Lots of exciting things have been going on here this week….there have been works done and decisions made. The first is….our living room, where my husband Pete now has his desk, is really cold. No, actually freezing! Cold enough to put my children off watching tv. It’s the room in the house that has the tv in it and when we first moved in the children used to take their blankets and a dog each in, wrap up and watch tv til they (or the dog) started shivering. Over time they have watched less and less, their appetite for watching programmes taken away by an endurance test nearly equal to a polar expedition needed, even in the summer. Now because of lockdown, its not just the tv room, its Pete’s office as well and he and his dog Anya set off to that room each day wrapped up like they are going to climb Mount Everest and still come back out hours later shivering. So this week we have had a stove put in….
It makes SUCH a difference! Then, in that room, there is a big bay window with a sort of plastic roof to it which lets in loads of cold air…so that was the next project, a new roof with lots of insulation on there and then choosing a colour to paint the room…this one….
The other big decision has been….my son has decided to save up to spend his money on materials to build a chicken house and buy some hens. Years ago we used to have hens, I used to love having them around the place. They ran to get kitchen scraps when they were called and we had one really tame one called Mab who sat on the children’s laps when they were on the swing. One of them, called Blodwen, was really greedy and if the children had a picnic in the garden she would leap and steal food out of their hands and then run as flat out as a very round hen could manage (it looked so funny to see her waddle at high speed down the garden) to eat her ‘catch’ in peace. We had one called Queenie, after Steve McQueen in the Great Escape, who could escape any pen we put her in. The three children had a hen each…my eldest daughter had Rosemary who was really gentle and liked to be stroked, my middle daughter had Tinkerbell who laid blue eggs (!) and my son had a hen called….erm…..Zebra (?!?!) So, I’m looking forward to having hens in the garden again…and to having proper fresh eggs, instead of supermarket ones.
47. Concerning the offering of AZÂRYÂS (AZARIAH) and the King And YÔ‛ÂS (BENAIAH), the son of YÔDÂḤÊ, went and told King SOLOMON, and the King rejoiced over it and commanded them to make ready the altar of offering so that his son might sacrifice. And he brought and gave unto him that which he had vowed to God, one hundred bulls, one hundred oxen, ten thousand sheep, ten thousand goats, and ten of every kind of animal that may be eaten, and ten of every kind of clean bird, so that he might offer libations and sacrifices to the God of ISRAEL; and twenty silver sâḥal of fine white flour, each weighing twelve shekels, and forty baskets of bread. All these things did SOLOMON the King give unto his son DAVID. And again DAVID sent a message saying, “Let AZÂRYÂS the priest offer up sacrifice on my behalf”; and SOLOMON said unto him, “Do that which thou wishest.” And AZÂRYÂS rejoiced because of this thing, and he went and brought from his father’s flock an ox whereon never yoke had been laid, and four yearlings of the goats and four clean yearlings of the sheep. And the king went to offer up sacrifice, and the priests made themselves ready, and the poor folk were gathered together, and the birds of the heavens rejoiced, and they were all united in their great gladness that day. And AZÂRYÂS mingled [his offerings] with the offerings of the king, and he made an offering with his vessels, even as the Angel of God had commanded him to do by night. And then, after they had offered up their sacrifices, they went back to their houses and slept.
As usual I have taken the Reasoning from HIMchurch.org website. I love the ‘wish’ verse for this week, from Lamentations, and I think that it fits really well with my choice of psalm.
Throughout the psalms, whether in difficult circumstances or quieter, more joyful times King David didn’t stop talking to God. He argued, reminded, nagged even but he still didn’t stop talking or praising Him. And here we are in difficult circumstances. I ask how you all are and how you are coping and hear things back like, only 45 minutes unlocked each day (and I hope you even manage that!!). I can’t imagine how that feels, on and on, relentlessly. I can only pray that you are all managing and support the best I can through these letters. I think back to the noisy, interesting Reasonings we have had and can only offer you this…
Zechariah 12 v1
1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
Ecclesiastes 3 v18, 21
18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
1 Peter 3 v4
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Lamentation 3 v40-41
40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD, Emperor Haile Selassie I.
41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God, Emperor Haile Selassie I, in the heavens.
This week I have been reading psalm 33. It’s a beautiful psalm, reminding me of our meetings…. “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy”. It is a psalm all about praise: verses 1 to 3 calling people to praise; verses 4 to 19 give us why we should praise: the last verses, verses 20 to 22, round off the praise. In difficult times, it reminded me of the hugeness of Creation and JAH’s power….
1 Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4 For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars[a];
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the Lord stand firmforever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
Next, here is a poem by Marcus Garvey…
A Rallying Song
Oh glorious race of mighty men,
The homeland calls to you;
Our fathers wrought with faith divine,
So let us march in line. (Refrain)
If foe we meet across the way,
Our courage hold on high,
For Victory is near at hand,
So march ye with the band.
Refrain: Oh glorious race, Etc
Old Africa is calling you,
So wave the banner high;
No foe shall win the glorious day,
Shout ye, and march and pray.
Refrain: Oh glorious race, Etc.
Our God is leading us away,
And land and seas divide,
For hosts are here in royal form,
March on and fear no storm.
Refrain: Oh glorious race, Etc.
New Africa beholds the sight,
The world will tremble then,
Good men of might will worship God
And bless the heaving sod.
Refrain: Oh glorious race, Etc.
Tell the people everywhere you go,
“The day is here again,”
The Ethiopian’s God appears
To deal with all affairs.
This next piece is from the Rastafarism website. I know I have put a lot of biographies of His Imperial Majesty in these letters, but I think many of them shed different lights on aspects of His life and beliefs. I thought this next piece was particularly interestingly written….
His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie. King of Ethiopia (1892 – 1975)
His Imperial Majesty HAILE SELASSIE I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, elect of God, conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah : Jacob said in his Benediction almost four thousand years ago that , the scripture shall not depart from Judah, nor the lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come. King Selassie I is the three hundred and thirteen king of all the kings of Ethiopia and the one hundred and thirteenth king of the christian empire. He is also the 225th in a direct bloodline of the Ethiopian monarch, Menelik being the first. Menelik was the son of Queen of Sheba and king Solomon who is the son of David king of Israel. “Prince shall come out of Egypt, and Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hand unto JAH” (psalm 68.vrs:31) “And one of the elder said unto me, weep not, behold the LION of the tribe of judah, the root of king David hath prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals thereof” (rev. 5 ver:5). On July 23, 1892 Tafari makonnen who later become HIM, Haile Selassie I, the Conquering lion of judah, was born in Ejersa goro, a mountain village outside of Harer in the year of John. HIM father was Ras Makonnen the cousin of menelik 11, and his mother was Yishimabet who’s parents married in 1876. Upon the death of his mother he (HIM) Haile Selassie as he was then given that title, (Tafari makonnen) was raised by his cousin Ras Imru. He then was sent to live with Emperor menelik11 in 1906. On july 31, 1911 he married Wayzaro menen, the granddaughter of Ras Mikael. She had 3 sons and 3 daughters (it is very important and interesting to know that ). HIM name means the “power of the Holy Trinity”‘, Also note the significance of the number three (3). HIM is called the “King of Kings” (Negus) and it make it very clear what that title means: It does not matter your race or nationality, the reignship of Jah goes beyond ones nation or culture. Read HIM speech “War” and you will see that the color of the skin has no more significance than the color of the eyes. HIM also used his authority to work towards righteousness, justice and equality to all African people in exile. Just as the good shepherd gather his sheep so does HIM , Selassie I proved to be like a shepherd for the children of AFRICA at home and abroad. None can deny the good words spread by Haile Selassie. Him says are not only for ethiopians, africans, or rastas. But for all humanity. Each one of us can learn studying Him words.
HIM fighted against racism, poverty, miseducation, violence. He was for religious tolerance, really, not like the so-called Pope in Rome (see the “spiritual kinsmen” speech). Him struggled for african unity and originated the African Unity Organisation. He struggled for his country against Italians. He was the shepherd protecting his sheeps against fascists wolves (see the Marcus Garvey page). HIM also launched a program to translate Bible from ancient ethiopian scriptures to ordinary ethiopian language. People need to know that Ethiopia was one of the first christian country. Half of the story has never been told. And the other part is often manipulated and disguised… There is so much we could write and talk about HIM but that would take more than a lifetime to do so. Read Matt. 7 ver 7. There is nothing more worthwhile and rewarding in life than to work for the benefit of others. One can get more pleasure from giving than from receiving if it is done with LOVE . Those who have had the opportunity to learn should always be at the disposal of those who have not had its benefit and it should not only be for individuals, but for the entier community at large. The words of the Almighty in the Holy Bible say: give and it shall be given unto you: is worth observing in your daily life. It is I firm belief that if you forgot self-love and self-indulgence and break away from all this worldly desires, you will be able to make great contribution to yourself, your family, community and your country. May the Almighty Jah, the God of Jacob, Abraham, Issac, Moses and Yeshua (Jesus Christ) the son, bless guide and protect you as you walk in his Light.
This is taken from the Rastafari website ‘Earth Culture Roots’…
You alone are God (“anta Amlak bahetiteka”)
You alone are God,
You were from of old,
And You will be until eternity, always, first and last,
Now and always for ever and ever.
As for You, You are the same, and Your epoch will not come to an end;
As for You, You are the same, and Your kingdom will not be abolished,
And Your power is invincible,
And Your strength is untiring,
And Your magnificence will not be humbled,
And the splendour of Your name will not be dispelled,
And the praise of Your exalted fame will not be diminished,
And Your light will not be darkened,
And Your decree will not be abrogated,
The pillar of Your word will not be overthrown,
And Your wisdom will not fall into error,
And Your counsel will not be concealed.
You alone are God, God of all;
You alone are God, Lord of all;
You alone are God, King of all;
You alone are God, Creator of all;
You alone are God, Conqueror of all;
You alone are God, Omnipotent;
You alone are God, Slayer of all;
You alone are God, Destroyer of all;
You alone are God, Saviour of all;
You alone are God, Life of all;
You alone are God, Sustainer of all;
You alone are God, Protector of all;
You alone are God, Restorer of all;
You alone are God, Raiser of all;
You alone are God, Supporter of all;
You alone are God, Helper of all;
You alone are God, A righteous God over all creation.
This week, on the 25th January, it is Santes Dwynwen’s Day. She is the Welsh saint of love, a bit like Valentine….but far, far cooler of course because she is Welsh. I found the story of St. Dwynwen for you. This is written by Ben Johnson for Historic-uk website….
St Dwynwen’s Day is celebrated in Wales on 25 January. But who was St Dwynwen?
St Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers, which makes her the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine.
Dwynwen lived during the 5th century and legend has it that she was one of the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. Dwynwen fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill, but unfortunately her father had already arranged that she should marry someone else.
Dwynwen was so upset that she could not marry Maelon that she begged God to make her forget him. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service for the rest of her life.
She founded a convent on Llanddwyn, off the west coast of Anglesey, where a well named after her became a place of pilgrimage after her death in 465AD. Visitors to the well believed that the sacred fish or eels that lived in the well could foretell whether or not their relationship would be happy and whether love and happiness would be theirs. Remains of Dwynwen’s church can still be seen today.
…hmmm, sacred eels?? Not sure about that!
This week has been full of weather drama. In one day we had such awful quantities of rain that the house started to flood. My son had to go and clear all the drains, clear the branches that had been washed down the stream that runs through our garden so the water flowed down rather than pooling and we put barricades of rubble to protect the house. Then, once that had caused problems, it stopped and then started to snow instead…huge heavy flakes of snow that added up really quickly until we had a decent covering of snow. Then the wind got up. The following day it was bright sunshine and cold….in 24 hours we had pretty much everything!
Anya, Pete’s puppy, thought it was AMAZING! She paddled and gallumphed and swam and generally got soaked through in muddy water, which she thought was great. At least someone enjoyed it. Dilys, my sausage dog, crawled under her blankets and tried not to move for a whole 24 hours.
I am having difficulty concentrating on getting this written….my son has decided that Lenny smells and that he needs a bath (it is true, he’s a bit of a stinky staffy). Lenny has decided he doesn’t want a bath and that I might save him. So he keeps running away, thundering down the stairs like a herd of hippos, charging through the house and landing like a dead weight on my lap. The problem is that as this keeps on happening he’s getting more and more covered in soap and is now a slippery staffy and very difficult to catch! My keyboard in covered in soap and the kitchen floor is a health and safety hazard. I think I might need to go and take charge of this circus, confine the staffy to a collar so my son can keep hold of him and do something about the dangerous floor before something bad happens.
Right, I’m off to do my staffy-herding duties. Take care all of you!