Janet hand-wrote a reply to the questions Stephen posed in Sunday’s article and posted them through the church letter-box. Do her answers correspond with yours?
While in lockdown my garden has been my hobby, planting, nurturing etc… My garden has also been my haven of safety and security.
In next-door’s garden there is a tall Silver-birch tree and when I describe it as tall it’s got to be 100ft at least. Over the last few days it’s been very windy, and I have been watching this tree… It has been tossed this way and that, bending with the strong winds we have had, but it didn’t break, although I really thought that it would! Some of my new plants were ripped from the ground and blown around and I thought ‘what was the point of all my hard work.’ I went to bed quite upset and disgruntled.
Today (Sunday) it is calmer, the tree stands tall and calm as if it had never been blown around so hard. I sit and read Stephen’s message to myself and think - yes, take some time to think of God. Describe what he means to me: I go outside, replant and water and sweep up the blown-off dead debris and start again… And I think that’s just how I feel sometimes – blown about in a storm, but brush myself off and start again.
I make a drink and sit down and think about everyone at this moment in time. Do we feel like that tree, being in turmoil, our minds going around in circles tossed and turned - hearts broken with bereavement and loss – or having to self-distance from loved ones. My sister and I have a new addition to the family and we can’t get to her. I suppose many of us are going through similar things.
Then we are shown charts and figures, told to stay at home, or to go to work if you can / go out if you want to – wear masks / don’t wear masks / yes, you must wear masks – don’t do this / do that… it is all a turmoil, all we know is we must stay safe and protect others and with prayer for guidance, I try.
So how do I describe God? How do I see God at work in my life at this time?
Powerful and strong – like the wind
Protector – caring for all living things
Understanding – which help us to be understanding
Compassionate – loving everyone and hugs each one of us
Patient – helps us to be patient and know that soon we will be okay.
Teacher – showing me what is important – making good out of bad
– showing us how to make time for each other.
Healer – To embrace me, hug me, keep me company:
- He will embrace and heal our broken world.
He hears - He listens - He is generous, strict, sad at times
…..and so much more - I can’t describe Him!!!
What does it mean to me to yield to God?
The first time I yielded to God was when I asked Jesus to be my Saviour and received God’s Holy Spirit and recognised that I was washed clean of my sins and publicly declared this by being baptised.
I do yield to God a lot. I like to study and be taught and to be at church on Sundays with all my church family – this makes me available to God. I accept his grace which he gives me freely and I love my prayer time (although it often seems like it is always me asking for help and forgiveness). I am weak, but God enables me to be strong. I yield to God so that I do his good purposes - do his good works.
I’m no scholar and I don’t do technology. I’m a doer not a thinker (lol). I put my trust and hope into prayer. I know God’s salvation – His Holy Spirit leads me on to do my best. Each day I ask God to lead me where he needs me and he does. So that’s what ‘Yielding’ means to me. He leads me on to help people… he strengthens me…
I love him - Janet
P.S. from Stephen:
Use the lyrics of one of Janet’s favourite songs to help you to yield to God:
Father, I place into Your hands the things that I can't do.
Father, I place into Your hands the times that I've been through.
Father, I place into Your hands the way that I should go,
for I know I always can trust You.
Father, I place into Your hands my friends and my family.
Father, I place into Your hands the things that trouble me.
Father, I place into Your hands the person I would be,
for I know I always can trust You.
Father, we love to seek Your face, we love to hear Your voice.
Father, we love to sing Your praise, and in Your name rejoice.
Father, we love to walk with You and in Your presence rest,
for we know we always can trust You.
Father, I want to be with You and do the things You do.
Father, I want to speak the words that You are speaking too.
Father, I want to love the ones that You will draw to You,
for I know that I am one with you
(Jenny Hewer © 1975 ThankYou Music)
And listen to another of Janet’s favourite songs – she particularly likes this video of eagle: YouTube: lord I come to you poly medien
I look forward to writing to you on Sunday - Stephen
You can contact Stephen, the minister of the church, on 0121 476 2741 or 07456 826 326 email@example.com
7am ~ 1pm ~ 7pm
Pray for those who have elderly relatives in hospital with the virus
Pray for those who relatives have recently died
Pray for 2 former members of Girls Brigade who are starting to look after patients at Heartlands & Wolverhampton hospitals and another who works at the Children's hospital.
Pray for those worried about relatives who they can't visit & others mourning the death of friends
Pray for those awaiting hospital appointments & results
HOPE HOME NEWS - Joy is seriously ill in hospital. email stephen to get judy's newsletter
Pray for the safety and mental health of hospital staff who selflessly putting themselves at risk as they carry out their essential work
Last Christmas we gave a donation to Women’s Aid. Current circumstances mean that incidents of domestic abuse are likely to increase – pray for those who live in fear & pray for those who recognise that they have an anger problem.
for those waiting for flights to bring them back home
for those self-isolating
those who have existing medical conditions / those who use inhalers
those returning to hospital work
hospital chaplains are no longer able to visit patients & staff
for those who have been 'laid off' or had working hours reduced
for those worried about elderly parents
for those working in schools and nurseries