Tag Archives: Girl Guides

Apology notes

On Saturday I attended a family fun day organised by the Girl Guide Association in this region. The plan was to move around in a small group and take part in activities representing other countries at various well spaced locations at Delta Park. It was great fun and included hitting a piñata, fishing with magnets in the river, making Canadian pancakes on upended tins and solving puzzles.

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fun and games at the Mexico base

During the day I came across people I was involved with a long time ago, when I ran a Guide company.

At the end of the day, I received two apologies. One from a young woman who was manning the India base. She told us all about henna painting for Indian weddings. She was dressed up in Indian clothes and I wasn’t 100% sure she was the girl I had known but I asked her how she was doing. She called me Irmgard but I didn’t say anything. When she saw me later, she apologised profusely for getting my name wrong. I also got an SMS from the lady who used to be my commissioner. I had waved to her. She apologised because she hadn’t recognised me.

I need to write an apology letter of my own.

Dear Lord Jesus,

I invited You into my day on Saturday morning then forgot about You. When I woke with a headache, I didn’t consult You or ask for Your help but took two aspirin then slept for another fifteen minutes. I could have used Your help later in the day, too, when I got to the Guide campsite and there was no sign of my granddaughter or my son-in-law. You gave Your help anyway. When, not ten minutes later, I was hailed by my son-in-law, I did not think to thank You.

I know You were with me. You were there in the beautiful autumn trees, in the Ibises rummaging in the newly mown grass, in the gurgling river. How easy it would have been to pray a silent “Thank You.” But I didn’t. I ignored You all day. When I puffed up hills that the Brownies took at a laughing run, I didn’t ask for Your help, although I am sure You would have given it.

I had fun, even though I was physically exhausted and my foot was sore after I twisted it going down a step. However, I am sure my day would have been greatly improved if I had consciously involved You. If I had used the opportunity of walking in nature to also pray, talk the walk, so to speak. Instead, I treated You like a fifth wheel and I’m sorry.

We learned in church today about how You reinstated Peter, meeting him in his weakness where he was. (John 21:15-19). I know You do the same to me. You know I am just dust and yet You love me. Even if I ignore You, You will never forsake me because you have promised. Thank You. Please continue to walk with me into the coming week and help me to be more mindful of You. Amen.

Love Makes Time

When I ran a Girl Guide Company, I frequently organised Guide camps. Although I had an assistant Guider and often a parent to help, I was basically in charge and knew where everything was and what was next. I was constantly bombarded by girls wanting something. My Guide name was Panda.

“Panda, where is the toilet paper for the bathrooms? We’re on health patrol.”

“Panda, I’ve cut my finger,”

“Panda, is it time to start lunch yet?

“Panda, the flag pole is falling down.”

If you’ve ever organised something or been in charge of something, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

That’s exactly how Jesus felt in Luke 8:40. “Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him for they were all waiting for him.” (ESV) They were waiting for Him to teach them, to minister to them, to heal them. They needed His time and attention. Then came Jairus. Jairus begged Jesus to come to his house because his daughter was dying. Jesus left the crowd and made time for the one. “As Jesus went, the people pressed around him.“(v 42b)

Even while He was going on His mission of mercy, Jesus was interrupted. A woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years touched the hem of his garment so she could be healed. Jesus stopped and took time to meet, talk to and reassure the woman who was healed. Even though He was on a mission involving a leading public figure, Jesus made time for the one.

Love makes time. Throughout His ministry, Jesus made time for people around Him – eating a meal, going to the house of Zacchaeus, or interacting with little children. Jesus was there for those around Him.

As we seek to grow more like Christ, we need to choose to make time for those in need even if it doesn’t fit into our schedules. If we have surrendered our lives to Him, we have also surrendered our time and we are no longer boss of our own time.

Image by Pixabay

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, I remember that You are Lord of my time. I know that You have the right to change my schedule without notifying me. May I always be alert to Your still small voice and be prepared to change my plans and priorities at Your prompting. Amen.

Remember the Avocado Tree

Recently I read that walking by the Spirit is no more than inviting God into my internal conversation with myself. I resolved to try to live this way but since then, haven’t really been doing it intentionally.

This morning, while I was bathing, my thoughts were in idle mode, just running on themselves. Mainly I was thinking about the Girl Guide camp my daughter is running this weekend. The weather forecast is dismal – 80% rain on Sunday. Every Guider knows the hassle of packing up in the rain. You can’t pack up wet tents. They go mouldy and rot. Mostly you have to take them down wet, bundle them loosely, take them home and, as soon as the sun shines, put them up again then pack them properly when they are dry. I idly thought of possible contingency plans.

While I was worrying thus, it is almost as if the Lord interrupted my thoughts.

HIM: Why do you need a contingency plan. I thought you handed that over to Me last night.

(I remembered I had prayed last night with the family that it wouldn’t rain until the tents had been packed away.)

ME: Yes, but the weather forecast said…

HIM: Do you think I can’t?

ME: I know You can.

HIM: Don’t you trust Me? Or would you rather trust the weather service?

I had to think carefully about these questions. I decided it was not that I didn’t trust God nor that I doubted His power but rather that I thought the God of the universe should not be troubled by such a trifling matter.

HIM Remember the trees? remember the avocado tree.

That silenced me. I remembered them both.

Our neighbours used to have eight tall conifers just in front of our north-eastern wall which divides them from us. When the house was sold about two or more years ago, we got new neighbours. I was careful to hint to them that we’d love the trees cut down and we would be happy to pay half. Then later, when I saw they were actually cutting down other trees, I raised the matter again and tried to set up a meeting. It never happened. Soon after that I read again Mark 23-24.

Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ but does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”(NIV)

There was nobody around, just me and the trees, so I thought I’d try it. “Trees,” I said, “be cut down in Jesus’ name.” then I stopped fretting about it.

The trees are no longer there. In about April this year, the neighbours started work on extensions. They wanted to build extra rooms so her parents could move in with them. The trees were in the way.

As for the avocado tree, we have a tall avocado tree next to our house. It has never given us any fruit. When we came back from a two month winter escape this year, my gardener reported that the tree was dying. Sure enough the leaves were hanging limp and seemed to be a dull grey colour. Remembering the conifers, I said to it, “Tree, live, in Jesus name.” Although many leaves turned brown and fell off, new leaves grew. Now it looks like this.

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So tomorrow I am going with my daughter to help with the Guide camp until her assistant arrives. Maybe I should take an avocado leaf with me.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, I am never quite sure when You are speaking to me and when it is my own imagination. Please interrupt my thoughts more and more frequently and teach me to know Your voice.

Rings and Promises

Yesterday my granddaughter got enrolled as a Girl Guide. When a Girl Guide gets enrolled, she makes a promise.

“I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to my God and my country, to help other people and to keep the Guide Law.”

Once the girl has made the promise, a badge, called a trefoil, is pinned onto her uniform reminding her of the promise she made.

In our case, this was a very special trefoil. It had belonged to my mother who was a Guider about sixty years ago. My daughter was enrolled with it and now, my granddaughter.

It is similar in tradition and sentiment to getting married with your grandmother’s wedding ring. A ring is a symbol of the promises you made on your wedding day.

Unfortunately, keeping a promise is no longer a sign of honour or integrity. One only has to look at the percentage of divorces to realise that most people do not honour the promises they made “…till death us do part.”

It is hard to teach children the value of a promise when the adults around them set such a bad example.

God is not like us. He keeps His promises. Always.

Jesus said,”…whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37b). That famous passage, John 3:16 reads: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV)

God has made a promise. Whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life. You can trust this promise. You can bet your life on it. Christians do.

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness

Camp big Top

When I saw this week’s prompt, I couldn’t resist adding it to this post. This last weekend saw the highlight of our Girl Guide term, Camp Big Top. The theme was the Circus and our patrols were the Acrobats and the Clowns. Because the night temperatures are around 3 degrees, we pitched our tent in the Brownie Hall. The whole camp idea in May had come from the Brownies anyway – there are 26 of them and seven Guides.

The Guide Programme started with tie dying T shirts thanks to Lesley Timms of Rainberry. It was a different technique to the one I knew and the results were spectacular.

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Saturday afternoon was spent making a camp gadget out of sticks and string.

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Later it was collecting wood and making fires to cook supper on.

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Of course camp wouldn’t be camp without a campfire.

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The Guides played stalk the lantern while the Brownies settled into bed. They then had to creep back without disturbing the Brownies and get themselves ready for bed. They were very responsible and only talked in whispers which we eventually had to quieten.

Sunday was making omelettes in a bag for breakfast and then a game of Circus Fair-type challenges. The Brownie Guiders excelled themselves, decorating the area, dressing up and organising amazing games. The Guide Guiders ran the tight rope.

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Other stalls included Stack the tumblers…

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and dress up

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Closing ceremony came all too quickly but not before six Guides had passed their Outdoor Cooks badge. I think everybody enjoyed themselves and can’t wait for the next camp.