Category Archives: Event

New Year’s Resolutions

This January I am taking part in a blogging challenge, Just Jot it January. I resolve to write a post every day during January. Of course, this might be nothing more than making new year’s resolutions. We all know how that turns out.

Why do people even make new year’s resolutions? I think we are all looking for hope. Hope that we can be better people. Certainly we can exercise more, eat less and persevere with all our other good intentions, but does that really make us better people?

I think it is the same hope that drives people to celebrate the coming of the new year every year. There are fireworks , parties, lots of alcohol and eating. It doesn’t seem logical. What drives my husband and I to stay up all the way to midnight, just to drink a toast and turn over the calendar?

We are all desperately looking for hope. Hope that the new year will be better than the old one. We can no more change the trajectory of the new year by the extent of our celebrations than we can change ourselves by our resolutions. All we can control are our reactions to the unfolding year.

But there is Hope. Jesus said in Revelation 21:5, “Behold, I make all things new.”

One day there will be a new heaven and a new earth. But that’s in the future. Meanwhile, there is immediate hope for us.

God promised, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a new heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV)

God can do, and has promised to do, that which all our new year’s resolutions cannot do. He can make us new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.“1 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

My Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, the One who makes all things new, I have asked You to be Lord of my life, but I keep trying to take back the controls. Please fill me with Your Spirit to move me to follow Your decrees and to be careful to keep Your laws. Amen.

How Small We are, How Little We Know

On Sunday evening we attended our church’s Carols by Glowstick service. Last year it couldn’t be held because of Covid and the previous year we had been away and had missed it. I was so excited to be able to attend this year with our daughter, our son-in-law and three grandchildren. Maybe I was too excited. You know how you build things up in your mind and then you are disappointed? So it was with me.

The Christmas carols (all three of them) and other worship songs were very well performed, if a little too modernised for my conservative tastes. The registration and distribution of glowsticks was slick and efficient.

There were extracts from scripture highlighting the Christmas story. All good so far.

Then the preacher came. A visiting preacher, a friend of our pastor and an author, Stephen Pohlmann.

Actually, his talk was good. His field of interest is Christian apologetics. However, in my opinion, it was not a suitable talk for a family service. I had been expecting a family service. I felt for my grandchildren. Weren’t they bored to tears?

Perhaps my expectations had been too high. I had expected to sing well-loved carols interspersed with Bible passages and possibly a short talk suitable for children. What I got was a normal evening service, aimed at the youth and young adults with a couple of carols thrown in.

I was disappointed. I considered writing an email to our pastor telling him so. I was still contemplating this when we went ten pin bowling yesterday. My husband and I play socially in a pensioners’ league. One of the other bowlers, who I know attends our church occasionally, asked if I had been at the carol service and how I had enjoyed it. When I told her about my disappointment, she said she had also been disappointed. Moreover, another bowler, who belongs to another church, had attended the Carols by Glowstick two years ago and had so enjoyed it that she invited friends, including a family with young children to attend the event this year. They were bitterly disappointed. Especially as the children were still young enough to believe in Father Christmas and they were told he wasn’t real.

Spurred on by these people who thought like me, I sent the email yesterday afternoon.

Last night we joined the family for supper. I thought I would ask the grandchildren how they had enjoyed the carols service, expecting them to say it was boring or it was so long.

My granddaughter (12) said she had enjoyed it except the music was too loud. When I asked what part of the service she had enjoyed most, she said, “The talk by Stephen Pohlmann. I’ve read his book.”

It turns out my daughter had bought the book after the service and my granddaughter had read it in two days. My grandson (10) had also enjoyed the talk.

How small we are; how little we know.

So I had to send a subsequent email to the pastor, explaining my grandchildren’s feelings on the matter and to admit that perhaps I was just an old lady trying to hold on to how things were done in the past, consorting with other old ladies trying to do the same. I hope our pastor will be gracious.

I do not know everything and my opinion is not the only one. The sooner I learn that, the better.

We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be cancelled… We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us. “ (1 Cor 13:10, 12 MSG)

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, please give me 3D vision so I can see more than one side of any situation. Please help me to see people through Your eyes and not my own fallen ones. Amen.”

We’ll never stop learning

“I believe that in the eternal Heaven centered on the New Earth, reading and study and discussion, and all forms of intellectual exploration, will not only still exist but be greatly enriched. We will remain God’s image-bearers, fully human, but we will at last be unhindered by sin. Learning more of God and his universe will be a constant pleasure, untainted by error or arrogance, infused by his grace.” (Randy Alcorn)

Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

This post is part of One-Liner Wedneday by Linda Hill.

Whose flag are you flying?

We are in Port Elizabeth at the moment, spending time with my mother. On Tuesday our grandchildren and their parents joined us. Like all holiday makers who visit the sea, the children wanted to go to the beach, despite windy and cloudy weather. Preparations for the Iron Man Competition, which takes place in Port Elizabeth tomorrow were underway. Areas of the parking were closed off and temporary structures were springing up. The pier was adorned with flags fluttering in the wind.

Flags

Clusters of foreigners in wet suits were taking photos, running down to the water or emerging and we saw groups of swimmers training far out to sea. Two approached us and asked whether we would keep an eye on their bags for twenty minutes while they did their swim. They told us they were Austrians. One had participated in another event last year and had so enjoyed South Africa that he had jumped at the chance to come again and take part in the Iron Man, bringing his friend over with him. My husband noted that we hadn’t seen the Austrian flag in the array but they assured us it would be there on the day. They asked if we would be watching but the thought of all the crowds and the road closures and traffic congestion discourages us. Much better watch on TV.

Those athletes are competing for their country. Crowds will judge Austria based on their performance. If they show unsportsmanlike behaviour or dishonesty, they will disgrace their country.

Likewise people are watching us. If we “compete” under the Christian flag, our Saviour and His Kingdom will be judged on our actions.  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ( Hebrews 12:1)

Soapy Exit

 

When I poured shampoo into the kitchen sink, the squid blew bubbles. By the time the foam cleared, he was gone. I never saw him again.

squid

I am trying to do two challenges with this post. The first is Grammar Ghoul Press’ Shapefitting challenge where we are challenged to write a story in 26 words including the words “kitchen”,”squid” and “shampoo.”

The next is Linda G Hill’s One liner Wednesday. I hope neither of the challenge hosts objects to my trying to kill two birds with one stone (or two squids with one wash).

#1linerWeds badge by nearlywes.com

It’s a Circus Out There

 

“Mayday! Mayday! This is Medijig 100. Can anybody hear me?”

“Come in Medijig 100”

“I am running out of fuel. Where can I land?”

“We see you on our radar. You are in the middle of Letnin City. There is no open space for 10km.”

“What about a building with a flat roof?”

“Not in Letnin. After the terrorist attack last year all the buildings have had spike barriers added to their roofs.”

“Wait. I see something. It’s a flat topped vehicle. I’m going down.”

The clown in the circus van looked up. “Hey Dora, A helicopter ambulance is going to land on our roof. They’ll have oxygen for sure. Our little asthmatic chimp is going to be all right!”

120 words

 

This story is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers and is based on the following photo prompt.

 

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Iain Kelly. Thank you Iain!

Maybe you’d like to join in the fun.

Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

1. A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.

2. Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.

3. Please credit photo to photographer.

4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.

5. Pingback to the challenge post in your story’s post.

6. This is a flash fiction challenge (stories in 100-175 words or less) and each story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Therefore, no serial (continuation) stories. They become too complicated for our readers.

7. Add your story to the InLinkz Link-up (Blue Froggy button). If you need link-up instructions, please email me at mepricelessjoy@gmail.com.

8. Please keep stories below R rating.

9. Please respect the diversity of our readers and writers in regard to race, religion, and life style choice when writing your stories.

10. Remember, half the fun is reading and commenting on each other’s stories.