Friday, December 29, 2006
Apparently a house two doors away from ours was the subject of an attempted burglary earlier this evening, and the police were circulating a description of the man disturbed in the act.
We have carefully checked our security and the dog will be allowed to roam free downstairs each night, but DH goes back to working away for part of each week starting next week, and I am feeling very vulnerable at the thought of being alone with the small fry.
Prayers for the safety of all the residents of our area would be very much appreciated.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The blessings of the Feast of the Nativity to you all !
Deb has a great post about the significance and meaning of the icon of the Nativity of Christ here
Matt posts a great item, a homily by St John Chrysostom on the Feast of the Nativity. No wonder they call St John "the golden-mouthed" !
Fr Stephen has a lovely post about one of my favourite saints, St John of Kronstadt. With good reason, he is called the "priests` priest". We have an icon of him in our "beautiful corner", and his book "My Life in Christ"is truly a blessing of spiritual refreshment. My personal project for 2007 is to read through the entire book, hopefully to my spiritual benefit, as in the past I have only ever dipped into it and read a few pages at a time.......
Fr Stephen also writes about "How do we see our neighbour?" and the implications that our viewpoint of others has on showing our spirituality - or lack of it. All I can say is "mea culpa" and strive to do better......
He also describes the theory of the Atonement he was brought up with, and how different the Orthodox viewpoint is and also here.
Fr Stephen`s blog is an absolute gem and I cannot do it justice. Please go and read him :-)
What it truly means to live one`s life as a Christian is exemplified in the life of the recently reposed Anastasia Titov , described lovingly by Fr John Whiteford.
Fr Peter writes about the meanings behind the Orthodox funeral services here and here , and about Memorial services .
Laura blogs about Bibles as fashion in a fascinating post; be sure to read the illuminating comments too ! Empresses Irene and Theodora`s importance to the Church also captured Laura`s ready pen........
The undivided Church`s heritages, both Eastern and Western are important and to be cherished, and have especial meaning to those of us who are from Western European backgrounds. Full article here , and it is well worth reading.
Fr Joseph spills the scoop about a new film about St Nicholas of Myra , and MaryPoppinsNot engagingly describes St Nicholas` Day at her Byzantine Catholic home. Can I come next year, please ? LOL.
The Basilica of St Nicholas in Prison in Rome can be seen here courtesy of the RC blogger Orbis Catholicus.
And to end on a a note I found fascinating, those of you who like Star Trek might enjoy reading about the original Jewish source of the Vulcan "live long and prosper" greeting here .
See you all in the New Year !
Saturday, December 23, 2006
I am not a happy camper.
I know that as soon as I reload them , they originals will all miraculously appear and then I will spend ages deleting them.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Apparently there are moves afoot in rural Norfolk, of all places, to ban Christian -based Nativity Plays in council run schools there. The rumblings of discontent from the parents at our school were both vociferous and vehement; pity help our dear Headmaster should he ever decide to abolish our "Early Years Department"`s play.
More than one person said how it makes Christmas come alive and have meaning for them.
Nativity Plays as an evangelistic tool ? Why ever not?
After all, the medieval Easter Cycle and Morality plays were immensely popular as educative tools for the illiterate.
Now we have instead so many people who are theologically illiterate and know virtually nothing of the message and basics of Christianity..........
Personally, I reserve judgement on the whole matter :-)
Monday, December 11, 2006
On Friday last week was the Christmas Fayre, and I was shanghaied into helping.
Being a shy retiring type, I would possibly never have volunteered, but I had great time and would certainly do it next year. I had the toy stall and bric- a - brac, and took £47 , which was good considering most stuff was priced at 5p - 20p , LOL.
The cake stall was a great success, and this year was done in tribute to a little Muslim boy, only a year older than DD4, who died this summer. His mother and I always used to smile and say hello each morning, as we took the children to school.
The parents and the school are going to erect a big circular seat around one of the lovely trees in the playground, with a plaque in his memory, and they needed to get £350 to do so, and they did, through large numbers of people baking and donating cakes etc to the cake stall, plus those who kindly made donations .
We are all so pleased at the success, and that his extended family were there with us.
On Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon is DD4`s Nativity Play - proper non -PC one, complete with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus ,shepherds, wise men and the innkeeper. On Tuesday evening is DD3`s Christmas Concert, filled with Christmas carols, poems and drama.
I still have to buy Christmas cards :-)
Most presents have been ordered and the rest will be done today, I hope, barring disasters.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Fr Stephen gives us a seasonal start with a review of the new Nativity Film and also a commentary on the pre-Communion prayer:
Behold: I draw near to the Divine Communion.
Burn me not as I partake, O Creator,
For Thou art a Fire which burns the unworthy,
Rather, cleanse me of all defilement.
Julio has a fantastic post about having a crisis not of faith, but of praxis, here and it is a situation I can certainly resonate with, looking back at some points in my own life.........
Some of us sure have some seriously interesting hobbies ! Check out Papa Herman`s amazing bicycle inner tube creations !
The Christian history of London may need to be re-written follwing some interesting archaeological discoveries at the site of St Martin in the Fields, which shows evidence of Christian graves (possibly royalty) dating back to the time of Queen Bertha, 1400 years ago, pre-dating St Paul`s Cathedral`s original foundation by almost 200 years.
The tomb of St Paul the Apostle has been re-discovered in Rome, buried in the Church of St Paul Without The Walls, and a late 4th century Christian church has been discovered in Israel, believed to have been built on the site where the Ark of the Covenant was originally housed.
Philippa`s own round-up is well worth a visit here , as is the North Texas Orthodox Missions site here, which links to great music, podcasts, sermons and much more. I`ve bookmarked it and I am working my way steadily through its resources.
Matushka Jenny has completed two glorious new icons of St Barnabas and St John the Forerunner , thereby giving me a reason to own up to covetousness.......
Another iconographer has set up a webcam so you can see him work on his latest icons , which is a great idea.
Nathan Hoppe reviews the practice of the 40 days commemoration of the departed in relation to his beloved wife Lynette, and their first family Thanksgiving without her.
An interview with Russian Old-Rite Believers can be found here, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
A particular delight was to find some of the sayings of Mother Gavrilia avalable online here .
Fr John gives a sobering insight into apparently rapidly deteriorating conditions for Christians in Bulo Burto, Somalia, where it has been decreed that anyone not observing the islamic prayer rule will be beheaded.....
Alana writes eloquently of her experiences on St Nicholas` Day whilst living in Switzerland. In our family we observe the tradition of putting our slippers outside our bedroom doors, which get filled with chocolate coins and the small ones receive appropriately-themed small gifts. December 6th is always eagerly anticipated in our house !
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
The young ones laid their slippers by their bedroom doors this evening, in the hope that they would wake tomorrow and find them filled with chocolate coins.
As St Nicholas` official helper in our home, I have ensured they will be, and under the slippers are Christmas themed coluring/activity books and some lovely things I printed out from the St Nicholas resource website .
We will also be making some special cookies.
Have a blessed Feast day !
Today`s Daily Telegraph reports that research in London and Paris shows birds singing at much louder levels and in a different way than their rural counterparts in Thetford Forest and Fontainebleu.
People are louder too, in my own limited piece of research conducted yesterday whilst shopping in The Big City. As I grow older, I am finding that I enjoy the bustle, hubbub and crowds far less than I used to even five years ago.
It was fun to shop there, but I wouldn`t want to live in Big City.
Monday, December 04, 2006
We stopped off at Starbucks, as it is the nearest one to the bus station, and I was very restrained - I had a Tall Soy Gingerbread Latte and it was scrumptious. Mmmmmmmm !
I passed on the offer of whipped cream, and was a little surprised to be greeted by the barista saying "Merry Christmas", LOL. If it was already Christmas I wouldn`t be fasting :-)
Some jolly good bargains were obtained, and the rain held off until we got back on the bus to come home, which was jolly good timing. The presents have been safely secreted on top of cupboards, well away from the gaze of the small ones, and we are all winding down ready for bed.
Not terribly exciting, but a good day nevertheless.....