Croeso i Wefan Ardal Weinidogaeth Bro Ardudwy
9 hours ago
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19 hours ago
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
As his mother, maybe Mary was the only person to remember Jesus birthday every year even after His death and resurrection. I imagine she unpacked those treasured memories of the amazing events of her firstborn son’s birth with the bittersweet understanding that, even in the normal turn of things, these tiny ones will only be ours alone for a short time.
What has set me off on this line of thinking, the fact that 19 years ago today is a day, like Mary, I will always remember and one which over the years I have pondered on often. It was the day my, now Welsh Guardsman, grandson Zach was born.
Mary must have stored up many memories of her remarkable son Jesus. He lived and played and learned like other boys; yet Mary’s son was also the Saviour. The arrival of Jesus changed everything for Mary. One morning she woke up to the normal rhythms of life and family routines, but by nightfall her world was spinning. The birth of Jesus did not change the lives of Mary and Joseph only for a moment. There was ongoing learning and change, in submitting to God ending in the death of the child she had given birth to and the miraculous events that followed..
Later in life, when asked about Jesus it is obvious, from the information we have about him from the Gospel writers , that certain memories had emerged as particular treasures for Mary. She pondered things that brought blessings and burdens, heartaches and hallelujahs, troubles and triumphs through the years of watching Him grow up for God.
Like Mary, our journey with God promises that we will never be stagnant, or comfortable, or found in the same place, if God has anything to say about it.
There will be for us joys and sorrows, uncertainties and miracles, meanderings and wanderings, loss and love found. It is a humbling journey as we come to this path of learning, love, growth and submission which it appears Mary accepted so readily not knowing what the future would hold.
As I ponder over the blessings and burdens, heartaches and hallelujahs, troubles and triumphs of the last 19 years I thank God for the time when I said yes. Not that at the time I saw it as being directly to God but to the Social Worker who had come to me saying ‘If anyone can do anything with this person I believe you can’ If Louise had not become part of my life Zach (and later Jake) would not be.
A journey of understanding began the moment I said that “yes”. It was, and continues to be, a conduit to reveal God’s forgiveness, a pathway which reveals Love through transparency, gained trust, and acceptance which results in immense love. In those, sometimes painful experiences for me there has been a surrendered heart that discovered God’s presence and love revealed in so many ways. ... See MoreSee Less
2 days ago
How do you feel today? So many different emotions can exist within us at the same time it is good to sometimes name them and be able to ‘sort ourselves out’ as it were.
To ask ourselves if we can put any of them down or do something to change any of them.
Happy Sad Bored Pleased Angry Surprised
Well Ill Tired Hot Cold Confused Hopeful
Share why you feel this way with God ... See MoreSee Less
3 days ago
My youngest grandson recently told me ‘You are becoming a grumpy old woman Nan’.
His comment was prompted by my complaining about the way certain radio presenters speak. Words that flow like a fast-running stream, all burbling over each other, no beginnings or end. And if that is not bad enough there are the ones whose voices raise by half an octave at the end of sentences or end in an unintelligible squeak or who me the end of every sentence sound like it is a question.
I want, with my limited hearing, to be able to understand what they are saying and so often find I am missing the really important information about the music, the composer or the dedication.
So often Jesus says, ‘let he who has ears hear’ He is saying this Word is for all! The “let him hear” part is not just audible sound, but rather a person that consciously seeks the meaning of what is said, so they can have a better understanding… and begin to live it!
And in beginning to live it we are changed I have been reading Jerry Bridges’ the Discipline of Grace, a true modern-day classic work. I have reached chapter 6 which discusses being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
Bridges says, “Christlkeness is God’s goal for all who trust in Christ, and that should be our goal also.”
He asks, “How can we know whether we are being transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ?”
He encourages Christians to begin with studying the character of Jesus, saying ‘One of my favourite descriptions of Christ is that He “loved righteousness and hated wickedness” (Hebrews 1:9). ‘
Jesus did not just act righteously, He loved righteousness. In His humanity He loved equity, fairness, justice, and upright dealings with others. How in our limited daily lives at the moment are we being transformed?
How in our daily lives are we helping others understand the message of the Gospel by living it plainly and clearly for all to see? ... See MoreSee Less
4 days ago
Once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (John 17.21) in the week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
But with such differences evident even in our own church here in Wales what is it that that unites us? What are we praying for?
This question took me back to a ‘Christian Unity’ sermon preached by Archdeacon Saunders Davies later to become Bishop of Bangor.
In it he examined what made church , church.
I believe it still speaks all these years later and precis it below.
When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, in Chapter 4 he urged them “to walk in a manner worthy” of their calling. Explaining part of what that meant, Paul exhorts the Ephesians in v3 to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”. In verses 4-6 he specifies seven marks of Spiritual unity which it seems defines an essential belief that every church must agree on and unite around.
So, what are these seven marks of oneness—these marks which Paul says are seven marks of the true church and do we measure up to them?
1. One body When Paul asserts that there is one body, he means the Spiritual body of Christ. The church is that body.
2. One Spirit the One Spirit here refers to the Holy Spirit, Since the Spirit unites us to Christ, he brings us to Life.
3. One hope that hope is knowing the Father in Christ by the Spirit so growing holy as the body of Christ.
4. One Lord AS part of Creation we all share the same goal: the unity of all people in the body of Jesus Christ.
5. One faith Faith here does not refer to our individual belief in Christ or even in Scripture , but our corporate belief a defined in points 6 & 7.
6. One baptism Baptism into the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit for the early church was both the beginning and end of worship. It was the beginning because the entrance into the church required a confession of the triune name. And the end because our worship leads us by the Spirit and in Christ to the Father.
7. One God and Father of all God is not merely loving; at his core, he is love. God alone loves in the completeness and perfection of love. Love comes from God. He is its source. God loves us, so we must love one another, united in our oneness.
This surely is what our prayer for Christian Unity should be that as members of Christ’s body here on earth today we all confess one “God and Father of all.” ... See MoreSee Less
5 days ago
What was the picture today?
Several people asked this after yesterday’s post, so I thought I had better explain.
It was a picture of a Mardi Gras or King Cake
Depending on which part of the world you live in Mardi Gras can either stretch from Epiphany to Shrove Tuesday or be a three-day festival prior to the start of Lent during which all fat and rich food is used prior to the fasting of the Lent period.
Mardi Gras, as a celebration of life before the more-sombre occasion of Ash Wednesday, nearly always involves the use of masks and costumes by its participants.
Mardi Gras costumes are not usually associated with such things as zombies, mummies, bats, blood, and the like, though death may be a theme in some.
Although Mardi Gras is not generally observed un the UK there have over recent years been places, especially Hastings in Sussex and parts of London who have begun to hold carnival events and parades.
In most of the UK the traditional observance is of Shrove Tuesday. Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession and were “shriven” (absolved from their sins). A bell would be rung to call people to confession. This came to be called the “Pancake Bell” and is still rung in places today. Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients.
The pancake has a very long history and has featured in cookery books as far back as 1439. The tradition of tossing or flipping them is almost as old: “And every man and maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne.” (Pasquil’s Palin, 1619).
The ingredients for pancakes can be seen to symbolise four points of significance at this time of year:
Eggs ~ Creation
Flour ~ The staff of life
Salt ~ Wholesomeness
Milk ~ Purity
In the UK, pancake races form an important part of the Shrove Tuesday celebrations. According to tradition, in 1445 a woman of Olney heard the shriving bell while she was making pancakes and ran to the church in her apron, still clutching her frying pan. The Olney pancake race is now world famous. Competitors have to be local housewives and they must wear an apron and a hat or scarf.
There is also the tradition of burning the Palm crosses from the previous Easter to form the Ash for the ritual marking on Ash Wednesday. ... See MoreSee Less
When I was teaching, my class did an assembly about the Olney pancake tradition, we had great fun dressing up and tossing pancakes!