Sunday 2 August 2009
What a beautiful day we had today. The sun came out and the sky was blue. It made a welcome change. The weather was still cool, so that meant the temperature was just perfect for me. We made the most of the good weather. It was an early morning start for us. My husband was busy doing the week’s dishes as I glued myself to the piano to practise the hymns ready for today’s service. There were five hymns to learn. They were: Sweet is the work; O for a heart to praise my King; All my hope on God is founded; Will your anchor hold; and I am not skilled to understand. I was also asked to choose one other hymn to play for the introit, and I decided on ‘Love Divine, all loves excelling’ as it is one of my favourites.
Usually I would start learning them from Thursday or Friday, and on Saturday, but that was when I was playing on the pipe organ at my home church in New Zealand. The pipe organ was more complicated because it invoved practising with my feet as well to play the pedals, as well as negotiating the two or three levels of keyboard and the various ‘stops’. The Methodist church I go to now uses a more modern device that is an electronic piano used for the organ, so it is much less complicated to operate, and therefore I do not require as much practice time, which is excellent for me.
I have never met the Minister of our church, as she has been on sabaticcal since we started going there earlier this year. So each Sunday we get a different person coming along to give the sermon. There is a roster that operates within the district that determines in advance who will be where and when. It is interesting to meet the different preachers each week. This week we all enjoyed the Sermon, more than usual.
The lady who gave today’s sermon was a most excellent speaker. She was very engaging. She started her sermon by saying that we, all of us, ought to be rooted. Then she talked about Christmas trees and the fact that they die soon after Christmas, because the trees are put into pots and have no roots. On the other hand, if you plant a Christmas tree in front of your house, then it will last for years and years and provide year long pleasure – because the tree has roots.
Following on from this, she said that we should all be rooted in our relationship with God. She shared with us a favourite hymn of hers from childhood. This children’s songs had adorable hand actions that went with it too. The words went something like this:
“Read your bible,
Say your prayers,
Grow day by day.”
She reiterated that to maintain a relationship with God we need to read our bible daily and not just once, but throughout the day. We also need to say our prayers. I particularly liked her analogies that appealed to my fondness for food. She said her husband likes fish and chips, and she explained that her Mother in law told her that when you crave chips you just won’t stop until you get them. It is the same for chocolate. At that point I looked at my husband who was grinning at me. As he knew that I got terrible cravings for fish and chips and chocolate too! We gave a little chuckle. Then she continued to say that when at the time you get a craving for food, you should use the motivation to take the opportunity to say your prayers. Well, what an excellent idea! I had heard previously about ‘associations’ to concepts and situations, so I think that this would be a very positive one indeed. The Methodist website has ideas for daily bible readings, and ideas for daily prayers. During our prayers at church we remembered the Methodist congregation in Fiji and their leaders who have been persecuted.
After the service we walked across to the nearby park. I had heard there would be a series of concerts there during August, but they started at 11am so I wasn’t sure if anyone would be left by the time we got there. Sure enough, the band had just finished as we arrived. Apparently for a lunch break and were due to start again at 2pm, but we didn’t have time to wait around for that. So we took a stroll in the gardens to check out the new blossoms. It was a gorgeous haven of colours and a marvellous place to shelter from the heat as the tall trees provided glorious shade.
After our stroll in the park we headed off to Lidl’s. I’ve been trying to find a malted barley drink I like called ‘Caro’, and since it is made in Germany I felt sure we would find it in Lidl. But we had no luck, it wasn’t there. The reason I like Caro is because it does not have any sugar, glucose, lactose or milk powder added to it as the other brands do. We couldnt’ find it which was unfortunate, so the hunt goes on.
Our friend Kay from work invited us to a fundraising for her Music group at their Seventh Day Adventist Church. Even though we planned our route to walk there using Google Maps, the roads have since changed due to current road works so we ended up taking detours, and at times thought we were lost. We were supposed to arrive there at 1.30pm for lunch, but by the time we found our way there it was 2.20pm. My stomach was rumbling and rather sore, and I was absolutely starving! We had the ‘chicken meal’ for lunch, and it was a Caribbean specialty, consiting of fried chicken and rice with kidney beans in coconut milk, it was absolutely divine, and well worth the long walk to get there.