Sunday August 19th

Hello everyone!  Our minister Trevor Dixon led our service on Sunday August 19th and he is always filled with enthusiasm and his smile is readily there and I have never reached the end of one of his services without smiling and feeling uplifted.  He made us all smile and many joined in when he began his sermon by quoting the poem by A. A. Milne:

 

‘Little boy kneels at the foot of the bed,

 Droops on the little hands little gold head,

 Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!

Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.’

 

Apparently Trevor used to sing this as a 12 year old boy!  He used this prayer every night until as he got older he realised he needed something more than his child’s prayer to use when he said his prayers.  He read ‘A Private House of Prayer’ by Leslie Weatherhead to help with his teenage prayers.  The private house of prayer had 7 rooms; reception of divine presence, affirmation, adoration, confession, reception of grace, petition, intercession and meditation.  Trevor would pray the first 5 prayers in the morning and 2 at night.  Later he could not include each room every day.  Trevor reminded us that at all times we can give thanks to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ.  The prayers of children are different from those of adults as they are dependent on their parents and adults tend to be less dependent.  Trevor reminded us of another prayer we all knew so well:

 

‘Thank you for the world so sweet,

Thank you for the food we eat,

Thank you for the birds that sing,

Thank you God for everything!’

 

It was a simple grace and yet it gives an ideal view of the world.  Another chorus he remembered clearly was sung as the offering was brought forward.

Hear the pennies dropping

Hear the pennies dropping
Listen while they fall
Ev’ry one for Jesus
He shall have them all

Chorus:
Dropping Dropping (2x)
Hear the pennies fall
Ev’ry one for Jesus
He shall have them all

Dropping dropping ever
From each little hand
‘Tis our gift to Jesus
From His little band
(Chorus)


Now while we are little
Pennies are our store
But when we are older,
Lord we will give thee more
(Chorus)


If we have no money
We can give Him love
He will own our off’ring
Smiling from above

I had not heard this song before, although ‘Thank you for the world so sweet’ was familiar to me.  The ‘Hear the pennies dropping’ song was a prayer of thanksgiving for even the pennies the poor could afford.

John Baliol, the principal of the College of Edinburgh was a renowned academic who as a scholar and teacher who wrote learned books, but he began each day praising God for the new day and the light streaming through to rouse him.  It was and is a simple prayer of thanksgiving that anyone could say daily.  Trevor said that most people pray prayers of confession and intercession, but reminded us of the importance of thanksgiving daily for everything; even thanks for the disappointments in life, realising our dependence on God.  We are brought up on criticism and the news is always reported with some element of criticism.  Being too critical distorts life.  Trevor recommended that a walk in the countryside taking in the beauty around even for just 20 minutes and identify 70 different kinds of plants.  It is so easy to walk without appreciating nature all around us.  There is so much to be grateful for.  In relationships it is much easier to be critical, but we must not forget to say thank you.  If we dwell on a partner’s faults then all that we can see is all the faults and that can lead to breakdown in the marriage or partnership.  It is far more important to concentrate on the positives and learn to be encouraging rather than critical.  Philippians encourages us to concentrate on being positive and encouraging; funnily enough my mother gave me the passage of praise from Philippians when I was struggling with feeling depressed as a teenager! 

Philippians 4v6-7 has always meant the world to me and takes me back in gratitude to my mother, who tried to help me see the positive in life.  The passage is as follows:  ‘Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.  And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.’  St Therese of Lisieux gave thanks for the crucible of suffering.  It is difficult to accept the problems and confusion with which life faces us.  What we need to remember is that God is still with us in the disappointments of life upholding us.  If we give thanks in all the experiences we face whether positive or negative, then we could gradually develop the attitude of not taking life for granted but remember always to give thanks.  Trevor reminded us that thanksgiving is central to relationships and our faith.  Since seeing my colleague Jenny coming to say goodbye I have begun to count my blessings daily and will start each day with our Lord and give thanks for each day until hopefully it becomes second nature and increase my ability to give thanks in all circumstances.  

 

 

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2 Responses to Sunday August 19th

  1. Selwyn Goodacre says:

    Thank you for the world so sweet – ah yes, I remember it well – and the tune! Whenever I read the Christopher Robin poem it reminds me of how he hated other children at his school endlessly playing the record – to tease him. My favourite children’s hymn is ‘Loving Shepherd of thy sheep’. I have asked this to be sung at my funeral (hopefully not for a while yet!)

    • helenbeech says:

      It brought back memories for me too. I love that hymn too, Loving Shepherd of thy sheep. I realise it was very difficult for Christopher Robin as he did not have as much attention from his father as he needed. Also he must have hated the teasing by the other children. Parents rarely realise the impact of doing such a thing as publishing poems explicitly with the boy’s name!!

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