A Busy Day With A Productive Lunch Break

I’m pleased to say that I made it to work today.  I made it with five minutes to spare.  Not that I slept that well last night.  I was too worried that I wouldn’t wake up this morning.  But I did and that’s the main thing and I can have an early-ish night tonight.  It’s not too late yet.

As Scott did remind me last week – Graham was on to prepare the Bible devotions for before prayer time this week.  But strangely enough, Graham forgot.  We were all a little confused and figured the roster was wrong because Graham has a phenomenal memory.  Forget megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, nanobytes and so forth when you get to this Graham’s level you’re talking elephant-bytes.

Anyway – showing the sheer proportion of his memory capacity he opened up his Bible to the Lords’ Prayer and the words about prayer that Jesus spoke before it and he read the words from Matthew 6:5-15.  From here he worked with us to draw out the ‘big themes’ that Jesus taught us to focus on as we pray –

  • About approaching God in humility
  • About spending time alone in prayers
  • About recognising God’s great holiness
  • Recognising God as the Ruler of everything whose ways ought be honoured in all heaven and all the earth
  • Asking for what is needed to sustain us
  • Seeking forgiveness and forgiving
  • Preservation from temptation
  • & deliverance from Satan

there was debate about whether the last two should be listed together or separately, but in the end we decided that sometimes – scripture says we are tempted by our own sinful desires and other times deceived by Satan – therefore we separated them.  After talking about how we could do these more in prayer we spent time praying about praying before turning again to pray for each other and our colleagues.

We also decided that from next week we would start a series of studies on the slab of the Bible that Graham started us off with.  He has a good book that we can use, so we agreed and he’s volunteered to take the studies with us if anyone wants help preparing.  Sounds good.

Gina was weird today.  Kind of preoccupied.  And really fidgety this afternoon.  I was having enough concentrating because I was so tired without her fussing all over the place all afternoon.  I spent most of the afternoon in prayer that I wouldn’t lose my patience.  I finished up being really glad when it was time to go.

“So I’ll see you at about 5.30, 6ish?” I asked her.  Gina usually comes for her Cello lesson straight from work and we start at about 6 then she stays for dinner afterwards these days.

“Huh?”

“Are you planning to come for your lesson as usual?”

“Oh! It’s Monday! I forgot.” And she looks like she has.  Gina really has been distracted today.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah.  Yeah, I’m fine.  I’ve just had a few things on my mind the last few days.  I won’t be there til about 6.30 is that okay?  I’ve got to go home and get the Cello.”

“Sure.”

So it was never going to be an early night tonight.

As it turned out in some ways I wish Gina hadn’t bothered coming to her lesson.  Her mind was obviously somewhere else.  She was everywhere but where she was supposed to be tonight.  She spent dinner apologising – so it wasn’t much of a chat time – especially given that I was too tired to contribute much to the conversation.  Or to leave my filter on.

I told her that I was thinking about getting my hair ‘done’ sometime soon in a silent patch to relieve the sound of the buzzing fly in the next room.  She’s been hinting at me doing it for a while now so she bit.  I’m not going to hear the end of this now until its done.  Good thing I really am planning to do it… perhaps …

I am so tired.  Please, Lord, let me sleep.  And let me wake and get to work tomorrow.

Amen

Sound Patterns

Dear God,

What a passage to read on this day when I come before you burdened with my nephew’s situation, not knowing what would be best to pray for him.

In verse 13 of Chapter 1 Paul says to Timothy that he should keep the gospel that he heard from him as the pattern of sound teaching with faith and love in Christ Jesus and to guard the good deposit that was entrusted to him with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Father, these are good things to pray for any believer.  May you keep Hamish soundly patterned after the gospel he first heard and believed with faith and love in Christ Jesus.  Please, by your Holy Spirit guard the faith, the salvation that was given to him.  May he stand firm and faithful in your ways.  Father, where others are ashamed to call you their Lord when they are opposed – I thank you that Hamish has been faithful and ask that you will continue to hold him steadily in the face of  Joel’s hostility toward you.  May Joel come to know you also.

Lord, I ask that I will never be ashamed of my faith in you.  May I always be willing to say that I am yours.

Father, please help my family as we start to ask ourselves and each other over the weeks and months ahead where we stand with you because of the boldness that Hamish has shown and Joel’s response to his faith.

May each one turn to you and be saved,

In Jesus name I ask these things

Amen.

Musical Requests

Dear God,

I started the morning singing to the tune of Mr Denver and will close, I believe with Amazing Grace.  What a day …

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go,

I’m standing here just by the door

I had to wake them up to say good bye …

Bags in the boot with a promise to be back tomorrow with groceries after Hamish’s drum lesson.

Paul cringes.

I bite my tongue and flinch.

The mystery 10-year-old sheep station …

“Oh no!”

“Don’t worry.  You can have yours tomorrow too.  I’ll come here.”

“But I haven’t practiced all week!”

“Well, you can have an extra lesson this week to help make up for it.”

“Really?”

“Really.  And…” I look over her head at Paul with a cautious grin.  I kiss Jasmine on the tip of the nose and rub the tip of mine against the tip of hers – ‘eskimo’ style.  “… Just think … ” I perform the same ritual with Emily; “… You’ll have all next week to catch up practice time while Hamish is at school.”

Paul’s jaw drops.

“Better get rid of those Possums, eh, Paul!” and I gave him a peck on the cheek as I bolted.

Phone beeped as I was on the way to work.  I grinned.  Got to work and read.  “You’ll pay for that!”

Do I need to ask forgiveness for that one, Lord?

“Who’s this grinning like the Cheshire Cat?”  This from Gina.

So I tell her my morning’s tale.

“Hang on?  You?  A drummer?”

I tap out a rhythm and roll the pencils I’ve been twirling and fiddling with since I sat down, then twirl on my chair as I watch a switch click over..

“Drums and Cello.”

“How did I miss that?” she asks herself, shaking her head and staring at the pencils.  “You’re always doing that …”  She looks up.  “Cello? and drums?  weird mix.”

I shrug.

“I love the feel, the sound of the cello.  Its so rich – its like caramel or fudge or some warm, thick, rich sauce.  Jazzie wants to learn, but she’s not ready yet.”

“Teach me?”  Who me – give Gina music lessons – this was getting weird, Lord.

“Seriously?”

“Absolutely!”

“I don’t know.  Teaching friends can be a minefield … ”

“So if it’s not working you can send me to someone else … I sing – I can read music and I’ve always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument.  My aunt used to play cello.  Mum had it.  Its about the only thing my sisters left me after trawling her stuff when she died.  My aunt was cool – even if she was a bit of a misfit.  I’d like to play her cello.  It’s too beautiful to be silent.”

“I’m pretty strict about practice.  Most of my students are kids.”

“Alciana, I can commit to this.  I get it.  It takes work.  My voice teacher used to have me doing scale work forever – that stuff is boring but it helps.”  I relax.  She has some idea what she’s asking for.

“Well … I guess we can give it a shot then.  What kind of time would work?”

We work out small details like time, cost etc then pack up our stuff for the end of week staff meeting (yip-pee)

“Is that really all they left you?” I asked carefully

“Yeah.” Quietly.  Pensive.

“Your mother dies and your sisters take every one of her personal items but your aunt’s cello?”

“I’m glad somebody other than me notices the small piece of irony in there.”

Father, its like this family have just cast her out – and like this cello will acknowledge only a passing recognition of her place in their family.  Even her brother seems to get sucked into their ways at times, although probably blind to it.  It doesn’t sound fair.  It’s not loving.

Today I come across in James his addressing his readers about how they treat one group of people well and another poorly – for religious and/or status sake in their case however the outcome remains the same.  Who are we to judge one another before you?  You told us to love our neighbour as ourselves.

Lord that’s harder to do than it sounds.  Thanks for the warning that I should speak and act as one who is going to be judged by your grace – for such a warning means that there is only one option for how I deal with people.  With grace, with mercy, with love.

Please help me to do that.

Right now I think I shall go and draw up a draft practice schedule for Emily to finalise with Paul so that she has some limits or she’ll be at it 24/7.

Please look after and heal the non-possums out in that house, Lord.  Most of all, please heal their relationships with you that they might really know how good a God you are.  Thank you Father for your amazing grace.

Amen