Hello everyone! I had a busy week at work without making as much progress as I had wanted, especially as I missed by normal work days because of the Bank Holidays! Hopefully I will catch up with coding and summarising next week. I did do one long summary which took most of the day, so I could only do a relatively small amount of coding. I felt shattered last Tuesday and kept thinking it was Monday!! It will be a normal week next week, so I will find it hard to wake up on Monday!! Last week I still had Friday free, but the Acorn Centre starts again this Friday.
It was a good thing that I was there on Friday as my beloved had a real setback. I woke him up in good time as he had a dental appointment at 9.15am. He then had the runs, and could not find his loperamide, which added to his discomfort. However we did set off for the dentist after finding some immodium. Unfortunately I had inadvertently parked further away from the Dentist’s than I had realised, as it proved a real struggle for my beloved to get there! I forget as I have no trouble walking such a distance. My beloved then had hardly sat down before he had to rush again to the toilet! On his return he suddenly lost all colour and he felt dizzy and faint, and said he felt awful! The receptionist got the Dentist and two of the delightful young Dentists came to see how he was. In the end the Dentist abandoned the appointment and another was arranged, but this time it was made for Wednesday afternoon, which is my day off. He has found it increasingly difficult to get up in the morning, but although we knew he was not well, we had not wanted to let the Dentist down. However he has now been told he can cancel an appointment just before it if he is not well. Neither he nor I like to cancel at the last minute! We do our best to keep any appointments we have made. His Dentist stayed with my beloved, whilst I went for the car and she accompanied him to the car. On our return my beloved was knocked out and exhausted for the rest of the day; he was feeling a little better yesterday.
He has been taking it carefully today as well, as he is still rather fragile. I went to our annual Covenant Service at our chapel this morning, which I was pleased about as I usually miss that service if I am down to preach. Our ministers led the service this morning, Trevor did the opening part of the service and our minister Tim continued as he preached and led the responses of the service and our Deacon David assisted with distribution of the communion. Trevor read Romans 12 v 1-12 and then Tim preached. He opened with discussing his children’s joy over the final Harry Potter DVD, which they have already watched several times. Harry Potter was saved by sacrificial love that could not be destroyed by evil; it portrayed those pure blood wizards who saw themselves as superior to wizards who came from the Muggles and wanted to wipe out those they considered inferior to them. In the final DVD the only way that the evil Voldemorte can be destroyed is by Harry giving his life voluntarily. Sacrificial love is victorious in the end. Harry stood for what was right and his followers remained faithful to him and by their faith he was restored to life and with his friends destroyed finally the evil wizard. What can we learn from this well known Romans reading? Tim was reminding us to stand and be different from those around us, who judge or hate or are selfish in their wants at the expense of the poor and the disabled; the rich who just accumulate wealth and have no understanding of what it is to live from hand to mouth, worrying whether they can keep a roof over their head, keep themselves warm or eat!! At the time Paul wrote to the Romans Jews had been allowed back into Rome but that brought conflict between Gentile and Jewish Christians, who were fighting as to who was the superior follower of Christ. Paul in Romans 12v2 said ‘Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ He did not want them to react as those without faith did to those they perceived as different and inferior. How can we be transformed by the renewing of our mind? Only as we grow closer to Jesus, allowing Him and his Spirit to transform our minds and make us more like Jesus, can our minds really be renewed so we can see people with the love and acceptance which Jesus has shown us. May our minds be transformed by your Holy and Life giving Spirit into the likeness of Jesus in this New Year.