I hope you are all well and still coping with the lockdown. I have heard that the rates of the virus are still not good and I am praying that every one of you is still safe.
Two exciting things have happened today (lockdown exciting, not real life exciting, obviously!) Today my eldest daughter (who is marked as clinically extremely vulnerable) and I (as my daughter’s carer) had our first vaccines. This is the start of our world returning to normal, at last! We had to have the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine because the Pfizer vaccine is linked to problems with allergies and my daughter is allergic to all sorts of stuff but whichever one it is, I am so relieved to have had it.
The next exciting thing is….A SKIP! Yes, I know that isn’t most people’s idea of a good Friday’s entertainment, but it means that I can get the garden and the yard cleared, especially after all the building work. It just arrived about 20 minutes ago, the driver is just unloading it with my son excitedly supervising. He has plans to use our old farm truck with a trailer on the back to get everything rounded up and loaded in to the skip this afternoon…so that’s our day sorted!
Today it is Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox, so we have Chinese food for tea that my middle daughter and I are going to cook. Her favourite food is duck pancakes, so we are having that and then vegetable stir fry with noodles for our main course…..we will all be needing it once we have finished loading the skip!
50. How they bade farewell to his Father and how the city mourned And they bade [the king] farewell and departed. And first of all they set ZION by night upon a wagon together with a mass of worthless stuff, and dirty clothes, and stores of every sort and kind. And [when] all the wagons were loaded, and the masters of the caravan rose up, and the horn was blown, and the city became excited, and the youths shouted loudly, awesomeness crowned it and grace surrounded it (i.e., ZION). And the old men wailed, and the children cried out, and the widows wept, and the virgins lamented, because the sons of their nobles, the mighty men of ISRAEL, had risen up to depart. But the city did not weep for them alone, but because the majesty of the city had been carried off with them. And although they did not know actually that ZION had been taken from them, they made no mistake in their hearts and they wept bitterly; and they were then even as they were when God slew the firstborn of EGYPT. There was not a house wherein there was not wailing, from man even to the beast; the dogs howled, and the asses screamed, and all those who were left there mingled their tears together. It was as though the generals of a mighty army had besieged the great city, and had captured it by assault, and looted it, and taken its people prisoners and slain them with the edge of the sword; even thus was that city of ZION-JERUSALEM.
And King SOLOMON was dismayed at the weeping and outcry of the city, and he looked out from the roof of the palace, the fort of the king’s house, and saw the whole city weeping and following them. And as a child, whom his mother hath removed from her breast and left, followeth in her footsteps crying out and weeping, even so did the people cry out and weep; and they cast dust upon their heads, and they shed tears with their eyes. And when SOLOMON saw the majesty of those who had departed, he was deeply moved and he trembled, and his bowels quaked, and his tears fell drop by drop upon his apparel, and he said, “Woe is me! for my glory hath departed, and the crown of my splendour hath fallen, and my belly is burned up because this my son hath departed, and the majesty of my city and the freemen, the children of my might, are removed. From this moment our glory hath passed away, and our kingdom hath been carried off unto a strange people who know not God, even as the prophet saith, ‘The people who have not sought Me have found Me.’1 From this time forth the law, and wisdom, and understanding shall be given unto them. And my father prophesied concerning them, saying, ‘ETHIOPIA shall bow before Him, and His enemies shall eat the dust.’2 And in another [place] he saith, ‘ETHIOPIA shall stretch out her hands to God, and He shall receive her with honour, and the kings of the earth shall praise God.’3 And in a third [place] he saith, ‘Behold, the PHILISTINES,4 and the Tyrians, and the people of ETHIOPIA, who were born without the Law. The Law shall be given unto them, and they shall say unto ZION, ‘our mother1because of a man who shall be born.’ Will this man then be my son who is begotten of me?”
Ezekiel 20 v40-42
40 For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your
offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all our holy things.
41 I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you and of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.
42 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I lifted up mine hand
to give it to your fathers.
Psalm 34 v11-14
11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the
12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
Isaiah 60 v20-22
20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.
Daniel 2 v22-23
22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the
darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.
Usually when I read the Bible verses for the Reasoning, one of the verses stands out to me. That’s usually the one I highlight at the top of the page. Today, the verses are a richness…where to start? Maybe with the wise advice for living well, “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” By doing this you will enjoy life. What a promise there is in Isaiah… “Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the
days of thy mourning shall be ended.”
The whole of the ‘wish’ verse is beautiful. From Daniel, it is reassuring, especially maybe a little bit for those of us (me!) who are sometimes just a fractional tiny amount afraid of the dark….
When my eldest daughter was younger she used to have a feed pump that pumped liquid feed into her stomach from 7pm until 3.30 in the morning and I used to have to stay up while she was feeding (she would be in bed asleep) to check she didn’t choke. Now she has to feed at a slower rate, still with a special liquid feed, 24 hours a day. Instead of going into her stomach now, the feed goes into her bowel because her stomach gave up working about 3 years ago. This is mostly not a good thing, but it does mean that she can’t sick it up and choke so I don’t have to stay up with her anymore.
The feed kit is huge: long tubes; bottles; packets that contained the powder and none of it is recycle-able, it has to all go in the bin. The binmen came on a Tuesday and it always seemed a shame to fill up the newly emptied bin with all that waste. So last thing on a Monday night I used to get all the bins emptied, get into my nightclothes and a big coat, clean my teeth, get all ready to go to sleep. The final thing to do was to take off the feed equipment, put it in the bin bag and run (like there were a whole pack of zombies chasing me) down the path, in the dark, to put the bin bag in the bin, to be collected at 7am the following morning.
It was never my very bestest part of the week, but it was okay…I could manage. I could pretend I was brave….until one night. The bin was under a huge old apple tree and just as I dropped the bin bag into the bin there was a massive SCREAM from up in the tree. I fled! I ran back down the path, this time like there were a whole troop of killer werewolves chasing me (I was completely sure there was), threw myself through the door, slammed it shut, locked it, bolted it and huddled down on the floor, hiding from whatever it was out there, trying to catch my breath.
It took about 15 minutes for my breathing to return to normal, for my heart to stop pounding and re-enter my rib cage, 25 minutes to scrape myself off the floor and shake through to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea. And a whole half hour for it to dawn on me that werewolves do not sit up apple trees in the dark, waiting to scream at the locals…but owls do!
It seems like a very good idea for those who are maybe just a little bit concerned about the local population of apple tree dwelling werewolves to pray to the God of Light, the God who “knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.” That’s my thought, anyway!
From the website ‘Earth, Culture, Roots’, here is this week’s passage from The Apocrypha ‘Book of Enoch‘. Again, its a short chapter….
And again, observe ye the days of summer how the sun is above the earth over against it. And you seek shade and shelter by reason of the heat of the sun, and the earth also burns with growing heat, and so you cannot tread on the earth, or on a rock by reason of its heat.
This week on February 11, we celebrate RAS TAFARI became Crown Prince and Regent Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia 1917 at the age of 25.
This is from The Wise Mind of Emperor Haile Selassie I…..
The world is only now coming to realize what Ethiopia and Africa
have long recognized, that peace, independence and the prosperity
of mankind can be achieved and assured only by the collective and
united efforts of free men who are prepared to maintain eternal
vigilance and labour unceasingly to protect these most precious of
Those who lack the vision and foresight to realize that Africa is
emerging into a new era, that Africans will no longer be denied the
rights which are inalienably theirs, will not alter or reverse the
course of history, but will only suffer the inevitable consequences of
their refusal to accept reality.
The bible verse I have chosen for this week is Psalm 117. It is the shortest psalm in the Bible. There are 1189 chapters in the Bible and Psalm 117 is the 595th, which makes in the middle of the bible. As well as being interesting mathematically (if mathing can be interesting, not just nasty!) its also a beautiful chapter of praise….
1 Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
2 For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord.[a]
* I thought that it would be a good meditation verse, its so simple but contains so much!
This is from H.I.M. Church website….
O Jah our strenght and our redeemer, Jah who seated in Zion and reigneth in the hearts of all flesh, O thou Most High eternal Father Jahovia God Jah Rastafari hear us and bless us O Lord keep and sanctify us all cause thy Holy face to shine upon us thy children so we shall be saved and redeemed, O thou Most High God Jah Rastafari. Amen Amen Amen.
I’m really sorry this has taken so long to finish….my daughter and I have been really poorly after the vaccine. It isn’t a nice experience at all! I had heard that some people have bad reactions to the AstraZeneca vaccine but….! We’ve had really high temperatures, achy all over, bad headache, very very sleepy, just really grotty.
My son who is 14 had a lovely time that afternoon driving the truck around with the trailer attached, with Lenny sat next to him wrapped up in blankets so he didn’t get cold….
The two of them got all the skip loaded up and had a lovely time together, practicing reversing and turning the trailer…he’s going to have no problem passing his driving test in 3 years time (my son, not Lenny…Lenny’s legs don’t reach the peddles).
I started getting our Chinese New Year dinner ready…and I felt worse and worse after the vaccine, until I managed to get it all cooked, then went to bed and left the rest of them to eat it. Today is the first day I feel any better and my eldest daughter is still feeling not that great. The last few days we kept meeting in the kitchen, all shivery and achy, to take more painkillers and to remind ourselves that vaccines are good for us.
Right, I will get this emailed to chaplaincy before it’s so late that the next one is due. The good thing is that by 22 days after the vaccine, I should have a good immunity, we still won’t be able to have meetings but I will hopefully be able to come back in to check that you are all okay!