Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Tummy Tales

D3`s tummy bug, which appeared to have resolved, has now reappeared...last night she was sick again, so today has been another day of starvation and clear fluids for her.
She seems ok now, and eager to get back to school tomorrow, so she must be feeling better :-)

On the other hand, I am exhausted, with less than 5 hours unbroken sleep in 48 hours.
Zuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Crazy Days.

It has been a mixed few days....D3 had a fleeting 24 hour tummy bug, which was most unpleasant while it lasted, but she is better now.
D4 has suddenly decided that perhaps this talking business is quite fun after all, and has started to be more communicative.
DH continues to work on the house, and the re-wiring is proceeding slowly.

The one bedroom we have been using as a store-room turns out to be the one which all the electric cables originate from, so we have spent a few days emptying that room so we can lift the floor boards up......So, out of our four bedrooms, two are empty and with floorboards up, and the six of us are crammed into two rooms :-)
At least it keeps us warm, LOL.

The stuff stored in the one bedroom is now all in the dining room, so we have had to put our table and chairs in the kitchen for the time being.
The plan was for my parents to come to us for Christmas Dinner, but that has had to be abandoned in the face of the great wiring disaster, and we are all going up my parents` instead.

We are busy getting ready for D1`s big trip across the pond to Denver, Co, to spend Christmas with her boyfriend`s family. It will be so strange without her.......my baby - sob sob. I think I will end now, before I start to blub.......


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Thursday, November 25, 2004

A snippet from "Journey to the Kingdom"

I have read this wonderful book by Fr John Mack several times, and I gain more from it each time I read it.
This is particularly appropriate for me at the moment....

From Chapter 1
"The day that God is rude to me is the day that I can be rude to somebody else.
The day the God is unforgiving to me is the day that I may refuse to forgive someone else.
The day that God condemns me is the day that I may condemn someone else.
The day that God treats me the way I deserve to be treated is the day that I may treat someone else the way he or she deserves to be treated.

Until that time comes - and it never will come - then I am to treat others the exact same way that God has treated me.
If God has forgiven me, then I must forgive them.
If God has been kind to me , then I must be kind to them.
If God has lent to me, then I must lend to them, asking nothing in return.
Even as He has done that for you, then you must do it for your wife and your husband and your friends and your family.

"Be merciful, even as your Father in heaven is merciful"
End quote.

It brings a whole new perspective on Do unto others as you would have others do unto you., doesn`t it ? If we ask God to forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and yet we in fact fail to forgive others, what a dreadful condemnation and punishment we are calling down upon ourselves.
Sobering Thoughts indeed.....
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Thoughts on Hell

Yesterday, I read a truly awesome post on Hell by Reader Nectarios, over on The Cracked Mirror blog.
I strongly urge you to visit and read http://www.thestrawmen.com/blogger/crackedmirror.html

It gave me an awful lot of food for thought, particularly the bit about how we close our hearts even to those we love most.
I think today is being one of those days for me.
Lord, have mercy !

I am amazed at how prolificaly profound so many of you are with your blogs; I just chatter about my life :-)
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Happy Thanksgiving

A very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving feast to all my Blog friends over the Water !!
God bless you all :-)
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Dislocation of Time

In our town , quite a few of the houses have their outside Christmas decorations up already.

We always have Advent calendars for the girls, and we celebrate St Nicholas` Day with delight.
I tend to put our tree up a few days before the Nativity, along with our old and much-loved Crib, and we enjoy the anticipation of it all the more for celebrating Advent.

It just seems wrong when the shops are stocking Christmas decorations in August, and the Easter eggs appear at the beginning of January - the seasons are all awry..........
Although we are on the new Calendar, it seems as though we are all out of step with the secular world nevertheless :-)
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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Fasting Feelings

The fast is growing on me :-)

One the positive side:-
I feel calmer, more focused, less avaricious and greedy, a bit more loving. A teeny bit closer to the person God intends me to be, I suppose.
I am enjoying my fasting food, which is tasting delicious now I am eating less and feeling properly hungry.

On the negative side :-
I have only had one frantic chocolate binge, which I have to say, I didn`t really enjoy, and immediately wished I hadn`t given into.
One day I will conquer my chocolate cravings.......
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Monday, November 22, 2004

The View

Last night`s rain has dried up, and the sun is shining.
It is a glorious day :-)

Surprisingly, the view from my garden window is still very green ! The honeysuckle flowers in the arbour have faded, but the plant is still sporting bright green foliage.
The creeper which produces blue/violet flowers is showing dark bottle green leaves, and the variegated ivies in the garden are evergreens anyway.

The mint in the herb garden is withering for the winter, but the other herbs are going strong still.
We will have loads of fresh sage and thyme to make stuffing/forcemeats for Christmas and the New Year.

Really, it is only the apple and plum trees which have completely lost their leaves.
In the lawned part of the garden, the cotoneaster has a huge crop of red and orange berries, which the birds will enjoy when the bitter weather sets in earnest, bringing the redwings and fieldfares down south to us.

I am laughing whilst I write this , as I can hear the budgies playing and chirping in their cage........they have the biggest cage we could buy, to give them maximum flying room until we tame them enough for them to be let out to fly free in the house for a while each day. It is amazing to think that in Australia, you can see flocks of thousands of these lovely little birds roaming free. It must be an amazing sight :-)

This is the day that the Lord hath made; I will rejoice and be glad in it...... !!
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Saturday, November 20, 2004

News

The budgies are settling in well, and they are a delight !

Our new sofas arrived yesterday, and they are really comfortable, exactly what we had been looking for. It is noce to be able to sit down again :-)

The weather here is awful, torrential rain and bitterly cold. Brr. Winter in earnest..........
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Friday, November 19, 2004

Secret Ballot

Yesterday, we had two new arrivals !
After the council had come and taken our sofa away, leaving us with no seats in the living room for 24 hours, DH said that he had always wanted a budgie, so could we go and get one ?
It wasn`t much of a surprise, as we have been talking of getting the children another pet for the last few weeks, and visiting the pet stores to see what was available.

We already have a tortoise (my own childhood pet) and a cat, and we had eliminated chipmunks as they are so active and need a huge cage. Fish are nice to watch, but not terribly interactive.
So DH decided he really, really, wanted a budgie.

So off to the garden centre we went, and saw a wonderful choice of baby budgies just come from the breeder. We ended up getting two, so they would be company for each other and also so that the two younger offspring wouldn`t argue about whose bird it was.......

A large part of yesterday was spent ooh-ing and aah-ing over these two exceptionally pretty little birds, and debating names.
D1 wanted Sid and Nancy.

D3 wanted initially Annaliese and Erica from the new Barbie film :-(
but then decided on Mary and Joseph , as they are rehearsing the School Nativity Play.

D4 just grinned ectstatically and said "Birdies".

DH wanted Tony and Cherie (after the Prime Minister and his wife. Aaaagh !) Or Tom and Jerry.

I wanted Shrek and Fiona, as one of them is bright green.

We could not reach agreement, so we had a secret ballot, and D3`s choice of Mary and Joseph won..........so the green one is Mary, and the white one is Joseph.
They seem to have settled in well, and are chirping happily and eating.
Photo will follow soon :-)
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Thursday, November 18, 2004

Keeping up with the Bloggers

Although I do like using Bloglines to keep track of the 50+ blogs I read regularly, I do find one drawback...............
I do tend to just read the entries as they appear on Bloglines, which means I miss the comments unless I physically go onto each site individually.
I do check out the comments at Nee people and Doxos very regularly, and that is how I found the latest treasure, of Orthodox fasting recipes from Christina on her new blog at http://cblankens.blogspot.com/
Hi Christina :-))))))))))
Welcome to Blogworld !
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My Stomach and The Fast

Why is fasting soooo hard ?
Every ten minutes, I feel my stomach calling me ......
"Yoo-hoo, I quite fancy something tasty down here !!"

I know I don`t need the food or drink, it is just that I am so used to pandering to the whims of my gluttonous nature that I heed the call and obey without thinking - until it`s fasting time again :-)

My feeble attempts at observing the food fast go unobserved by my stomach for oh, all of an hour, I suppose.
Then the inner call from stomach-land grows louder and more querulous, and then I start to be tempted by thoughts like "one treat won`t hurt" and "Why am I doing this ? It is making me angry and I don`t want to do it, so there ! " and the best of all, the rationalisation ......

"The Fast is to help me overcome my passions, but I resent the physical discipline, which in turn makes me grumpy and snappy with my family, which in turn makes me angry, which is in fact inflaming my passions which just must prove that Fasting is bad for me as an individual, so it must be better for me and for my family if I don`t fast "

The truth is, that if my greed and gluttony were not so deeply entrenched in my body and soul`s bad habits, I would not find myself so aggrieved at the apparent privations of the Fast.
After all, I am having breakfast, lunch and evening meal, plus drinks. What on earth do I have to complain about , when there are places in Africa where they are lucky to get a single cupfull of rice each day?

What it boils down to is the fact that I like eating fancy food, treats, sweets, tasty food whenever I am bored, lonely, fed up or just plain peckish. Food has become my comfort, not a necessity . Plain fasting food doesn`t have the same WOW factor as a bar of chocolate does.

If I spent half as much time each day praying as I do stuffing my face full of food that I don`t really need, my soul would be healthier and so would my body..........

Sigh.
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Monday, November 15, 2004

Lentil Miscellany

There are still some summer plants in my garden which are continuing to produce flowers !
Haven`t they realised it`s halfway through November ? Poor things are climactically confused......

I have just decided that I want lentil soup for tea.
Problem is, I don`t have any lentils at home, and there is now no time to go to town and buy some before I have to head to school to pick up D3 and her schoolfriend who is coming to tea with us.
There is plenty of non-fasting food in the freezer, which will be OK for our guest, but not much for me :-)
Looks like it will have to be garbanzo and tomato sauce with pasta .
I think garbanzos taste more like meat than meat does, but that is probably just me......

I have contacted the delivery people to arrange for the arrival of our new sofas on Friday, and the council to arrange the disposal of our old ones.
There is a day`s discrepancy, which means we will be chairless for 24 hours, but we still have the floor, and cushions, and if all else fails, the beds :-0
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Bird Antics

My daily visitor, the robin redbreast, continues to delight me with his antics.
He is now visiting the garden several times a day for food......

I have hung a seed bell and strings of nuts as well, and one young jackdaw has reduced me to hysteria with his attempts to eat them . He is a large bird, and does not have the perching/climbing ability that seed and nut eaters naturally *do* have.
He persists in trying to walk sideways down the pole to where the seed bell is hung, and everytime he falls off, caws with annoyance, and flies off to peck up scraps of bread which he can reach.
I feel so sorry for him that I am going to buy some loose nuts and seeds and scatter them in the courtyard so he can stand safely on the ground and peck them up.....though it isn`t his natural food.
I just hope it won`t give him a stomach-ache !
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Sunday, November 14, 2004

Family Matters

Today, we went to visit family.
More specifically, we went to drop a "Good Luck" card to our step-nephew, Chris, who is joining the army on Monday. Chris was over his grandparents, so we spent a nice hour chatting to DH`s brother, partner and little girl who is a little younger than D4.
From there, we went to my mother-in-law`s, and we took her out for lunch.
It went about as well as a meal out with two wildly excited children aged 6 and 3 could go..........I`m sure you get the picture :-0
Put it this way, since we got home from our 45 minute drive, DH has retired to bed for a sleep in the dark, and I have put Shrek 2 on the DVD player so I can write this :-)

My heart goes out to my sister-in-law, whose son Chris is only 16. It must be really hard to watch him go away for his basic training , and know that when he finishes, he will be signing up for Army life and could be posted anywhere in the world, including the arena of conflict in Iraq, shortly afterwards.
Please remember Chris and his family in your prayers.
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Saturday, November 13, 2004

Mission Accomplished

Well, DH and I are now the proud possessors of two adjacent burial plots, namely section 4, row B, plots 14 and 15.
The deed was done yesterday, the cheque was signed and we await our deeds from the Council`s Legal and Technical Dept.

DH wants to photograph the plots soon, so undoubtedly I will post a picture :-)
They are in a nice spot in the old section of the cemetery, with well-tended plots around, they are close to the path, the water tap and a bench. There is even a nearby tree.
Every amenity for the visitor :-)

It feels reassuring, satisfying , but....slightly strange.
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Friday, November 12, 2004

Double-Glazing Evangelism

Wow.
Today I did my first piece of explaining to a non-Orthodox what we believe :-)
A representative from the company that did our double-glazing last month called today to do a customer satisfaction survey, and when he had finished, he nodded towards the icon corner and explained he was a lapsed Catholic, and his brother was a RC priest.
He wanted to know what the difference was between the RC Church and the Orthodox, so we had a very interesting and good-humoured discussion about the differences.
A nice man, and I enjoyed the discussion.
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Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Perils of Growing Old

I went up my mum`s for lunch today. I met her in town, and we all caught the bus together to her house, which is about a ten-minute ride.

On the bus was one of her acquaintances, Mr P, an elderly, infirm gentleman in his eighties, who is now sadly almost completely blind. He is a a dear, kind, gentle soul, a true gentleman, who seems to bring out the very best in almost everyone who comes into contact with him.
I say almost everyone, because last year, he was prey to some ,uh , " people" whom I would categorise as low-life scum.

They knocked at the door of his house, where he lives alone, telling him they were gardeners and had noticed that his garden was becoming overgrown, and would he like them to do some work for him. Being as his sight is so very poor, he can no longer use any power tools or mowers etc, and he agreed. They did several hours work and conned him out of a thousand pounds, which he could very ill-afford. A local gardening firm would have charged about £50.
How anyone could do such a despicable thing to an ill and elderly person defeats me........

Today, there was a new young bus driver, who stopped the bus right where Mr P needed to get off the bus right at the kerbside and made sure Mr P got safely across the road to his home before continuing the bus journey, *and* he told Mr P to take care.
It was a pleasure to see such a kind and considerate bus driver, may he always be so helpful and compassionate :-)
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Female Thing

My male readers may wish to skip this post...

Do any of my female reader -friends find that their religious "thermostat" varies according to their monthly cycle ?
I don`t know whether it is because I am creeping up to menopause, but I am finding that my desire and need for prayer does seem to vary according to my monthly cycle......quite weird.
Or perhaps it is just me, and there are folk who think I am weird anyway ! :-)
My DH says he could never have coped with being a woman.............
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Patience

Now that the weather has become colder, I have started feeding my garden birds. Problem is, the birds didn`t seem to notice the food - for days and days !
In fact, I had far fewer birds in the garden than normal.....go figure !
I hung a seed bell up, and have started putting food out, and I didn`t see any birds for days. Then suddenly, yesterday, word obviously got round the bird community that there was FREE FOOD !
And my garden was filled with birds. It was and is great :-)
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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Electric Shocks

DH and I are not happy campers at the moment.
We have just discovered that our house, which we thought had fairly new wiring, has in fact got extremely old and badly-done wiring..................
We moved in Feb 2004 and noticed occasional flickering of the ceiling lights.

We thought nothing of it, till DH decided to decorate one of the bedrooms and install nice metal wall lights. While he was channeling out the plaster for the wiring, he made the nasty discovery that we have the oldfashioned two-core wiring with no earth.
Now, you cannot have metal light fittings with this sort of wiring, as it can build up a charge enough to electrocute anyone who touches the metal light fitting, eg whilst changing a light bulb, even if the light is switched off at the wall.

Guess what we have downstairs ? Five sets of metal light fittings that were here when we moved in !
It is only by the grace and mercy of God that we have not been electrocuted........
No wonder the lights have been flickering !!!

The problem is, we have an extremely full four bedroom house. The house is going to need a complete re-wire, and to do this will involve emptying all the rooms and lifting up floor-boards. Not fun, especially with the number of books in our house.
Quite where we are going to put all the stuff, I have no idea. And with Christmas coming up.
And the cost, which will be approx £4,000 sterling. Very big gulp.
Actually, cancel the gulp..........just insert tears.

The house is going to be virtually unlivable in for an extended period of time, and now DH is thinking about doing it himself, which will take months and mean doingwithout electricity in whatever part of the house he is working on. He will do an extremely good and competent job, as he has re-wired two previous houses, but it means we will see very little of him for months.
I would rather pay someone to do it, and have a husband :-)
He would rather do it and not have to pay 4K, even though a professional would probably get it done within two weeks.
It has been a bit of a blow, I must admit. We could do without the stress, hassle and expense at the moment.
But at least we are all ok.

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Monday, November 08, 2004

Grave Thoughts

DH and I have been discussing our respective wishes for funerals during the last week.
As he is only 38 and I am only 40, some folk might consider this premature, but it is something that we have actually been discussing at intervals since his father passed away very suddenly last year, only three weeks after we had travelled up to see him. His father hadn`t even reached pension-claiming age (65 in the UK).

DH`s family have all been fans of cremation, as indeed have most of mine, and both my mum and step-father want to be cremated, as does DH`s mum. DH`s initial reaction was that he wanted to be cremated too, but when I held out very firmly for burial, he said he wanted to be with me, so he would be buried too.
I thought this was terribly sweet :-)

This week DH said he has been thinking about it a lot, and wanted to know how much a burial plot would cost and whether we could pick one NOW......so I phoned the local council and spoke to the very helpful burials officer.

To reserve a single plot (which would hold three coffins, with extra space for up to 8 caskets of cremated remains) is £455 if we choose a plot in the current line of excavations in the lawned section. The only drawback is that there are very tight restrictions about the size of headstone, and it would not be possible to have a vault within the plot.

If we want more latitude with regard to having a vault, and a headstone with curbstones around the perimeter of the plot, we would need to have a plot in the older section of the grave yard which would cost £547.
The costs of reserving or buying plots will be going up again in the next financial year starting April 1st 2005; last year the costs rose by 20% and it is expected the price rise will be similar next year. Buy now, save money !!

DH is keen to buy two adjacent plots, so that the children could opt to be buried next to us, as his father did in his family grave, so this will limit our options as the older section is quite full and it might be difficult to find space for two graves. The burials officer will be contacting us next week to arrange a site meeting at the graveyard and show us what is available.

It would be nice to get it sorted, so we will know that the children will not have to worry about the arrangements. I will also be able to go there, sit and contemplate where my body will be awaiting the Resurrection of the Dead, and pray .................
I don`t know what it is about reaching 40, but it sure has raised my awareness of my mortality, and how fleeting our existence truly is..............
Lord, have mercy !
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Saturday, November 06, 2004

Bonfire Night

Yes, I know this is being written the following day, but DH and I have enforced a strict "limited TV and computer use" policy which is being enforced most strongly by DH against me :-)
I admit I am a computerholic, and now is the perfect time to discipline myself, with Nativity fast approaching.
I am allowed one hour per day on the computer, which doesn`t go very far with mailing lists and blog reading !

Anyway.....last night was Bonfire Night, so I took D3 to the firework display whilst DH stayed home with D4 who
a/ does not like crowds and
b/ does not like loud noises.
So they stayed home and watched Shrek 2 ( If you haven`t seen it, run and get it. It is hilarious)

D3 and I had a great time; there were stalls selling hot dogs and beefburgers, chips, fudge, candyfloss, sweets....drool. I did resist the non-fasting stuff, but did allow myself a packet of sweets. D3 chose a lighting up spinning globe toy,which was lovely, so we got one for her little sister too.
Out of our town population of 18,000, there were 4,000 people at the display which was organised by the town`s fire brigade and the money raised at collections went to local charities.
The cost of the fireworks was £1,500, and the display lasted 10 minutes, but it was wonderful. The crowd was oohing and aaahing constantly, and it was nice to see that good fun could be had without TV, computer games etc.
The only drawback ? I missed DH and little one :-(
Never mind, next year she may well enjoy it as she will then be four........my, how time flies !
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Friday, November 05, 2004

Crazy Day

I am exhausted.
Up at 06.00am with D3, made her packed lunch and got her safely off to school.
DH and I left the house at 09.30 to get the brakes mended on the car, so while that was being done, we went to McDonald`s for breakfast :-)
Of course, the hour that we were told to wait before picking up the car ended up with us having to wait an additional 50 minutes because the car wasn`t ready.
We finally got on the road at 12.10, and drove to my brother-in-law`s to give him his birthday present.
Then we went to my mother-in-law`s house.
On the way back we had to go to the DIY store for DH to pick up some things he needs. Then to Tesco`s to get some urgent groceries, as we had one of D3`s schoolfriends for tea whilst his parents went to a funeral.
Then to town so DH could pick up his mum`s house deeds from the solicitor`s, then to pick up the little ones from school.
We finally got home at 4.10 pm. Then it was time to cook tea, tidy up, play w ith the kids, and write this now at 7.23 pm.......
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ - thunk (sound of head hitting keyboard, LOL )
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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Election Time

Ours is a very happy household now that Bush has won the election.
My DD1 has blogged about the election at length at
http://doomhamster-blogofdoom.blogspot.com/

The only voice of dissent is my DH, who is a died in the wool Labour supporter, who thinks Tony Blair is the best thing to happen to the UK and that John Kerry is a good man.
There again, my DH loves to play Devil`s advocate just to allow opinions opposite to my own some free speech..........

Of course, I`m not really an opinionated character - I do allow others to hold to their opinions, even when I Know they are wrong :-)

Just roll on the projected UK election in Feb 2005..........Time to get Blair OUT, folks !
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Psalm 22

The children are engrossed watching Shrek 2 on DVD, which was released in the UK today.
We saw it in the cinema and enjoyed it so much that we had to buy it on DVD.
It also gives me chance to write my blog without constant interruptions :-)

I spoke to my priest last night, and he advised that if I should meet this lady from the Baptist church again, it would be appropriate to point out to her that when Jesus said on the cross "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me" it was indeed a cry of sadness , grief and pain, but also the opening of Psalm 22, which every Jewish man who attended synagogue would have known.

That Psalm is a prophetic psalm, relating to the Messiah, and every Jew present would have known that. It would have graphically called to their minds the enormity of what was happening, and was also a Psalm of triumph at its end.

For Christ to have prayed the psalm whilst hanging on the Cross is just mind-blowing. It certainly did not mean God forsook Him because He bore all our ugly sins and became unfit to look upon........which is a relief to me :-)
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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Aftermath

You know, I am *still* pondering last night.
I am still shaking my head in disbelief at what was said, and wondering whether I should have said something about my concerns to the speaker privately after the event was over.
I was too chicken to do it, because these folk actively evangelise door-to-door, and are very good at on the spot memorised Bible verses and exegesis. I am not good at verbal sparring.
Not to mention the fact that my daughter and I were invited guests on *their* property , at *their* event.
I know I would not be very happy if the roles were reversed.........

It`s "Ask yer priest" time, as dear Huw-Raphael says :-)
I can at least pray for them all :-)
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Monday, November 01, 2004

Halloween- or, Jesus as Superhero

I was unable to access the computer last night as DH was busy re-installing software......hopefully our dvd drive will now work :-)

I think I have mentioned before that D3`s school has close links with the local Baptist church due to the assistant pastor`s two sons attending there. His eldest son is in D3`s class. They are a lovely family, very friendly.
Just before half-term, D3 came home from school with an invitation card from the Baptist church inviting her to their anti-Halloween party, or as they called it, a Superhero party. Fancy dress was allowed, but no Halloween costumes eg ghosts, wizards, ghouls,Frankenstein, Satan etc. Another child who goes to the Baptist Sunday School informed my daughter that anyone who celebrates Halloween will go to hell.

I have never been a fan of trick or treating, and have never allowed my daughters to do it. The most we have done is just had an old-fashioned children`s party, with bobbing apples, toffee apples, guessing games and food.

Needless to say, D3 was keen to go to the party, and as DH volunteered to look after D4 so I could take her, I went..... (Actually, I think DH reckoned that one rowdy toddler is a lot less stressful than attending a party with 40 noisy school-age children :-) )
Including D3, there were 4 children from her school, but not the assistant pastor`s two sons (!), and the majority of attendees were from the Baptist church Sunday School.

D3 did enjoy it, but I have to say, I felt uncomfortable.
I have been Orthodox for 13 years, and I just love our liturgical hymns. To listen to guitar and synthesiser -led clap-hands hymns just doesn`t appeal to me any more. ..........they sounded flat and barren of depth and meaning. They just didn`t seem like worship.
The kind folks who put on the party were thoroughly enjoying the songs, with their hands in the air and singing their hearts out, and I sat in a corner, mentally singing the Trisagion and wishing desperately I had brought my prayer rope with me.

They did have some really brilliant fun games for the children, and and presentations about superheroes, including Superman, David and Moses, along with a OHP presentation of how they lived up to Salvation, Sacrifice, Supernatural powers, Strength and Weakness.
At the end, the children had to vote for one of the three superheroes, with most votes going to David for beating Goliath, Moses being second (D3 voted for Moses, I think mainly due to loving the Prince of Egypt dvd!) and Superman trailing behind.

Then another Superhero was brought up for consideration - Jesus.
When the vote was recast, Jesus was the winner, but I was mega-concerned about what the children were told about Jesus by one of the helpers......
The fact that Jesus died on the Cross to save us - great.
The fact that Jesus defeated death and rose again - great.
The fact that Jesus *killed* the Devil ? Um, I don`t think so..........my daily life is abundant witness to the fact that the devil is alive and well and succeeding in tempting me on at least an hourly basis....

I was really concerned that they were told that because God is All-Holy, He could not bear look at how ugly Jesus became when He carried all our sins on the Cross , so God the Father turned his back on this ugly Jesus and forsook Him. Also that God cannot bear to look on anything sinful........in that case, there is no hope for me !

So tonight I will be phoning my priest, and asking his advice how to counter these ideas that have been put in D3`s head. Big sigh.

One thing which did surprise me was a game where they had two children pillow-fighting on a plank. The plank was raised off the ground by - what *do * you think ? Bricks ?
No. The plank was raised off the ground by Bibles, which the children were standing on.
I always thought the Protestant denomnations had such reverence for the Scriptures ?
I just thought about our Gospel book, enthroned on the Holy Table in Church, and kissed and treated with great reverence . There was just no comparison.

One of the other parents who attends the church, turned to me and said "This is how it should be in Church ...Fun !"
I was speechless. Mercifully there was a call for silence at that point, so I couldn`t reply. Perhaps I should have........

Lord, have mercy upon me for my judgementalism, but I am so glad we are Orthodox.
I just wish my children were not the only Orthodox children within a 45 mile radius, and then we could have Orthodox children`s activities as a group, and not have to worry about what they are being taught by other denominations` social activities. I am thankful that the Baptist church is showing witness to Christ, and for hosting a fun party for the children on Halloween , when it can sometimes be hard to avoid the pressures of an increasingly pagan society, but I don`t think I will let her go again.
Perhaps next year *I* should host a saints party instead........

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