding put in, ready for winter.
The gig the other night was amazing…obviously not as good as going to the real thing, but we’ve gone to a few virtual ‘gigs’ through lockdown and it’s been a bit like listening to a busker sat in their own lounge. This sounded like a proper rock gig, especially with my new bionic ears! It was 3 hours long and was so good!
Last Thursday, when I walked you all back to your wings I hope you all realised that my prayers went in with you. So usually you know the first bit of how I leave Berwyn…I go and pick up my bags and coat, divide the sweets out and then we all head out to the various wings…loudly, laughing, joking, shouting…sometimes singing, fist bumps, goodbyes til next week…checking everyone is going to be okay. I drop off at the last door, say goodbye to the last of you. Then I walk away, turn right and head towards the gate and I ALWAYS pray for each of you in turn by name, asking God to look after you, that the week won’t feel too long til the next time we meet, that you will be safe and well. I don’t feel like you are safely ‘dropped off’ to your wings til I’ve done that…it takes me right to end of the walk to pray for each of you in turn.
Last week that had a bit more urgency, leaving you all to face lockdown. I’m so glad we managed that celebration, that you had that to remember and I hope carry you through some of the lockdown time. Last time it seemed like we blindly went into lockdown, not realising how big it was going to be. This time I think it feels more scary because we know how long it was last time. This letter comes to you with my prayers, just as much as when I am in Berwyn. I hope you all know that!