After our worship on Sunday August 11th my beloved and I went out for Sunday lunch at a new restaurant in Harrogate called the Square. We had won a voucher at my sister Janet’s garden party in July and were going to have the lunch we won. We had a delicious meal of sea bass and I had a chocolate fudge cake pudding and my beloved had a crème brulée. It was a special treat. It was lovely to have that start to the week as I found myself extremely busy again at work as my colleague the secretary was still off work and would not be returning before September 2nd as her father was still very ill. I had somehow twisted my left ankle maybe landing awkwardly in my not so supportive sandals the previous week (at least it must have happened then, I think), as I suddenly experienced a lot of pain in my left ankle and left calf on the Tuesday and found it difficult to be comfortable sitting at work typing on the computer. I then began to take pain killers to numb the pain and rang the doctor from work for an appointment the following day, as it was my day off. On Wednesday morning it felt a little easier and the pain seemed to be controlled by pain killers, so I felt it was better to cancel the appointment. However on Thursday back at work the pain became worse so I rang ‘Skin Sanctuary’ to book a massage on the Saturday to see if it helped. On Friday morning when I awoke from a restless sleep, being disturbed by the pain at night more acutely, I rang for an appointment that day. I was able to be seen that afternoon and the doctor confirmed that I was doing the right thing taking pain killers and using an ankle support but that, as I knew, it was not sciatica. He just told me it would take weeks to get better, which was not good news for me as it means I have to slow down and I prefer to rush everywhere!! It was great to have the massage as it did ease my calf for a while, although it was painful at the time. On Sunday August 18th I led worship at Hampsthwaite chapel. We began worship singing ‘All my hope on God is founded’. After I led the opening the prayers we read Psalm 82 responsively and then we sang ‘For the healing of the nations.’ Then we had the readings from Jeremiah 23v23-29 and Hebrews 11v29-12v2 before we sang ‘Author of faith, eternal Word.’ In my sermon I talked about how difficult it is to treat people justly but only God judges consistently with accountability. No leader however powerful should ignore God’s rule which tempers justice with mercy. Psalm 82 condemned those judges who fail to temper justice with mercy and fail to stand up for vulnerable and needy who seek justice; it is a perversion of justice. Jeremiah condemned those prophets who pranced around telling the people what they wanted to hear that it did not matter how they lived, as peace would remain; the people did not want to hear Jeremiah’s message of doom, but that proved to be true. Jeremiah was critical of the way they lacked respect for God when they ignored God’s Word. The writer to the Hebrews writing to a group of scholars in Rome and showing them how Jesus had opened the way for us all to enter the very presence of God through what he said and did, and his obedience to death on the cross and resurrection. The writer was encouraging the readers not to give up their faith in Jesus, even though they find themselves suffering, marginalised, dispossessed and in fear of death. He reminded them of those ancestors who kept faith with God through suffering and persecution and although they did not receive the promise. How much more now then should the readers of the letter to the Hebrews persevere in their faith as Jesus has fulfilled the promise through his life, death and resurrection and opened their way into the presence of God? The writer was encouraging his readers to persevere in the race of faith and join that cloud of witnesses he had described keeping their eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer of their faith. Jesus is the chief witness and his life is an example of one who has completed the race of faith and reached the throne of God. I found that as I was preaching I began to lose my voice and drank all the water and managed to finish the sermon; I felt God was telling me that I needed to rest and emphasised my point that I had to persevere to the end! We then sang ‘In heavenly love abiding,’ although I did not sing to keep my voice going till the end of the service! I then led the intercessions before we sang the closing hymn ‘Give me the faith which can remove.’ On my return home I felt exhausted and my beloved prepared a delicious lunch and after lunch I went to relax in the summerhouse. My beloved supplied me with cups of tea as I just rested. I was glad that I could just rest and dozed on the lounger and felt better that evening.