Have you noticed how some things change so quickly, while others hardly change at all ?
I took this neighbourhood photo the other day, and realized that it looks pretty much the same here as it did in 1888.
That year, George Eastman invented the Kodak camera, and it became possible to create memories through photographs. If a photo had been taken here in that year, it would have looked pretty much the same as mine, except in black-and-white, and without telephone poles, or a vehicle.
Lawns are relatively recent here. In the past, grass grew long, and was used to feed livestock.
Our neighbour lets his grass grow naturally.
Every time I pass this field, I think of the Scripture verse Isaiah 40:8, which reminds us that grass withers, and flowers fade, but God’s word endures forever.
A holy day is coming to a close, and the sky outside my prayer room is putting on a dazzling display.
Today has been Yom Kippur, or The Day of Atonement, a holy day within Judaism.
I grew interested in learning about Jewish Holy Days while in Israel, and it occurred to me that since Jesus observed these days, I desired to have a knowledge and some understanding of them as well.
I’ve been meditating today on Romans 11 , where Paul describes how Gentiles, also interpreted as Christians, are like wild olive branches that have been grafted into the original olive tree of Judaism. We know that a growing number of Messianic Jews have already accepted Jesus as Messiah.
Jesus came to earth not to abolish ‘the Law’ of the Jewish people, but to fulfill it.
As the Psalmist tells us, let us continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
I peek into people’s grocery carts to see what they are buying.
I shouldn’t be so nosey.
The Bible tells us to lead quiet lives, and mind our own business.( 1 Thessalonians 4:11)
Nevertheless, all humans have a tendency to compare themselves to others. In Sociology, this is part of Social Comparison Theory.
What others choose to eat is not my business, or is it?
Perhaps, indirectly, it is.
Here in Canada, health care is ‘free’ for everyone, whether you need an antibiotic, or heart surgery, but we pay for medical care through our taxes, and health care costs continue to soar.
Obviously there are some health conditions which are not at all related to what one eats, but there are some that are.
Newfoundland has Canada’s highest rates of obesity, Diabetes and Heart Disease.
Recently, the Government proposed a tax on sugary drinks like Coke and Pepsi, to help moderate people’s dietary choices, but this was met with overwhelming public outcry, as people claimed that this was a ‘tax on the poor.’
Choosing to nourish ourselves and our families well, is an act of love . Choosing healthy foods is not necessarly more expensive, but it does require knowledge of nutrition, careful planning, and creativity.
I try, with God’s help, to look after myself, and others, with careful nutrition.
And so, I may do my small part to try not to bankrupt our health care system, which, in this part of Canada, is getting dangerously close.
May the Lord help us to care wisely for ourselves and others.
My wardrobe is mainly white, navy blue, and camel, with a few black items, and so I thought this would really be cheerful. And what a bargain price was advertised !
When the dress arrived, there were a few disappointments, the first being the sense of body shaming I experienced. The dress was labelled XL ( extra large) !
In North America, I am considered to be a medium sized woman, with a normal BMI (body mass index). However, the dress came from China, and there, according to cultural standards, perhaps I would be considered to be especially ‘large’.
Nevertheless, the dress fit me, and I removed the tag displaying the size.
The next disappointment was the strange chemical smell of the garment, which was decidedly unpleasant. After hanging the dress outside in the sun, and then washing it, the strange odour disappeared.
Suddenly I was overcome with conviction, and realized how petty and entitled my attitude was ! I had complained about the size label, and the smell of the dress , without considering the health and safety of the workers who work in challenging conditions , using a variety of dubious chemicals to make clothing.
May God make us aware that people work in extremely uncomfortable conditions to produce ‘bargain’ products for us.
I enjoyed wearing the cheerful red dress, and remembered the people in far-away factories who had created it.
Nevertheless, I cancelled my account at Amazon.
I’d rather wear the clothes I already have rather than wear items that almost certainly involved some human suffering.
Do you agree that in times of stress we are wise to further develop our sense of humour ?
I laughed, (although perhaps I shouldn’t have), when I learned, several years ago through the media, that a cathedral in another Newfoundland outport had been sold, and was going to be turned into a brewery !
The name of the brewery caused me further amusement, since it will be called ‘The Yellow Belly Brewery’. Perhaps the name is appropriate, since selling the historic cathedral as a place to brew alcohol appears to be a cowardly thing to do.
Of course, the town’s parishioners were greatly divided at the decision.
Some lamented, since their ancestors had helped build the church, and it has been the focal point of the community for generations.
Other residents felt less nostalgic, thinking only that ‘times are changing’. Membership had dropped, there was no money for repairs, and the brewery would provide some employment.
Yesterday I checked progress on the brewery, and I could not find any evidence that it is now running. Apparently, beer is not yet flowing in the cathedral.
Perhaps God is not pleased with the proposed project, although the church hierarchy made the deal with the brewery.
The Lord knows that, unfortunately, there are already way too many people with addictions to alcohol in Newfoundland.
Today is a time to think about the value and dignity of work.
I was recently checking out at the grocery store, and chatting with my friend Laurie, who works at the cash register.
I always turn items so that bar codes face towards Laurie, so that she can see them, and scan them more easily. Laurie has thanked me for doing this, as it makes her work a little easier.
She has told me a few times that she fears that her job may soon be eliminated, as technology advances. She left school at 16 to have her son, and she believes that job opportunities are limited for her. She is dependent on her job.
Laurie may be right. Already, Smart Carts are in use in some Sobeys grocery stores in Canada, and at the US chain Kroger.
The carts automatically calculate the price of items placed in the cart, and allow customers to pay directly, thus eliminating the work of cashiers.
Let us pray for those who would like to work but have no jobs, for those who work hard at jobs but still remain poor, and for those whose jobs are in danger of being eliminated.
Jesus clearly demonstrated the dignity of work. He, and his foster father, Joseph, were carpenters.
It was placed earlier this summer, and I rest here when I’m out walking.
A local church, seeing the colourful bench, felt inspired to have an outdoor ‘worship service’.
They brought outside their ultra powerful sound system, with speakers loud enough for a Rock Concert.
Then they broadcast , at great volume, throughout the village, that God had made two sexes, male and female.
They videotaped and posted their worship service on social media, where it caught the attention of national media.
Our local administration was interviewed by reporters, and the controversial video created division and hurt throughout our community. Another church, whose music minister and his husband are both talented musicians, was especially offended.
We know that ‘the evil one’ loves to create division.
Everyone in the village has an opinion about the bench, although most will not say anything.
How do I feel about the bench ?
I am only a housewife theologian, who follows the guidance of Jesus, who taught us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.
It was an aggressive and persistent Ring-billed gull.
These are the kind of guys who give seagulls their bad reputation. We have enjoyed another gull’s company since 2017, but he is a Herring Gull, who is quiet, shy, and unassuming.
The intruding gull was obnoxious, sat on the back deck, and stared at us through the glass door with his intense yellow and black eyes.
Of course we didn’t feed him, but he kept hanging around. He had a horrible repertoire of ear-piercing shrieks and screeches. Our peace had disappeared.
Our neighbours knew we were upset, and told us to get a decoy owl, as this would , for sure, frighten the rude intruder away.
So we drove all the way to a Canadian Tire store, and bought a decoy owl, which we placed it on a pole. For two days we had peace , with no pesky gull.
The third day, the bold gull returned, sat on a rock, and stared menacingly at the owl. When he realized the owl didn’t move, he grew more confident.
This morning, I noticed that the gull had completely conquered his fear. He was sitting triumphantly on the owl’s head !!
Often, in our spiritual walk, we can walk in fear of those things that really can’t harm us.
A friend of mine said that fear is :
If we look around at the media, there are many things that could frighten us, but we choose to stay focused on Jesus, who promises to be with us at every moment of our lives.
One of the advantages of being old ( and there are many) is that I can look back on countless times when I may have ‘feared’ something, but the Lord has brought me through every difficulty. Often, with the passage of years, our faith strengthens, as we discover that Jesus is completely trustworthy.
He will always stay with his beloved.
Therefore, we follow Christ’s directions to us. We will trust, and not be afraid.
Ultimately, choosing to exercise our faith, rather than to be overwhelmed by fear is an act of our will, and is empowered by the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us.